Following a competition, three medium-sized towns in England were designated ‘Sustainable Travel Towns’, implementing a program of measures from 2004 to 2009, intended to reduce car use. Car driver trips by residents fell by 9% per person, and car driver distance by 5%~7%, bus trips per person grew by 10%~22%, compared with a national fall of 0.5% in medium-sized towns. Cycling trips per head grew by 26%~30%, compared with declines in medium-sized towns elsewhere. The number of walking trips per head grew by 10%~13%, compared to a national decline in similar towns. The cost per car kilometer removed was about 4 pence, and the implied benefit-cost ratio (allowing only for congestion effects) is in the order of 4.5. Including environmental, consumer-benefit and health effects on the basis of recent Department for Transport modeling could broadly double the congestion-only figure.

This program was designated a Landmark case study in 2010. Designation as a Landmark (best practice) case study through our peer selection process recognizes programs and social marketing approaches considered to be among the most successful in North America. They are nominated both by our peer-selection panels and by Tools of Change staff, and are then scored by the selection committees based on impact, innovation, replicability and adaptability.

This free 60 minute recording was presented by Joe Finlay, Department for Transport on Tuesday May 10, 2011.