Your lowdown on the Modeshift Convention 2021

Modeshift Convention
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This year, Modeshift celebrated 20 years of creating active, sustainable travel strategies across the UK. Earlier this month, Modeshift and their partners convened to discuss this years’ best practice methods, their UK-wide successes, and their plans for future delivery. The conference took place as climate change found itself firmly in the forefront of people’s minds, as COP26 talks have gathered momentum.

The theme of the convention focused on planning, delivery, partnerships, and inclusivity, taking stock of the year and what the future would hold. Despite a rocky 18 months, Modeshift had unprecedented success with more than 3000 sites achieving their STARS accreditation. Among them were businesses, Modeshift partners, local authorities, and schools.

A variety of speakers discussed their research and best practice methods based on the delivery in their own areas. Oxford Brookes lecturer and reader in urban mobility, Dr Tim Jones, led with his research on the strategies for promoting and supporting walking and cycling. He went on to discuss how micromobility; such as mobility scooters and electric vehicles, can co-exist harmoniously with modes of sustainable and active travel.

There were several schools and county districts that reported their findings of using the accreditation scheme including Heath Hayes Primary School that detailed their model from ‘pollution to Platinum’. In the talk led by School Travel Advisor, Ryan Proctor, and Nurture Manager Donna Evans, they explained how they worked to embed active travel into the very ethos of their school. Their work with Modeshift and partnership with the Staffordshire Air Quality Project, allowed them to see real reductions in air pollution.

Schools in Kirklees had been working towards their Modeshift goals using scooting. They introduced their initial experiences of implementing scooting across KS1 and KS2, looking at the modifications necessary for adapting it to different age groups. As an exercise, it looked at how important it was for bringing up their fitness levels as well as improving the air quality around the schools in that area.

Herefordshire and Southampton City Council representatives had found considerable success with their own programmes. Hertfordshire County Council centered their implementation on a holistic approach to delivery in that local authority and the importance of Modeshift to their implementation goals.

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