Projects to encourage walking, cycling and wheeling as an attractive first choice for travel in Orkney are set for a boost with the help of a new Sustrans Officer who will be based locally, working with Orkney Islands Council.
A bid by Orkney Islands Council to Sustrans – a UK charity working to make it easier for people to walk and cycle - for an Embedded Senior Project Officer post has been accepted, to help deliver the Council’s Sustainable Transport Project Development Plan.
This was a highly competitive process - the Orkney bid was one of twelve applications to Sustrans for only three available posts.
The post will be fully funded by Sustrans in Year 1, with the Council required to make a 50% contribution towards costs in Years 2 and 3.
Councillors at the Full Council meeting on 5 May approved that the costs of the post for years 2 and 3, estimated at a total cost of £54,000, be met from the Council’s General Contingency Fund.
The role of a Sustrans Embedded Senior Project Officer is to facilitate a strategic approach to active travel infrastructure, to increase walking, cycling and wheeling in communities as a preferred mode of travel.
In Orkney, it’s proposed the staff member would sit within the Council’s Development and Marine Planning team, working with the Council and partner organisations to further understand the local barriers to active travel, and to deliver a strategic approach to overcome them.
Following the meeting, Chair of the Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Graham Sinclair, said: “A lot of very good work has already been done to develop the Council’s strategic approach to active travel infrastructure.
“Where Orkney could really benefit from this post is the added capacity to plan and deliver projects and identify funding opportunities, as well as sharing of knowledge and best practice in this area – with the end result that the Council can deliver active travel projects sooner, to the benefit of the environment and the wider wellbeing of our community.
“I’d also commend the work of staff for securing this support from Sustrans in what was a competitive process.”
Kirsty Rankin, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Sustrans Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Orkney Island Council to our Partnerships Programme. The programme helps local authorities to make walking, wheeling and cycling an attractive and everyday option for local communities.
“Our Officer will work with the council, sharing knowledge and expertise, to develop and deliver strategic active travel projects in the area. We look forward to working with the council and local people to create greener, healthier and more accessible communities for everyone.”
The Officer will be formally employed by Sustrans, who will provide training, support and HR services - with the Council managing their work on a day to day basis. Sustrans will be advertising the post in the near future. The partnership is made possible with funding from Transport Scotland.
Details about the job and how to apply are available on the Sustrans website. Closing date for applications is 7 June 2021.