PEOPLE living on new housing developments in the Skipton area are being offered help to look at alternative ways of making regular journeys, for example to work, school and shops, that could save time and money and improve health.

The Open Skipton initiative is also working with schools and businesses in the town to help residents and commuters make better informed choices about how they travel.

The aim of this sustainable travel project is to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and instead to walk, cycle, car-share or use public transport.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “We all care about our health and this initiative is about encouraging people to make small changes that will benefit them and the community in which they live.

“Leaving the car at home, even for one day a week, can make a real difference to your health as well as to congestion and air quality.”

Open Skipton is part of the County Council’s three-year Open North Yorkshire programme, which runs until 2020.

People taking part in the project could receive a free personalised journey plan, free cycle training and public transport taster tickets and could take part in travel challenges and initiatives to encourage them to choose active modes of travel.

Already, Skipton Girls High School and Skipton Academy are on board to work with the County Council’s sustainable travel team.

Several businesses and organisations have already signed up including JBA Consulting, Craven District Council, Royal Mail, Skipton Hospital and Computershare.

Schools will receive support to deliver initiatives to increase the number of students walking and cycling to school and reduce school gate parking. This will culminate in a school travel plan through Modeshift STARS, the national award and recognition scheme for promoting active travel on the school run.

Businesses will take part in a staff survey and receive an action plan outlining how their employees travel and how they can encourage them to do so sustainably.