A New Message from Eco Savvy

Use Sustainable Transport: Arran in 10 Years Round Up

What does Travel & Transport on Arran in 10 years look like? 100% electrified vehicles? Self-driving cars? Or perhaps a public transport and active travel system so good we won’t even need cars? These topics were brought to the fore as over 100 Arran residents gathered for the Arran in 10 Years: Travel & Transport event hosted by Arran Eco Savvy Sustainable Island Life (SIL) project team and supported by over 10 local and national travel and transport focussed organisations. 

The event was an opportunity for organisations with travel and transport priorities to support Arran residents in the adoption of sustainable travel, to absorb local insight valuable to improving service offerings and widely challenge everyone to think about what Arran’s travel and transport will be like in 10 years. People were encouraged to think creatively, positively and ambitiously about the future of sustainable travel on the island, with the aim to ultimately cultivate a community where active travel is the norm. 

The first part of the event saw community members engage with the following organisations:

 

  • Arran Bike Club

  • Arran Mountain Bike Club

  • Home Energy Scotland

  • Sustrans

  • Transport Scotland 

  • Cycling UK

  • National Trust Brodick Castle

  • North Ayrshire Council

  • Arran Community Voluntary Service

  • Arran Medial Group

  • Arran Trust

As well as this, event attendees were welcomed to trial the SIL project’s expanded fleet of eBikes, including one eTrike which proved popular with residents of all ages and physical capabilities queuing for trials! 

The highlight of the event seemed to be the 3 by 2 meter map of Arran, which locals were invited to evolve by drawing their current active travel journeys. The routes contributed by community members will be used to inform other residents and tourists looking to travel more sustainably on Arran through Arran’s first Savvy Travel Map. 

The event also saw Eco Savvy project manager Jude give event attendees insight into the Sustainable Island Life project, funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and multi-dimensional, delivering activities in sustainable travel, food & energy efficiency as well as climate literacy education. The project is set to save 6% of Arran’s annual domestic CO2e emissions.

The travel strand of the SIL project is delivering an island wide eBike programme launched in June, that has seen 6 organisations involved so far and 48 employees within them having the chance to use a range of eBikes for daily journeys for up to 1 month. 

Organisations involved in the eBike Scheme so far:

 

  • Lochranza Distillery

  • Arran Dairies

  • NHS Arran Medical Group

  • Woodside Farm

  • The Kinloch Hotel

  • COAST Arran

As well as this, Eco Savvy is set to deliver Arran’s first Savvy Active Travel Map, and Island Lift Share Scheme, bike maintenance points and tool library, provide an online resource of sustainable travel information specific to Arran, as well as continued travel and transport workshops and events. 

The event also provided a chance for the community to hear about the current National Transport Review from guest speaker Sharron Jefferey of Transport Scotland. Transport Scotland launched the consultation on the draft strategy on Wednesday 31st July and Arran residents were encouraged to make their views heard before the deadline of the 23rd October. This can be done online at: www.transport.gov.scot/NTS2

The event was rounded off with the opportunity for locals to participate in lively community discussion set to visualise and shape the future of travel and transport on Arran. Event attendees enthusiastically took part in discussion led by sustainable travel coordinators Andrew & Emma, identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Arran’s travel and transport systems. From strengths citing kind bus drivers and good cycling hills, to weaknesses such as no bike racks on busses identified, there were common views discovered and shared by all. Encouragingly, community discussion was largely centred around the opportunities of the future with over 40 future opportunities and ideas identified and discussed.

Strengths

  • Flag a bus down at anytime 

  • Kind bus drivers help us meet ferries etc.

  • Good hills

  • Buses meet ferries

  • Walks well signed 

  • Shared taxis to school

  • Transport hub -train | boat links 

  • Roads are not congested

Weaknesses

  • No bike racks

  • Poor roads

  • Drive by bus drivers (time constraints)

  • Limited bus services esp Kildonan & the North

  • Width of busses off roads

  • Cycling is a challenge without wider roads and cycle routes

  • No pavements

  • Coordination – bus/ferry/train

  • Busses v. expensive – especially for kids

  • No separation of cyclists

  • Only late busses in summer (Sundays!)

  • No bikes on buses

  • MyBus (limited service and access)

Opportunities:

  • School trip car sharing

  • More tolerance for active travel

  • Car users using bikes instead

  • More carsharing/hitch hiking

  • Better school routes

  • Technology to increase transport communication/social media

  • Post buses! Arran Deliveries/Haulage

  • Bike pick ups

  • Incentives to lift share

  • Electronification of buses

  • Community led MyBus management

  • More frequent busses – could potentially create more demand by providing a better service

  • Car sharing

  • Bikes on busses 

  • Better bus connection

  • Carsharing website

  • LPG-business opportunity

  • Increase cycle routes & walking routes

  • Ecar charge points at all village halls

  • On demand busses

  • Electric busses

  • Net Zero emissions

  • Social busses

  • Change the national speed limit on the island

  • Increase multi use travel paths

  • Revive good communication of the past

  • Hitch hiking but with a scheme behind it to ensure safety (stickers for residents to put in their car saying “hitch hiking friendly” + specific, recognisable flags for hitch hikers to hold out, this scheme could also be consolidated with a website

  • TV presentation on ferry regarding transport on Arran

  • Bus connection at Ardrossan terminal

  • Isle of Wight narrow busses – example opportunity

  • Develop path (mixed use) between villages (Brodick to Lamlash most prominent)

  • “Arran- the first bike friendly Isle!!”

    • Bike friendly buses 

    • Improved driver behaviour

    • Integrated education for mutual respect

    • More cycling info for residents and tourists

  • What would Greta do?

  • More cycle paths (National Cycle route to Corrie is scary)

  • Fewer potholes

  • Electric / Driverless? No!

  • Wider pool of bikes for community: folding, trikes, eBikes

  • Campaign for universal bike chargers and charge points

    • Bike chargers at car charge points

  • “screened” car share participants

  • Carshare pick up points

  • Water taxis

  • Electric pods

  • Pedalos 

  • Visitor websites containing more info on cycling

  • Car clubs

Threats:

  • Wider motorhomes

  • Causeway – sea level rises

  • Increased tourism

  • Potholes 

  • Flooding

  • Accidents

  • Subsidence

  • Careless driving

  • Road closures

  • Increasing traffic

Gerard Tattersfield, trustee of Arran Bike Club who has put some serious time into supporting our eBike scheme and many years into developing mountain bike paths and safer cycling routes on Arran says: “I hope this could be the start of our local island community coming together to help inform and solve our future local travel and transport issues, rather than waiting for others who may not understand how unique Arran’s issues can be, to do it for us.” 

With a rapidly changing world impacted by explosive environmental, social, economic, technological and political factors, it’s crucial for us to plan and be proactive for the future we want to inhabit. This event hopefully contributed to the strengthening of a collective voice, understanding and action for sustainability in travel and transport on Arran. From the engagement at the event it is evident that there are many mutual concerns over weaknesses and threats of Arran’s travel and transport systems, many of which can be converted to strengths and exciting opportunities. Thank you to everyone who came and participated and to all the organisations that contributed; from here we hope that the community and our partner organisations keep up this momentum so we can deliver some of the change that Arran in 10 Years needs. 

Overall, Arran in 10 Years was a refreshing and exciting exploration of the future, with a palpable enthusiasm for change, we aim to support an island where low carbon & active travel is the norm and not the exception, for everyone on Arran.

If you would like to implement a change to the way you travel get in touch with Andrew or Emma on 01770 303 016 or email emma.ecosavvy@gmail.com or andrew.ecosavvy@gmail.com

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