A new UK and Ireland network was launched yesterday by the Department for Transport to promote sustainable, clean and efficient transport in our towns and cities.
The initiative includes walking and cycling projects as well as work towards developing cleaner fuel and more efficient vehicles.
CIVITAS - which stands for CIty-VITAlity-Sustainability - is a European initiative aiming to bring cleaner and more efficient transport to cities by promoting integrated, sustainable transport strategies. 36 cities across Europe are members of the scheme including Preston, Norwich, Winchester, Bristol and Cork.
The new CIVITAS UK and Ireland Network will see local authorities work closely with representatives of the Department for Transport (DfT), Irish Ministry and the European Commission to share best practice and experiences.
Speaking at an event in Preston to mark the launch of the network, the DfT Minister Rosie Winterton said:
"Across Europe, CIVITAS member towns are aiming to provide transport that's safe, affordable and comfortable. They appreciate the need to meet rising demand for travel and support economic growth whilst at the same time providing cleaner, safer environments.
"I very much support the CIVITAS agenda and think that the communities involved can benefit greatly from the network and help share best practice with similar towns and cities across Europe."
Whilst in Preston Rosie Winterton also opened the Adelphi Quarter Clear Zone, a project delivered through funding from the CIVITAS scheme along with contributions from local transport plan funding and local partners. It aims to provide residents with a high quality environment by introducing traffic management measures with improved public spaces and urban design.
The project complements the DfT's own Sustainable Travel Towns initiative where a combination of measures including personalised travel planning and cycling and walking schemes have been implemented in Peterborough, Darlington and Worcester.