Modeshift STARS Honorary Member – Jane Deeley
Place of work: Currently Wiltshire Council (previously Swindon Borough Council)
What is your role within your organisation? Road Safety Education Manager
How long have you been working in this industry? I started as School Travel Advisor in Swindon in 2005, having previously worked as a cycle instructor and Road Safety Officer in Surrey in the 1980s and 90s. When the STA post was made redundant, I took up the RSO role in Swindon, moving on to Wiltshire Council in 2018.
When did your Team Modeshift journey begin?
I joined up with UKLAST in 2005. The first meeting I attended was actually in Swindon and I found the organisation and colleagues really supportive for someone in a single-handed role like myself. I was actively involved in the move to become Modeshift, and also in the early development of STARS when everything was recorded in huge folders! I took on the SW region rep role on the Board in 2009 until ‘retiring’ in 2015 (must have been a premonition of redundancy!)
Although my current role is specifically road-safety focused, I still actively support Modeshift as an organisation and encourage schools and other organisations to engage with STARS.
Why do you believe it is important to promote active and sustainable travel?
Over the years I’ve worked in the industry, the drivers for change have constantly shifted between environmental, physical and mental health, economic, safety and wider community benefits and I think this really emphasises the importance of the work we are doing across the whole of society.
My personal passion has always been to engage children and young people – to set positive habits early and to develop skills and knowledge to enable them to travel independently, safely and sustainably in the future. I am particularly proud of the School Travel Ambassador scheme I established in Swindon and the passionate and articulate young people who took on the role for their schools.
What’s next, how do you plan on getting there, and by when?
In Wiltshire we hope to rejuvenate our school travel plan programme soon, hopefully using promised Government funding to increase staff capacity to enable more support for schools. Timescales depend, as ever on confirmation of funding!
Our local Road Safety Partnership is currently undergoing a review of structure and activity and we intend to include more robust links with active travel modes within the priorities. The review should be complete by the end of March this year, to enable us to develop the priority actions, including a number of pilot initiatives.
Longer term, I’d like to develop and enhance our Bikeability programme, reaching more children and young people, including those who currently face barriers to training and/or everyday cycling. Ideally, widening our pool of specialist instructors, improving access to bikes, and supporting bespoke training. We’d like to increase our training offer for adults, and add training for e-bikes, cargo bikes etc if possible, too.