London Borough of Sutton honored for getting people on their bikes

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The council of the London Borough of Sutton has won a major award for its work in helping people in the borough change the way they travel.

Sutton Council was named "Most Improved Transport Local Authority of The Year" in the prestigious National Transport Awards 2010.

Judges praised the authority for its Smarter Travel Sutton campaign, which has inspired a 75 per cent increase in cycling, a six per cent shift away from car use and a 16 per cent increase in people traveling by bus. This all can be only a good thing and maybe could be emulated in other, neighboring boroughs as well.

The three-year project is now being studied by other authorities across London and experts from Europe, South Korea and Singapore.

Cllr Simon Wales, Sutton Council's Executive Member for Communities, Transport and Voluntary Sector, said: "We're immensely proud to have been honored in this way but the real praise should go to the people of Sutton, who have embraced the campaign and got healthier while at the same time reducing pollution and helping to tackle congestion.

"By traveling by public transport, cycling or walking, residents are not just choosing the greenest option – they're also choosing the quickest, cheapest and easiest option."

And, especially when walking and cycling, the residents of Sutton not only, as Cllr. Wales said, are choosing the greenest option they are also choosing the healthiest option, one that can get and keep them fit.

Now in their tenth year, the awards recognize excellence, innovation and progress in the transport field.

Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond said: "I would like to pay tribute to the winners for the work that they do and the difference they make. With their dedication harnessed to the full, we can make our vision of a world-class British transport system a reality."

The ceremony of the awards was hosted by radio and television presenter Grant Stott, drew over 500 transport professionals to Manchester.

I can but hope that they all came by train, bicycle and walked...

© 2010