Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Hundreds of Gosport residents take up travel challenge

Monday, 25 November 2013

Hundreds of residents in Bridgemary, Brockhurst, Camdentown and Ann's Hill rose to the 'My Journey' challenge this summer, taking the opportunity to consider if they could travel around Gosport, or further, in ways that do not involve using their car.

Personal travel planning advice, provided through the 'My Journey' travel awareness campaign, has given many residents support and encouragement to try using the bus, train, ferry, walking, cycling, or to car share instead.

A total of 3,700 households were visited by a travel advisor who asked people about their everyday journeys and helped them to consider how they might do their journey differently. As a result , during the 16 week period, 940 households took up the challenge to leave their car at home and test out other ways of getting around in their area.

Over 1,000 residents, who do not normally travel by bus or ferry, took advantage of the offer of free one day or seven day bus and ferry passes, offered by project partners First Group and Gosport Ferry. This gave people the chance to see if some of their usual car journeys could just as easily be made by bus, including the Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit services, and ferry.

Furthermore, of all the households visited, 58% requested personal travel information packs. The 'My Journey' travel advisors also delivered over 1500 local walks and trails leaflets, nearly 1500 Eclipse bus timetables, more than 1300 Gosport cycle maps, 900 train timetables and over 800 guides to fuel-efficient driving.

Residents of Gosport and other towns across Hampshire can log onto the 'My Journey' website to see how regular journeys can be made from where they live and work without using a car. There is also news and information about events in your area, cycle training for adults, special offers, competitions and real-life case studies of how people have saved time, money, or adopted a more active lifestyle by making the change.

Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: "It is good to hear that the personal travel planning activity has been so well received by people in Gosport. Given the high price of fuel in recent times, 'My Journey' can help people find alternative ways to travel in place of taking the car, and potentially save themselves money.

"Using alternatives to the car for some journeys to work, shopping and even on the school run, can only help to reduce local congestion. Plus people choosing to walk or cycle instead of driving will also benefit in health terms by increasing their level of physical activity."

Vaughn Powell from Bridgemary said: "I decided to ride my bike to work. I set off 15 minutes early but to my surprise arrived 15 minutes earlier than expected. The route was very safe with a good selection of cycle routes away from busy traffic. This journey really set me up for the day, I felt refreshed and healthy and less frustrated than normal because I managed to avoid the regular queues. I will definitely be doing this as often as practical from now on."

'My Journey' is funded from a £17.8m grant to local councils from the Department for Transport Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The objectives of the Government's fund are to reduce congestion at peak times, and to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.

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