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Transforming Travel saves over 1.6m car trips

Latest monitoring and evaluation for the Isle of Wight’s Access Fund programme shows success in getting more people walking, cycling and on the bus.

Since 2017, The Smarter Choice Consultancy has acted as independent evaluator of the Isle of Wight’s ‘Transforming Travel: Transition to Transformation’ programme – which is funded largely by a £1.8m Access Fund grant from the Department for Transport.

Transforming Travel is delivering 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. 

The 2019/20 monitoring report uses data from 19 sub-projects to provide insight into the mode shift achieved by the programme on key journey types (e.g. school run, commute, tourist trips). It also estimates the car trips and carbon savings generated by these changes in mode share.

The report looks at the impact of Transforming Travel during its initial three years – when it was unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It builds on evaluation reports previously published for 2017/18 and 2018/19.


The key findings are that, over three years, Transforming Travel has:

  • Saved over 1.6m car trips
  • Saved over 24.7m car km 
  • Saved over 4,300 tonnes of CO2e 
  • Generated more than 610,000 active travel trips and 177,000 bus trips

The largest savings in car trips were made by the projects helping visitors to the Island to change their travel behaviour. Education and community focused projects generated the largest numbers of active travel trips.

Long term success

The Island’s success with Transforming Travel builds on its previous Local Sustainable Transport Fund and Transition Year activity – which was also largely funded by the Department for Transport.

For example, between 2014/15 and 2019/20 there was a -5.5 percentage point reduction in visitors using a car as their main mode of transport on the Island.

Also, bucking the national trend, between 2011 and 2019 there was an +8 percentage point increase in active travel to primary school, (and a concurrent -7 percentage point decrease in travel by car). The proportion of children in this age group currently using active travel to get to school is 18 percentage points higher than the national average. 

These positive long-term trends showcase the importance of continuous funding of travel behaviour change programmes, in order to maintain momentum. 

Monitoring & evaluation by The Smarter Choice Consultancy

The Transforming Travel evaluation reports use narrative, infographics and data tables to present a wealth of detailed information on the impact of the programme, and the relative contribution of the different projects it undertook with visitors, commuters, school children and residents. 

The reports are produced by The Smarter Choice Consultancy, who developed the programme’s monitoring and evaluation framework, and who will continue to work with representatives of Isle of Wight Council and its partners to collect and collate monitoring data until 2021 – when funding for the programme with cease and a final report will be published.

Project completed in conjunction with Lorax Environmental Associates.

Find out more

Download the 2019/20 (year 3) evaluation report.

Download the 2018/19 (year 2) evaluation report.

Download the 2017/18 (year 1) evaluation report.

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.