How to Promote Active Travel for your Community

By Alison Holland

Published: April 14, 2021

How can you get involved by being an active travel advocate in your community?

There are lots of ways that you can get involved by by being an active travel advocate in your community, most of them just requiring your time, and a little energy!

Learn how to activate your local community by communicating a feeling of active travel plans belonging to them all as a community, which will generate interest and engagement, and backing the active travel cause.

Below are some practical tips to help you find support, take action and become an active travel advocate in your community:

  • Find others who have already done similar - local or from further afield.
  • Be specific about the issue you want to address in your local area and what you can actually do, eg Kettering Critical Mass - giving locals the confidence to cycle through town.
  • Build a team with different skills and knowledge.
  • Take part in existing schemes eg Living Streets volunteers, campaign to link towns and villages with walking routes.
  • Remember you don’t need everyone to agree with you… once you get a certain proportion of people on board you can create a groundswell which will engage more people.
  • Find good local contacts to support you, eg local council, police and keep them in the loop.
  • Stay positive and inspiring. Lots of gentle nudges rather than angry attacks.
  • Get local political support: MPs, councillor and police - candidates and elected. Write to them, respond on twitter, keep positive and engaged, praise the good stuff and challenge what is lacking by presenting ideas.
  • Find out what you can and can’t do and be imaginative
  • Recognise that the naysayers see things differently to you and may have valid points which need to be addressed.
  • Get information from specific support networks which are already out there.
  • Make it easy for people to join you.
  • Find and follow some good ‘active travel’ social media accounts to give you ideas and see things from different perspective.

eg Tom Flood, Sarah Berry, Carlton Reid, Rod King 20s plenty, Alison Stenning (play streets)

Ideas for action in your community:

  • Save the Bus campaign.
  • Community cycle rides
  • Walking Bus for the school run
  • Play streets
  • Campaign for better crossings
  • Clean air campaign - eg teenagers around London, mums for lungs
  • Cycle Recycle scheme - eg Worries to Wheelies, Re-cycle
  • Cycle repair sessions with local cycle shop
  • Changing mindsets - road open signs
  • Litter wombles
  • Share a Lift for events