Headlines: August 23rd, 2007

A Bristol City Council scheme to persuade commuters to give up their cars in favour of greener ways to get to work was twice as successful this year. ‘Jam Busting June’ designed to move drivers to more sustainable modes of transport, saw 3,000 people take part – double last year’s figure.Figures from the council show that 70,000 car miles were saved, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 8.3 tonnes. The scheme operated in Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire as well as Bristol for the whole of June.

Motorists were encouraged to walk, cycle, use public transport or share their cars. In exchange they were awarded points for every day they travelled to work without their car. Those with the most points were entered into a prize draw. At the beginning of June, 22 per cent of those taking part were alone in their car, but during the month this halved. The event was supported by local businesses which not only encouraged staff to take part, but also donated prizes. This year’s three top prizes of bicycles worth two hundred pounds each, were donated by Urbis, the Highways Agency and InterRoute. In all, over 240 employers took part.

Mark Bradshaw, the City Council’s Executive Member for Access and Environment, said, “The region has a huge amount to offer both as a place to live and work, but if it is to remain that way we must change our commuting habits, by leaving the car at home and walking, cycling or using public transport whenever possible. I hope Jam Busting June has encouraged more commuters to leave their cars at home on a regular basis – even if it’s just once a week, it all makes a difference.”