Several local organisations which promote sustainable travel are calling for people to leave their car keys at home this Thursday - with the States also arranging for all bus services to be free for the day too.
The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure has decided to provide a free public bus service tomorrow but warns some services continue to be reduced due to a shortage of drivers.
Before that announcement, the Health Improvement Commission, the Guernsey Green Forum, the Clean Earth Trust, Guernsey Bicycle Group, the Better Journey’s Project, and Living Streets, had already been reaching out to contacts to encourage active or alternative travel.
Colin Le Page, Manager of Strategy and Policy at Traffic & Highway Services said the car-free initiative started in the 1990’s and has inspired many local authorities to directly encourage alternative transportation.
“For instance, World Car Free Day is incorporated in the European Mobility Week which is the most widespread campaign on sustainable mobility in the world. Traffic and Highway Services are very pleased to support World Car Free Day,” he said.
Pictured: The Better Journey’s Project have been encouraging sustainable commuting throughout the year.
The Health Improvement Commission’s active travel officer, Alex Costen, emphasised the physical and mental health benefits to day-time active travel, whilst Barrie Duerden of the Better Journey’s Project highlighted the rising cost of motorised travel due to the energy crisis.
“Whether your car is electric or uses fossil fuel, those costs look likely to be high for some time. Sharing a car, jumping on a bus, cycling or walking means money saved on your journeys can instead help offset the cost-of-living crisis,” said Mr Duerden.
Ben Craddock from the Guernsey Bicycle Group added: "World Car Free Day is a brilliant opportunity for a large part of our community to experience the health, social, climate and cost benefits of choosing to walk, cycle or take the bus. With most journeys just a few miles and a lot of congestion caused by single occupancy vehicles, more people cycling as part of everyday life would positively impact everyone".
Pictured: Thursday should provide fair autumn weather for alternative travellers.
Pat Wisher, Secretary of Living Streets Guernsey, hopes islanders will consider supporting town centres regardless of whether they walk, cycle, or take the bus to their nearest shops.
“Despite the challenges facing our bus service - with regard to a shortage of drivers - we are still very lucky to have a wonderful service which is very cheap compared to other jurisdictions,” she said.
“Walking to your nearest bus stop and taking the bus into Town gives you some exercise and is stress free and sociable. Leaving your car at home means no traffic jams, no searching for a parking place, and no keeping your eye on the clock to make sure you don’t overstay your parking time.”
Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, President of E&I, said whilst bus services are experiencing some disruption, it remains a convenient and affordable option - the use of which reduces on-island transport emissions.
Thursday’s weather is forecast to be mainly sunny, with light easterly winds and a very low chance of precipitation.
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