The Room to Roam Green Travel Hub is an exciting initiative to provide, develop and promote alternative travel options to the private car in and around the town of Huntly. The project partners will develop a car club and E-bike rental scheme, promote and develop cycling and walking, and promote public transport. The aim is to reduce car use in order to cut carbon emissions, improve local access to employment and training opportunities and help cut the cost of rural living. The project will support residents and businesses to think about transport and travel in new ways, and encourage and enable behaviour change. The Room to Roam Green Travel Hub is funded by the Climate Challenge Fund.
It will build its marketing around Huntly’s ‘Room to Roam’ brand. This community-owned town brand, developed six years ago, enjoys a high level of local recognition and ownership. Branding the whole initiative and the project vehicles, as ‘Huntly, Room to Roam’ will allow the project to build on the already established town profile.
HDDT has employed a Room to Roam Green Travel Project Manager to promote and deliver the project. She will be responsible for ensuring delivery of all project activity, including:
- Testing the feasibility of, establishing, developing and promoting the Huntly Car Club and Electric Bike (e-bike) rental scheme
- Working with Networks of Wellbeing to identify the best way forward to make the Huntly Bike Shack Bicycle Recycling Project a sustainable entity
- Promotion of local cycling through improved infrastructure and promotion
- Promotion of local walking through liaison with the Walking Institute, based in the town
- Organising and promoting a variety of training and skills development activities, including cycle maintenance classes and Fuel Efficient Driving Skills
- Linking with public transport operators to develop innovative promotional schemes to encourage Green and Active Travel Options
A number of Huntly and District’s Development Trust’s partners will be central to delivering and supporting the project including, CarPlus, Networks of Wellbeing (formerly Huntly Mental Health), Aberdeenshire Council, NESTRANS and Home Energy Scotland. Other organisations, such as Deveron Arts, Walks to Health, local schools and the embryonic Huntly Cycling Group which is currently being supported by HDDT, will also have roles to play. The Green Travel project will enable those partners to increase the profile of their projects, but won’t duplicate their work. It will encourage partnership working, skills development and increased levels of volunteering.
The project will publicise and promote active travel opportunities around Huntly and between neighbouring communities. It will also provide an opportunity to investigate other ways of encouraging people to rethink their travel habits.
HDDT aims to maximise the income generation opportunities from the project in order to ensure that the project has a sustainable future. It will be a key task of the Project Manager to identify sources of income and partnerships that will allow the project to survive and flourish.