Hundreds of residents in Harestock, Weeke and Teg Down rose to the'My Journey' challenge this summer, taking the opportunity to consider if they could travel around Winchester, 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 1,500 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, providing information on local bus and cycle routes, quick short cuts when walking and car sharing options.
As a result, during the 13 week period, a total of 175 households 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 Winchester 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 more than 300 bus timetables, more than 300 walks and trails leaflets, nearly 250 walking and cycling maps and almost 100 train timetables.
Residents of Winchester 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 Winchester. 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. "
Cat Stephenson of Weeke said: "The visit from the My Journey travel advisor prompted me (even in the 30 degree heat!) to pump up the tyres on my bike and cycle to the shops. It is amazing how much of the world we miss whilst concentrating on driving a car all the time."
A resident of Harestock said: "I cycled to River Park Leisure Centre and back to attend the Health and Fun Club for over 50s. This is a journey I make every week by car. This (the 'My Journey' challenge) has encouraged me to cycle there most weeks."
'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.