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Birmingham organisations recognised for work on sustainable and active travel

Published: 17th Nov 2020

National recognition has been bestowed on Birmingham City Council and its stakeholder partners for efforts to increase active and sustainable travel throughout the city and wider region.

At the 2020 Modeshift National Sustainable Travel Awards, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust’s Sustainability Team were named winners of the Contribution to Sustainable Travel by an Organisation category.

In addition, the council and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce also received special recognition for their joint work on the Clean Air Zone stakeholder engagement programme.

Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, said: “The annual Modeshift Awards celebrate projects, events or activities by Modeshift members that support and encourage sustainable travel by highlighting best practice, showing innovation and being inspirational so to be recognised not once, but twice, is an honour.

“As a council we want Birmingham to be at the forefront for sustainability and active travel to create the foundations for a green and healthy city. It’s great to know that we are on the path to delivering that vision by having our work acknowledged at the highest level.”

Birmingham has been using its membership with Modeshift to promote the Modeshift STARS travel planning service which is free to businesses, schools and community groups across Birmingham.

It was through Modeshift STARS that Birmingham worked with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust to help the organisation produce a 40-point Travel Plan to reduce single car occupancy and improve sustainable travel, which recently earned them bronze level accreditation.

Fran Silcocks from the sustainability team at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust said: “We are honoured and extremely pleased to be recognised in this way for the work we are doing around sustainability. We have been going over and above in our efforts to reduce driving to our sites and have put in place a number of environmentally-friendly initiatives.

“We have significantly more electric vehicle charging points being installed in the near future and are working with local public transport providers to offer discounted travel for our staff.

“By introducing the travel plan, the Trust clearly demonstrates our commitment to forming a greener and more sustainable workplace. A big part of our goal is looking at the way staff travel and making it easier and better for people to choose walking, cycling, public transport, low emission vehicles or car sharing rather than travelling individually by car.

“As a health care provider, we have a duty of care to advocate improvements in air quality and are committed to positively contributing towards this. We look forward to working with our local authorities to improve air quality.”

Elsewhere, the council and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce received special recognition for its work to engage with businesses regarding the forthcoming Clean Air Zone, which will launch on 1 June 2021.

This work has included raising awareness of the zone, helping businesses to prepare and ensuring they have a clear understanding of what action needs to be taken. Most recently, this included delivering a joint webinar to more than 100 delegates.

Paul Faulkner, CEO of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “It’s great to see that our business engagement programme has been recognised on a national scale and I’d like to thank Birmingham City Council for their collaborative efforts over the last 18 months.

“The success of this campaign has been down to the willingness of the business community to engage with us on this vital topic and ultimately, we want to ensure that businesses across the region are fully up to speed on what the Clean Air Zone means for them and how they can effectively prepare ahead of next summer”

The annual Modeshift Awards took place online, with members voting for the finalists before the voluntary board elected the overall winners.

Modeshift Chair Ross Butcher said: “Congratulations to the winners and runner ups of Modeshift’s National Sustainable Travel Awards 2020. The calibre of the nominations show that our members are continuing to work hard, through the pandemic to run a range of innovative projects, events and activities to support active, safe and responsible travel.

“Helping people to actively travel safely is a priority at this time and we will continue to provide the support our members need so that they can continue to provide these much-needed projects, events and activities.”

For more information on Birmingham City Council’s Modeshift STARS travel planning service, email the team or register online for free. For information on the Birmingham Clean Air Zone visit the website.