Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Hundreds of Basingstoke residents take up travel challenge

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Hundreds of residents in Brighton Hill, Hatch Warren and Beggarwood rose to the 'My Journey' challenge this summer, taking the opportunity to consider if they could travel around Basingstoke, 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 information, support and encouragement to try using the bus, train, walking, cycling, or to car share instead.

A total of 2,700 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 15 week period, 360 households actively took up the challenge to leave their car at home and test out other ways of getting around in their area. This included over 200 residents, who do not normally travel by bus taking up the offer of a free, seven day Basingstoke Megarider bus taster ticket, supplied courtesy of the local bus operator Stagecoach, giving them the chance to see if some of their usual car journeys could just as easily be made by bus.

Furthermore, of all the households that the advisors contacted 42% requested personal travel information packs. The My Journey travel advisors also delivered almost 900 walks and trails leaflets, over 700 cycle maps, more than 600 bus timetables and 450 guides to fuel-efficient driving.

Residents of Basingstoke and other towns across North Hampshire can log onto www.myjourneyhampshire.com 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 the 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 Environment and Transport, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: "It is good to hear that the personal travel planning activity has been so well received by people in Basingstoke. 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. "

Ted Pritchard from Basingstoke said: "I used to drive my car from home to Brighton Hill then down Western Way to the school but now I cycle the three miles which saves me the cost of fuel and also the big problem of getting through the traffic and finding somewhere to park near the school and on a school morning it take me no longer as I do not encounter any traffic jams, I'm also getting fitter."

'My Journey' is funded from a £4.1m grant received 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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