Engaging Migrant Populations in Sustainable Travel Lifestyles

This is a synopsis of the presentation given by Sarah Levantis to the ACT TravelWise annual conference 'Sustainable Travel in a Changing World', held on 17 January 2017 and sponsored by SYSTRA. Sarah’s presentation slides can be downloaded here

There is a significant opportunity to increase physical activity amongst migrant population groups by engaging faith communities to promote walking and cycling for the journey to worship. Many places of worship support new migrants and refugees, providing advice to new arrivals to the UK such as language classes, and can also provide local information about travel options.

By working with faith communities we can include groups of the community in walking and cycling activities that could benefit the most; Black and ethnic minority (BME) groups, and older people are typically under-represented in cycling1, and in physical activity overall2.

A support programme for faith sites, managed by Westtrans, has shown the potential to engage faith communities and talk about the benefits of sustainable travel, and to implement site based measures that enable more of the congregation to walk and cycle.

The project has also shown us how to deliver communications that are far reaching, and high impact when they are delivered by trusted leaders from within the community.

This ground work reveals who can be reached and how, and demonstrates that many faith organisations are well structured to deliver sustainable transport campaigns using volunteers.

Some opportunities for accessing physical activity funding may be opened up through projects that increase walking and cycling to worship. These funding bids can cross multiple policy areas such as public health and social inclusion, as well as sustainable transport, environment and planning.

For more information, contact Sarah Levantis, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 07788 477443.