The need for changes of behaviour, attitude and culture in order to achieve a major shift towards more sustainable modes of transport, and to integrate these modes into the broader spatial development strategy for the North Sea Region, is a formidable task.
Under Interreg IIC, the TARGET 1 project demonstrated the effectiveness of spatial development in tackling car dependency with interventions that provide specific target populations with travel awareness tools (information, promotion, incentives and new services).
"Travel Awareness Regional Groups for Environmental Transport 2" (TARGET 2) is the follow-up of TARGET 1, and it supports sustainable transport in urban and rural areas through the development, implementation and ongoing awareness raising promotions, to provide a range of travel options for work, school and leisure journeys.
The objective of TARGET 2 is to develop, implement and evaluate a package of mobility management activities that will promote, facilitate and encourage the use of alternative modes to the car. Through transnational co-operation, strategies to promote effective and sustainable transport systems in urban and rural areas will be developed.
Specific objectives were:
- to create a practical platform for exchange of information and best practice concerning mobility management activities;
- to create proactive transnational networks to foster ongoing development of mobility management techniques;
- to engage business in developing travel options that mitigate the environmental impact of business generated travel demands for employees, visitors and customers;
- to extend existing, and develop a new range of interventions to develop positive attitudes to sustainable transport modes with young people and the wider community;
- to test the benefits of a specific Mobility Centre in Lundby as a one-stop-shop for all sustainable travel information and support.
A key driver of the project was to develop activities that could be continued, expanded and replicated following the completion of the project.
TARGET 2 was implemented through four linked transnational Work Areas, each designed to target a specific population group with the most appropriate interventions to achieve a modal shift in favour of more sustainable transport modes. These work areas are:
- Work Places. This area developed a model for working with key business sectors and developing travel options, such as car-pooling, bicycle usage and the promotion of greener fuels.
- Mobility Education. This area developed positive attitudes to sustainable transport modes by targeting households with information and school initiatives.
- Transport and Leisure. This area aimed to reduce car travel to a range of visitor attractions through e.g. logistics improvement.
- City Living. This area developed activities for urban areas such as improvement of information for walkers and cyclists, integrated ticketing and removing causes of social exclusion.
The joint implementation of activities across the different countries was a fundamental component of the project. All partner regions participated in the four Work Areas, with each region having responsibility for the overall direction and co-ordination of a Work Area.
Furthermore, the benefits of transnational co-operation and network-based learning were maximised through a number of activities including in-depth partner exchange visits, twice yearly thematic workshops, and development of the TARGET website.
The added value of transnational exchange have been the sharing of knowledge and experience which:
- fast tracked solutions to problems;
- provided new perspectives to old problems;
- tested apparently good solutions to work in different locations;
- developed a common source of knowledge so mistakes were not repeated;
- created good practice leaflets, reports, posters for joint working on common solutions;
- helped to develop strong networks.
The key general achievements for Target 2 have been:
- The project has demonstrated significant achievements in the implementation of a variety of travel solutions and shown that these can impact positively on modal shift in favour of more sustainable transport modes. These will continue beyond the end of the project and many have become incorporated into mainstream activity for the organisations involved in delivering them.
- The project has demonstrated that no single solution can be applied to all situations and shown that approaches tailored to the specific set of circumstances in different places work best.
- A network of partners and people involved in the project has been established and will continue to produce benefits even after the end of the project.
- There has been significant change in the way partner organisations view the promotion of sustainable transport. This cultural change and greater openness to new approaches will produce a longer term basis for continuation of commitment to sustainable transport.
- Successful marketing concepts that target specific groups and encourage participation using quality inducements, personal contact or imaginative high profile promotional techniques have been demonstrated.
- There has been significant personal development and learning among the people directly involved in the project and related activities. There is now a significant group of people across the North Sea region with considerable experience in the management of European projects and the delivery of specific results on the ground.
- A project management structure and approach has been developed and refined during the project which provides a good model for the management of future projects.
Achievements in the Work places area have been:
- Establishing early contact with a committed company representative was key to getting internal buy-in and support for the ideas in companies.
- Recognising that cost saving is a key driver for many companies and individuals, for example 40,000 saving in West Flanders in the first year.
- Tailored, personalised campaigns targeted at individuals and groups of individuals, has created significant modal shift.
- Combining traditional health campaigns with competitions or other events helps to involve more people and achieve greater awareness an
The network of partners and many of the activities initiated through the project will continue to deliver results into the future. There are three overarching themes which emerge from this project which provide a guide to developing the sustainable transport agenda for the future:
- Focused activities combined with sustained targeted marketing delivers modal shift.
- Behaviour, attitude and culture change are long term processes. They require sustained effort and resources that start with nurturing awareness of sustainable transport options among young people and continues to engage them throughout all stages of their lives.
- A strategic vision for sustainable transport must include itself with a broader spatial development vision.