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Monday is World Car Free Day - (UK)

September 19th, 2008

Motorists in over twenty British towns and cities will on Monday 22nd September leave their cars at home in favour of bicycles, trains and buses as part of Car Free Day, a now global event that was first organised in Britain by the Environmental Transport Association (ETA).

The same event last year involved almost 2000 towns and cities in 38 countries around the world.

Car Free Day focuses on highlighting alternatives to car travel, the rights of pedestrians and cyclists, and the need for more and better public transport.

The event coincides with the results of research conducted by the ETA on the attitudes of British drivers to the CO2 emitted by their cars. 37 per cent were aware that their car was responsible for pollution but did not feel there was a practical alternative to driving. 11 per cent felt guilty about the emissions and had already reduced the amount they drove – a figure matched by those who felt that reducing their mileage would not make any difference to the environment.

Director at the ETA, Andrew Davis said: “With people facing high fuel prices and concerns about the environment, this year’s Car Free Day is timely. The idea is not to put cars on trial or to totally condemn drivers’ desire for mobility, but rather to reconsider the way we travel.”

“European surveys have shown that over six people in ten say that city traffic is unbearable. Nine out of ten people believe that increasing public transport is a priority in combating air pollution and seven out of ten say they support a ban on car traffic in the centre of cities on certain days. However, at the same time, the number of cars and urban traffic is constantly increasing, eroding the quality of life of urban dwellers with the increase in noise, air pollution and stress.”

Areas involved in the event on Monday include: Brighton; Bungay; Derby; Devon; Plymouth; Torbay; Harrogate; Hastings; Lewes; London; Maidstone; Manchester; Newcastle upon Tyne; Reading; Edinburgh; Glasgow; West Lothian; Sheffield; Walsall; Worthing.

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