Catriona Swanson is one of the leading active travel professionals in the UK. She has a background in town planning and urban regeneration and over 11 years of experience in the public and private sector. Her background means that no scheme is "just" a walking or a cycling scheme but an opportunity to improve public health, placemaking, resilience and sustainability. For example, why just build a cycleway when you can also introduce rain gardens, calm traffic and provide a parklet?!
Catriona’s interest in active travel was sparked when she moved closer to work and started cycling simply because it was the quickest, cheapest and, above all, easiest way to get there. She quickly realised that the roads had grown much more hostile since she last cycled as a teenager and that she needed to do something about it. She gradually taught herself about good street design and moved into Salford City Council’s Infrastructure Team, taking over as lead on walking and cycling.
At Salford, with the support of political leaders, she was able to implement the "complete streets" vision and deliver award-winning, inclusive walking and cycling schemes including the National Transport Award for Excellence in Walking and Cycling for Salford’s extensive traffic-free network.
After making the move into the private sector last year, Catriona now heads up Arup’s active travel team, providing expertise in inclusive design, network planning and liveable neighbourhoods. She is passionate about improving the quality of walking and cycling infrastructure across the UK and enabling more people to travel actively.
Catriona has a growing following on Twitter where she provides insights to the world of active travel. She offers support and guidance to the growing number of people who want to work in active travel. She also provides advice on subjects ranging from the best colour for a cycleway (red, of course!) to how communities can run their own network planning workshops, so people can campaign for better walking and cycling infrastructure where they live.