Promotion of soft mobility and support for players in the Rhône-Alpes region (France)

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1 Promotion of soft mobility and support for players in the Rhône-Alpes region (France) Baseline, problem description and objectives The greenhouse effect is unquestionably the environmental priority of the 21 st century. The signs of global warming are now evident to the general public and policy-makers alike. Transport is the main source of these greenhouse gas emissions, with almost 30% of emissions generated in the Rhône-Alpes region, a hub for road transport in France. The reasons for travel are very varied (schools, work, leisure, businesses, etc.) and involve complex sequences. In France, home-to-school travel accounts for approximately 15% of total travel. 2/3 of people then travel on to another activity (their work in the majority of cases). Changing habits in terms of school runs can therefore have very important repercussions on travel as a whole. Schools are directly affected on a daily basis and to a large extent by the higher traffic flow and the safety problems, pollution and congestion this creates. In reality, these difficulties by far exceed the simple school framework: - Energy agencies advise educational institutions on energy matters and can intervene in the field of mobility - Local authorities can ensure safety and development work for educational institutions - Authorities which organise transport facilities are able to propose solutions in terms of access by public transport or by bicycle. In practice, these different stakeholders (energy agencies, local authorities, teachers, parents) still have a shortage of suitable and effective tools, and moreover their precise needs have not been pinpointed. The French project therefore sought to achieve several objectives: - Firstly, to identify the partners requirements and raise their awareness on the issue of soft mobility (non-motorised transport) to arrive at a method to coordinate such matters. - Then, to support regional areas with their various soft mobility projects. Training on the job project 1

2 Description of the measures/activities/campaign Raising awareness about soft mobility As a result of recent European initiatives (MOBASTO, PROVIDER, ALPINE AWARENESS, etc.) and its routine activity, Rhônalpénergie-Environnement had access to a long list of players in the field of soft mobility. It was therefore simple to question these contacts about their soft mobility requirements. The approach consisted of 3 stages: - Firstly, a questionnaire (Appendix 1) was designed, compiled then distributed to 300 institutions concerned by the issue of soft mobility. - These surveys were processed (30 responses approximately, Appendix 2) and in association with national education representatives (Centre national de la documentation pédagogique) and the teachers themselves, a meeting and discussion day were organised (on , programme in Appendix 3) to raise awareness on the issue and develop the initial requirements identified in the survey. - Specific soft mobility meetings were organised for players in the Rhône-Alpes region. This first stage of the campaign was therefore designed to: - Raise the awareness of mobility stakeholders on the best practices as regards the environment and health. - Pinpoint their real requirements. Training on the job project 2

3 - Propose the creation of an Eco-mobility Network (Appendix 4: presentation of the Network) with a view to sharing information and experiences among mobility stakeholders. - Pool energy agencies, transport managers, local authorities, associations, parents of pupils and teachers around the issue of soft mobility. Construction of soft mobility projects and support for players After this first awareness-raising campaign, Rhônalpénergie-Environnement contacted a number of regional areas to help them incorporate the issue of soft mobility in their projects, for example: - The City of Meylan (Isère) to improve the notion of urban density and mix (which avoid dependency on the car and facilitate soft mobility). - The City of Echirolles (Isère) and the City of Feyzin (Rhône) to provide them access to and present them with practical educational tools for the implementation of School Travel Plans. - The Isère General Council to help it draw up its Travel Plan including soft modes of travel between the Vercors natural park (Appendix 5) and the City of Grenoble. - The City of Loire/Rhône (Rhône) to help it to identify and implement several walking bus lines (accompanying children on foot) in the commune. - The Montrevel en Bresse Community of Communes (Ain) to present existing tools in the field of soft mobility and help it to organise a walking bus and cycling bus system in the area (accompanying children either by foot or by bike). - The Drôme and Isère General Councils to encourage the local high schools and help them organise walking bus or cycling bus systems. - The Rhône-Alpes Regional Council to back the initiative launched by 18 sociallyconscious pupils in the field of sustainable development and help them define educational projects on soft mobility. - The Parc du Pilat (Loire) to help it establish a Travel Plan for the area and keep engineering and design work in check (Appendix 6). - The Académie du Rhône (National Education) to help twenty or so schools organise a walking bus system. Who is the driving force behind it? Who is the beneficiary? Both for the awareness campaign and the project implementation, these campaigns brought together the national education system (Centre national de documentation pédagogique, the academic authorities), local authorities in Rhône-Alpes, mobility stakeholders, associations, representatives for the parents of pupils and energy agencies. The goal is to: - Provide teachers with the information required to tackle the topic on their own, so that it is contained in the school curriculum each year. Training on the job project 3

4 - Provide local authorities, energy agencies and parents with the tools needed to organise soft mobility action themselves. Main slogan/statement It is not a communication campaign aimed at the general public as such, but a means to raise awareness among target stakeholders which is simultaneously based on the following factors: 1. Rallying around soft mobility on the basis of a broad ranging argument (health, environment, economy, etc.) 2. The development of stakeholders autonomy (teachers, for example) 3. The provision of practical tools for action. 4. The organisation of a network favouring exchange between stakeholders. Results As mentioned earlier, the main events of COMPETENCE for Rhône-Alpes were: - A survey to identify stakeholders requirements in terms of soft mobility. - The organisation of a meeting in the form of discussion workshops to define a means to rally local stakeholders. Any given stakeholder in the field of soft mobility has access: slides (Appendix 7) are available. - Formation of a permanent eco-mobility network. - Meetings with a total of several dozen (almost 230 people) soft mobility stakeholders in the Rhône-Alpes and support for their travel project/plan, walking/cycling bus, training for teachers). Opportunities/Barriers Opportunities The national education authorities and the CNDP are now very aware of the issue of soft mobility, which should ensure that the matter will be regularly tackled by teachers. Influential players in the Rhône-Alpes region have realised the need to expand on this issue (for example, natural parks, communities of communes and cities). The majority of partners recognise the need to work together in a permanent network conducive to exchange, which will pool local authorities, national education authorities, energy agencies, associations and transport management authorities. Possible barriers The subject is still emerging in France and as it is not a mandatory issue, implementation is trickier. Furthermore, there is not always a clearly identified contact within the local authority to push the issue of soft mobility. Also, energy agencies still Training on the job project 4

5 do not spend enough time on the matter to provide real support to local authorities in the field of soft mobility. Finally, there is a shortage of organisations, such as mobility agencies (which may work on behalf of energy agencies) to ensure the promotion, the follow-up and the development of soft mobility initiatives. Steps for implementation After this undertaking, we can therefore compare different stages to favour the implementation of eco-mobility initiatives: - Firstly, assess requirements of target public groups, thereby introducing the idea to them. - Then, gather them together to present the results, provide them information and suggest they discuss it. Expand this meeting to a larger scale by involving recognised external partners. - Capitalise on this event to create an eco-mobility network which will constantly seek to pool the stakeholders. - At the same time, meet a number of chosen stakeholders in the field to simulate soft mobility situations with a few volunteers. Work will namely take place with the national education authorities, groups of communes and parks, and will cover a broad geographical scope. Time of implementation The most favourable time to organise such an initiative is at the start of the academic year. This would provide time to organise the meetings and raise awareness among partners before the summer. The goal is to manage to implement new initiatives once school resumes after the summer. Contac for more details: Laurent Cogerino Rhônalpénergie-Environnement 10 rue des Archers Lyon FRANCE Tel.: Training on the job project 5

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