Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sustrans UTravelActive case study draft

Ok so i mentioned this in one of the earlier posts, that I completed a case study for Sustrans Leeds before i left in June. this is the first draft of the proposed article that is going in for UTravelActive. from the website, "UTravelActive aims to increase the level of walking and cycling amongst staff and students at the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University, and in communities around the Universities." so with this in mind the following bit focusing on the commuting and money saving as well as a bit of health was completed. there will be a second case study put together by Sustran's Sian Bell, whom I interviewed with for these. The second study will be on the website and focus on cycle tourism.

So here is the first draft, there are some changes in it that I have made since it was sent to me, if people would like to comment and add thoughts that would be great. unfortunately due to the nature of its presentation it needs to be short but let me know any thoughts! I would also like to thank Lisa Brannan, who helped me get my velocampus bike as well as set up the case study work.


When the opportunity to hire a bike inexpensively was offered through UTravelActive’s Velocampus Leeds, John Pelletier, a student at University of Leeds, took full advantage.

He had recently lost weight and wanted to keep it off. He hired a bike through the scheme and found that not only did he maintain his weight loss, he lost more weight as well. He was physically healthier, but he also felt that his mental health had improved, ‘I have more overall energy and a greater mental capacity’ said John.

Although he had cycled since secondary school, John says that he cycled far more miles in the last six months with his Velocampus bike then in the previous 6 years. Cycling every day to University, often beating the buses and cars on his journey in and saving £3.20 in bus fares each day.

If the Velocampus Leeds bike hire hadn’t been available, John would probably not have been able to ride everyday as he wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy a good quality bike. He says 'The Velocampus scheme has changed the way I travel and I feel great!'. He has now permanently changed his travel behaviour and has decided to study for a Masters in sustainable transport and in particular, cycle and walkability infrastructure and development.

Result: Access to bikes gives people a healthy, low cost travel alternative that they may not ordinarily afford and in turn the opportunity to increase their physical activity through their daily travel.

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