Modeshift – the sustainable travel network

20 June 2016  •  Author(s): Ross Butcher – Chair of Modeshift

If you got a chance to read his ‘online-author-preview’ in April 20161 , Ross Butcher – Chair of Modeshift2 – introduced the organisation and the work they are doing to improve sustainable travel delivery in the UK. He also covered the importance of sustainable travel and challenged readers to think about a journey they have taken as a passenger or driver of a car that could have been replaced by a more sustainable travel mode. Here, Ross takes us on a journey through childhood, lifestyle changes and how Modeshift wants things to be made easy.

Modeshift – the sustainable travel network

Getting back to basics, Modeshift is a national network of sustainable travel practitioners based in the UK. We have over 600 members from local authorities, the profit and not-for-profit sector. Established in 2001, we are a best practice sharing organisation. With expertise and experience in sustainable travel up and down the country (as well as internationally), Modeshift exists to highlight what works well and in supporting the industry to increase levels of sustainable travel. We do this to enhance economic growth, improve the health of our population, reduce congestion and improve air quality. Today there are few who doubt the value of sustainable travel and its far reaching benefits, but we acknowledge that more needs to be done.

With the aim of taking a journey back to your childhood, I present the following questions: Did you walk to primary school? Can you ride a bike and, if so, at what age did you learn to ride and who taught you? Did you ride the bus to secondary school? Did your family have a car? If so, how many? And, for fun, what was your favourite TV programme? These are great questions to bring up in discussion with someone. You might say how different things are today or perhaps continue the conversation on childhood TV programmes. My point here is that the impact of the education, life skills, knowledge and experiences we encounter as children has a long lasting impact when we reach adulthood. Focusing on the journey to and from school is where Modeshift began.

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