Wales is launching the biggest UK project of its kind to reduce car use and encourage people to make more of their short, local journeys on foot, bike and public transport.
As pupils return to school for the autumn term, there has been a surge in peak-time car traffic with one in five cars on the road at 8.50am on a weekday doing the school run, which demonstrates the urgent need for a project of this kind.
“Many pupils are driven from their front doors to the school gates yet the average journey to school for primary aged pupils is just 1.6 miles” says Lee Waters, Cymru Director for Sustrans. “This is one example of where, given the right information about alternative ways to travel, more people could leave their cars at home.
“We’ll work with people at school, work and home, helping them to make changes to their daily travel choices when and where it suits them” added Welsh Minister for Local Government and Communities Carl Sargeant. “If each family replaced one car journey a week with a more sustainable alternative it can make a big difference. Taking this approach in areas of England has shown a reduction in car trips of at least 10 per cent. It’s an ambitious project with the potential to bring about sustained change in the way the people of Wales use their cars.”
It will very interesting to see how this project pans out, and whether they can overcome the sheer convenience factor of driving as well as parents’ concerns about road safety. The health benefits and potential cost savings on fuel should certainly go a long way towards convincing families to give it a try.
Do you have experience of taking your kids to school by bike or on foot? Have the benefits been worth it or is the car altogether more convenient? Would be really interested to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
(pic c/o © lightpoet – Fotolia.com)