RGU working with Nestrans to improve cycling in the North-east

Lucy Johnston2018, News

Researchers from Robert Gordon University (RGU) are working with Nestrans, the Aberdeen City and Shire Transport Partnership, in a bid to improve the experience for cyclists in the North-east.

The two organisations have created a survey which will collect the opinions, experiences and ideas of cyclists in the area which will then be compiled in a report to help shape policy and create a positive cycling culture in the City and Shire.

The survey, ‘Cycling in Aberdeen’, forms part of the wider EU-funded work (Civitas PORTIS), which is being led by Aberdeen City Council and includes innovative work and creative initiatives to support walking, cycling and more efficient freight movement in Aberdeen and the Shire.

The Civitas PORTIS European Union grant is being used to examine transport solutions with a connection with port operations, supporting sustainable urban mobility through changes in behaviour and the attitudes of citizens, planners, politicians and industries. It will also help address social inclusion and provide opportunities for economic growth.

The partners for the wider project also include Aberdeenshire Council, the University of Aberdeen, and Aberdeen Harbour Board.

Those taking part in the survey will be asked for their insight into what motivates people to cycle, what the barriers are to increased levels of cycling, the views on the current cycling infrastructure and what role stereotypes of cyclists play in shaping the attitude and behaviours of other road users towards cyclists.

Caroline Hood, research assistant at Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment, who is leading the project from RGU’s side, commented: “Ultimately, we are seeking to gather data on the experiences of individual citizens cycling in and around Aberdeen.

“We then intend on analysing this data in order to highlight the current barriers to cycling in Aberdeen and to consider how the current levels of cycling within the city can be improved.

“By collaborating with Nestrans, we hope to be able to positively influence policy in the city as part of the wider CIVITAS PORTIS project which is seeking to promote sustainable urban mobility choices within Aberdeen.”

Jon Barron, Cycling Development Officer with Nestrans added: “Nestrans, together with its partners, is committed to creating an environment in which cycling is a convenient, safe, comfortable, healthy and attractive travel choice option for everyday journeys. To help inform future planning, it is vital that we gather opinions, suggestions for improvement and innovative methods to address long-standing problems.

“I hope to improve the communication and consultation opportunities currently offered to local cyclists. Moving forward, I intend using the survey findings as part of a range of options to ensure those views continue to be sought while also ensuring more regular updates are provided on ongoing and planned projects.

“I’d like to thank RGU, Richard and Caroline for their commitment, enthusiasm and efforts to date and look forward to working alongside them as this develops and using the findings to help with our work. Please take the time to complete the survey and remember to pass it on to everyone else that you think might want to have their views heard.

Anyone wishing to take part in the survey, which will be open until the end of September, can do so by visiting http://bit.ly/2MKiIfx or by contacting Caroline Hood on c.m.hood1@rgu.ac.uk or Jon Barron on JBarron@Nestrans.org.uk.