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During 2022, SEF collaborated with SCVS and 4theRegion to identify local transport and travel needs, and co-produce ways to solve them – through a range of pilot projects, several engagement events and a suite of resources.
‘Getting Around Swansea’, the Community-Led Sustainable Transport Solutions project aimed to strengthen sustainable transport and active travel in Swansea, focusing on what communities can do for themselves to solve their travel and transport challenges.
A comprehensive suite of resources has been published, including 15 bilingual introductory guides to help groups set up and sustain community cars and vans, community cycling and community buses; plus case studies and films from some of the pilot projects which were supported as part of the project. You can find them HERE.
“We have had some really important conversations with communities over the past few months, and it’s clear there are serious gaps in transport provision for some people. The question is, are there creative ways to meet people’s needs for accessible, affordable, sustainable transport, by working more closely with local people to design solutions? This project has brought to light some really exciting opportunities and piloted some great ideas. We really hope that this “community-led” approach will continue to be embraced as a cost effective way forward. The right local solution, such as a weekly shopping bus or a shared bike scheme, has the potential to be life changing for people.”
– Dawn Lyle, Director, 4theRegion
The project focused on addressing social isolation, promoting community cohesion, enabling better access to services and employment, improving health and wellbeing and tackling the decarbonisation imperative.
“The Community-led transport project has clearly demonstrated that local community members and community groups not only have an understanding of how their transport needs can be better met but also have the enthusiasm and energy to help make it happen. There is a growing appetite to improve things for people and the planet, and with the right support and resources communities can make a tangible difference and take a lead on making positive changes to people’s lives. This project has been a real inspiration and I’m sure that we will be able to build on what is already being achieved.”
– Philip McDonnell, Coordinator, Swansea Environmental Forum (SEF)
As the project draws to a close, a wide range of resources have been developed to support groups and individuals to continue to develop the solutions they need to address transportation issues in their communities.
“We’ve been so pleased to be a part of this project. It has underlined again that local communities are the ones who understand the issues in their area, and that solutions can be found within the communities themselves, and must be tailored to meet local needs. The resources created as a legacy of the project provide the tools that people need to begin to solve some of the transportation issues in their area. These, alongside the ongoing direct advice and support available to existing, new or emerging voluntary and community organisations, can help to bring those new solutions to life. This is very much the starting point, and we’re excited to be part of the springboard for people being empowered to develop innovative solutions to transport issues in their communities over the coming years.”
– Amanda Carr, Director, Swansea Council for Voluntary Service (SCVS)