Sweco unveils new Scotland-based active travel team
Engineering, environment and design company Sweco has brought together experts from across its transport business as part of a new dedicated active travel team to help meet growing demand for its services.
The unit, based in Sweco’s Edinburgh office, comprises transport planners and engineers from across the business experienced in active travel schemes and placemaking.
The team will provide a full suite of active travel consultancy services as part of standalone projects or wider masterplans, ranging from first principle policy and strategy advice, to undertaking feasibility studies and designing new cycle routes in both urban and rural areas, specialising in behaviour change campaigns that promote walking and cycling.
As part of its approach, the team will apply technologies such as virtual reality to enable interactive consultation sessions with members of the public, moving away from the traditional use of highly technical engineering drawings to help end users better understand and visualise the intended result.
Geographic information systems (GIS) will also be used to create detailed digital, geo-referenced site survey reports, which can be shared with, and used by, their clients.
Christopher Fallen, Sweco’s active travel Scotland team manager, said: “This move centralises the active travel expertise we have in our transport team, strengthening the quality of consultancy we can offer our clients.
“Active travel schemes can have a significant environmental benefit, slash congestion and boost users’ mental and physical wellbeing. But we know effective active travel projects aren’t just about the infrastructure. It’s also about helping communities understand and engage with the options available to drive long-term, sustainable, behavioural change – another part of our offering.
“At Sweco, we take a holistic approach to our transport design, considering both the needs of the communities a route passes through, as well as those of its users. As a business with a Nordic base and an office network across the UK and Europe, we’ll be drawing on our wide international skills base to help put effective active travel solutions at the heart of Scotland’s sustainable communities and cities of the future.”
In recent years, Sweco has supported the delivery and development of a range of active travel projects across Scotland, collaborating with partners such as local authorities to introduce new active travel routes.
This includes work with Edinburgh’s bioQuarter campus to prepare a feasibility study for the design and implementation of a 3.5km active travel corridor, and an ongoing joint venture with Ironside Farrar on the ‘Avenues’ programme, part of the £1.1bn Glasgow City Region City Deal, which will involve creating segregated cycle lanes as an element in an integrated network of active travel routes across the city centre.
As part of Sweco’s active travel work, one of the engineers is seconded to Sustrans Scotland, an organisation working with Transport Scotland to deliver the ‘Places for Everyone’ programme – an initiative backed by the Scottish Government to improve the country’s active travel infrastructure.
The nine-month secondment will see Sweco’s engineer lend their technical expertise to the development of Sustrans’ own active travel projects.