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Transforming Travel looks to Isle of Wight’s transport future

The final monitoring and evaluation report for the Isle of Wight’s Access Fund programme ‘Transforming Travel’ outlines five lessons for capitalising on pandemic-induced change, to get the Island further towards decarbonising transport.

For the last four years, The Smarter Choice Consultancy has been acting as impartial evaluator of the Isle of Wight’s ‘Transforming Travel: Transition to Transformation’ programme – which was mainly funded with a £1.8m Access Fund grant from the Department for Transport.

Between 2017 and 2021, Transforming Travel delivered a range of initiatives to enable and encourage local residents and visitors to travel around the Island sustainably – by walking, cycling, car sharing and using public transport more. 

Five lessons for future travel behaviour change

Due to the impact of the pandemic (disrupting delivery and data collection, and creating a huge external influence on travel habits) we adapted our previous approach to monitoring and evaluation reporting for Transforming Travel’s fourth year. 

Using the data that remained available to us, and reviewing the initiatives that were able to continue throughout the lockdowns, we assessed how the pandemic changed travel on the Island in 2020/21.

Using this analysis, in the fourth, and final, Transforming Travel on the Isle of Wight – Access Fund Programme Evaluation report we outlined five lessons the Isle of Wight Council could apply to its’ approach to encouraging travel behaviour change – in order to capitalise on these changes and to continue the Island’s longer term strategy of decarbonising transport:

  1. 2020/21 was a bonanza year for cycling, and shows that, given the right conditions and support, more Island residents will cycle, more often, over longer distances. 
  2. The shift to home working has been significant, and if a high level of working from home can be maintained there is the potential to reduce large volumes of daily commuting journeys from the Island’s roads. 
  3. Amongst those commuting to work and college, there has been a swing away from sustainable modes towards more drive-alone commuting, which needs to be proactively redressed. 
  4. Supporting key workers and providing free access to equipment and opportunity gets people to try out new modes and improve their health and well-being,
    as well as switches some people from a car-borne commute. 
  5. Transforming Travel initiatives, and their successors, can be used to support people switching to sustainable modes; whether the personal or policy motivation is the pandemic, health, economics or the climate crisis. 
Inspiring practitioners

The report also features four case studies, showcasing Transforming Travel’s best practice initiatives. These case studies were also drawn out as standalone briefing notes – for ease of sharing with practitioners looking to develop similar projects:

Transforming Travel’s previous 2019/20 monitoring report looked at the impact of the programme during its initial three years, when it was unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It found that, in that period, Transforming Travel is estimated to have saved over 1.6m car trips – equating to over 24.7m car km and 4,300 tonnes of CO2e. It also generated more than 610,000 active travel trips and 177,000 bus trips.

Project completed in conjunction with Lorax Environmental Associates.

Find out more

Download the 2020/21 (year 4) evaluation report.

Download the Key Worker Cycle Scheme case study.

Download the #RideForHeros e-Scooters case study.

Download the PedalAid case study.

Download the Visitor Bus Key Card Loans case study.

See our Transforming Travel evaluation case study.

Read about how we can help with your monitoring & evaluation or next behaviour change or sustainable transport project.