Join the summer travel challenge

During the summer period, we can choose more active travel options for our daily commute. Not only is this good for our health but it’s good for a healthier and sustainable city too.

People are increasingly choosing more sustainable ways of travelling around Bristol. Between 2011 and 2018 there was a 64% increase in people cycling to work. We have also seen a rise in car sharing and walk to work initiatives. And the number of bus journeys taken in Bristol, per person, is on the rise – bucking the national trend.

We can all play our own part in meeting the challenge. Here are some ways you can get started this summer:

  • Active travel. This week saw the launch of 2019’s Travel Challenge – Travel West’s invitation to all commuters in the region to leave the car at home, where possible, and choose alternatives for the daily commute, school run or other travel.
  • Walking.  Walkfest – Bristol’s annual walking festival – had its most successful year yet with attendance up 40%. The festival included art, history and nature themed walks, alongside a large choice of walking sports. Additionally, there were walking to school and walking to work events, as well as walks assessing the pedestrian-friendliness of different areas. On the Travelwest website we’ve highlighted some great walking routes, tips and incentives. The #GetOutAndWalk initiative is here to help you mix up your travel choices where you can.

  • Biking. Cyclists of all abilities are invited to attend the HSBC Let’s Ride Bristol 2019 cycling festival this Sunday (16 June). It’s a festival of cycling which marks the second year of our partnership with British Cycling. I’m pleased that more than 1,000 people have already registered to ride traffic-free around the city centre and Millennium Square route. If you have no bike then hire-bikes and the app-based yellow YoBikes will be available to use on the day. If you’re new to YoBike their first ride is free. Please book your place at Let’s Ride, although people can turn up on the day and ride.
  • Car share.  Could someone be going the same way as you? The Travel West website has some great tips for car share and buddy schemes. There are several apps and sites that can help. Sharing is social, saves you money and helps reduce CO2 emissions.

Thursday 20 June is Clean Air Day. Even though increased numbers of people are using public transport, walking and cycling, harmful air pollution levels from vehicles still exceed the UK and EU air quality limits in Bristol.

This week I announced options for how we can help tackle the problem. I want measures that support everyone’s health, help us meet government targets, and are fair to all people in Bristol.

Read about the proposals and look out for the public consultation which opens on Monday 1 July.

All efforts to reduce the congestion on our roads and introduce healthy and active travel will make a positive difference. Make sure you join the travel challenge this summer.

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