23/04/2013 Finalists announced in the 2013 Eurostar Ashden Awards for Sustainable Travel

23 Apr 2013

Four pioneering sustainable travel schemes from the UK and Belgium have been selected as finalists in the 2013 Eurostar Ashden Awards for Sustainable Travel. Each finalist is now one step closer to winning a share of the £30,000 prize fund, when the ultimate winners are announced on 20 June 2013.

The Awards, now in their second year, recognise innovative travel schemes from across the UK, France and Belgium that encourage people to adopt more sustainable ways of travelling, helping improve quality of life whilst reducing congestion, pollution, and CO2 emissions.

The finalists selected by a panel of sustainability experts are:

Metro (UK) is recognised for having reduced car commuting in West Yorkshire to 27% below the national average. Its ‘West Yorkshire Travel Plan Network’ initiative supported over 180 member companies to promote sustainable travel to their staff. The Network offered over 200,000 employees a wide range of incentives designed to help them kick their car habit. It provided its members with free, tailored advice on anything from setting up state-of-the-art facilities for cyclists to promoting car sharing.

Stagecoach (UK) has been recognised for its ‘Where you want to be’ marketing campaign, which encouraged car users to switch to public transport. The sophisticated campaign used detailed postcode mapping to identify people most likely to shift from car to bus or coach. Stagecoach targeted these travellers with creative marketing that illustrated the benefits of travelling by bus or coach vs car, along with information on alternative bus routes they could test for free. Since launching in 2003, the marketing campaigns and free trials have led to more than 120,000 car users becoming Stagecoach customers - 70% of which are now regular bus users.

Sustainable travel charity, Sustrans Limited (UK) was selected as a finalist for their five-year programme to extend the National Cycle Network into over 80 communities across the UK. Sustrans created 84 new cycling schemes nationwide, bringing over four million people to within a mile of a safer, greener transport route. New routes linked schools, hospitals and town centres to existing cycling routes and early results demonstrated that the campaign has more than trebled the number of cyclists on some routes.

Belgium based tram operator Vlaamse Vervoersmaatschappij / De Lijn (Belgium) was chosen for its project 'Meettram', which transformed the heating and ventilation of 40 trams. Using sophisticated monitoring systems the tram operator identified that more than half of the energy consumed by a tram on cold winter days was a result of keeping passengers warm. To help reduce this energy usage the company modified its tramcars and installed simple energy management technologies to cut down on energy used for heating. CO2 sensors were then used to monitor air quality in the tram to ensure that fresh air is drawn in and heated up only when necessary. These modifications resulted in a 20% reduction in tram energy use. Following its success the same technology was fitted to 41 existing trams in Ghent and in the coming months 84 trams in Antwerp as well as on all new trams and electric buses in Flanders.

Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar said: “The shortlist for this year’s Awards showed the breadth of innovation in sustainable travel across the UK, France and Belgium. Each of these four finalists stands from the wealth of entries and all the judges were impressed by their creative approach to promoting sustainable travel.

“From switching car users onto public transport, to growing cycling networks and finding innovative ways to reduce energy usage, we hope that by celebrating the success of these finalists we can inspire even more people to consider the environment when making their own travel choices.”

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of Ashden added: “Our sustainable travel finalists offer inspiring examples of how to encourage people to think differently about how they travel, demonstrating that travelling by bus, bike or tram is often cheaper, easier and healthier than driving. They are also showing how public transport can be genuinely sustainable.”

The 2013 Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel culminates on 20 June at the annual Ashden Awards ceremony in London, where the achievements of all the finalists will be celebrated and where the ultimate winners will be announced.

The Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel forms part of Eurostar’s Tread Lightly programme to reduce the business’s impact on the environment and encourage people to switch to more sustainable modes of transport. Since 2007, Eurostar has made substantial progress towards reducing carbon emissions, sourcing responsibly and recycling.

For more information about the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel or Eurostar’s Tread Lightly programme, visit www.eurostar.com/treadlightly


About the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel
As part of its Tread Lightly programme to cut carbon and get people thinking differently about their journeys, Eurostar partnered with Ashden in 2012 to launch a new award for sustainable travel. With a prize fund and a host of benefits, the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel celebrates and supports local sustainable travel projects in the UK, France and Belgium. For more information about the award visit http://www.ashden.org/travel_awards

About Eurostar
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland® Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.

2. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.

3. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 130 million passengers between London and the Continent. Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet. The new Eurostar e320 will carry more than 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph.

4. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe’s leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding European high-speed rail network.

5. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer.

For more information about the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel and case studies please contact:
Eurostar Press Office
t: 00 44 (0) 20 7843 5500
e: press.office@eurostar.com

About Ashden
1. The Ashden Awards were set up in 2001 to champion practical, local energy solutions that cut carbon, protect the environment, reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. Since then we have rewarded and supported more than 140 winners across the UK and the developing world. Find out more at www.ashden.org.

2. Two Eurostar Ashden Awards for Sustainable Travel will be presented at the ceremony, each worth £15,000.

3. Brief information about each finalist and high-resolution images are at www.ashden.org/travel_awards 

4. The Awards ceremony on Wednesday at 7.15pm on 20 June is by invitation only. Please contact Julia Hawkins (julia.hawkins@ashden.org) if you would like to be registered.

5. The 2013 Ashden Conference will be held on Wednesday 19 June from 9am to 5pm at the Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London where some of this year’s sustainable travel finalists will speak about their work, along with panel debate and discussions. Journalists are welcome to attend and can book in advance for one-on-one interviews. Contact Julia Hawkins: julia.hawkins@ashden.org

For more information about Ashden please contact:
Julia Hawkins
T: 020 7630 2903
E : julia.hawkins@ashden.org