Three bikes parked by a shelter with sign that reads: Bike Hire

Bidwell West boasts ‘Very Good’ Modeshift STARS Accreditation

The Bidwell West development in Bedfordshire has been recognised for the delivery of their Travel Plan with a Modeshift STARS ‘Very Good’ Accreditation.

It’s all about community…

Bidwell West is a large new housing development in Bedfordshire on the outskirts of Houghton Regis, near Dunstable. Eventually there will be 1850 properties on the site along including a primary school, retail outlet, community centre, sport fields and allotments. In addition, Houghton Regis Community Development Charity (HRCDC) is present on the development with a pioneer community worker living and working there and partnering with residents in a number of activities and events.

Max Oram, Travel Plan Coordinator at Central Bedfordshire Council told us:

The aim of the Bidwell West Travel Plan is to create a sustainable, community-motivated environment for residents that promotes a range of lifestyle and travel choices and reduces reliance on the private car.

We have four objectives:

Objective 1: To reduce the level of vehicle ownership among residents.

Objective 2: To reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips to and from the site.

Objective 3: To increase awareness of and encourage the use of available sustainable modes of transport.

Objective 4: To increase the use of sustainable modes.

‘Although this Travel Plan is very much in the early stages of implementation. The baseline and year one monitoring show some promising outcomes. Currently, public bus use has increased from 15% to 35% (20% increase), and single-occupancy vehicle trips have reduced from 41% to 35% (6% reduction).

We’ve worked closely with the community association and the housing association to deliver summer community events. Our partnership approach has allowed us to promote sustainable transport for residents across the development. Local members and the community association are also part of the Bidwell West steering group, allowing them to provide feedback on any travel concerns from residents.

So far, we have delivered a long list of initiatives, but the most enjoyable has been our cycle hire scheme. The scheme allows residents to hire bikes 24/7 at a low cost, starting at as little as £1.50 per hour. The scheme has been in place for around 18 months, and we have started to add additional locations in town for residents to start and end hires.’

Next steps

Max told us: ‘Over the coming months, we’re aiming to facilitate the installation of a bicycle repair station, have an Electric Vehicle Car Club with two vehicles on the development, and offer learn-to-ride cycle training. The idea is to push the Travel Plan as far as possible.’

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