Why we need to rethink the love of our cars? 

We recently completed the first of our Active Travel Tellus TV Specials. But why do we need to rethink our love of our cars?

What is Active Travel 

Active Travel involves using your body to make a journey be it by walking, cycling, skateboarding, anything, as long as you’re doing the work it counts.

Many journeys people make using cars are under 5 miles, so there’s real potential to swap the car for walking and cycling. 

It’s an important part of leading a healthier lifestyle and decarbonising our transport, and the UK government has set out a cycling and walking plan for England to support this.  

Road, rail and waterborne navigation are the second-highest emitting sector in Cheshire West, only surpassed by industry. 

In order to tackle climate change and allow the region to meet the aims of its Climate Emergency it needs us all to work together and rethink our overuse of the car. With many of us using a car for short journeys, the corner shop, the school run etc.

 This session was screened live on Tellus Tv on the 19th January. The session aired live to over 100 attendees, so many people in Cheshire West will not have seen it and so we need to share the recording as much as we can.  

What is Tellus TV? 

Eco Communities TV is a virtual platform for all thing’s sustainability, climate change, plastic free, community food and green related in the UK.

Although mainly aiming at the Cheshire West region, some events will be aimed at a wider audience. We will have speakers from outside the region.

Visit us online.. Eco Communities TV will be airing our new weekly Eco Magazine show Tellus each Tuesday from 7pm. All sessions can be watched live or on catch up. 

Why did we put on this event? 

Anybody living in or around Chester in the last 18 months will probably have heard of the controversy around the UK involving active travel lanes. The new lanes were installed in Chester last year during the region’s lockdown.

This Tellus session offered the opportunity to all sides to talk about this hot potato in Cheshire West.  

Joining us was Matt Jones to talk cycling and Cargo Bikes, Gary Onslow on giving up his car, Nick Brown a keen cyclist who decided to cycle to work every day after lock down last year, Daniel Symes, part of the grown group in Against Active Travel Lanes Chester, along with Tuim Hulse who represents the Business Club in the Active Travel Task Force and finally Cathey Harrington, key in the 20s Plenty for Chester campaign.  

The programme is available on catch up via this link – click here  

Some of the comments: 

We need to attract people out of their cars and provide better infrastructure and then we won’t need to force people to do anything. 

The recent case in London where a coroner included in his verdict that pollution was a cause of her death. Broughton is heavily polluted, but we don’t have much public awareness. 

52000 people in CWAC drive less than 5km to their place of work (non-Covid times) figures from the 2011 census.  

It is good to see all groups (the supporting and against) are talking about removing the divide. It is the first step to agreement. We may not be able to uninvent the car, but we can reinvent travel. 

What’s next? 

We will keep looking at this topic. It would be fantastic to be able to engage and work with the 3500 members between the ‘For’ and ‘Against’ Facebook groups below. 

CWaC have its Sustainable Transport Task Force, which I attended as an observer before our programme. Amongst the group are two of our speakers from last week Daniel Symes and Tim Kenney. From the Sustainability Forum, Steve Hughes, and Robert Pickering from British Cycling to name just a few.

Although I wasn’t asked to join originally, I have now been asked would I like to get involved in one of the teams, each of which are picking up different locations to discuss. I can say a group has already been put together to discuss the Bus Lanes installed along the Liverpool Road and in Boughton which is being considered more urgently.  

We are excited to review the topic again on the 16th February when we are lucky to have Rachel Aldred, Professor of Transport and Director of the University’s Active Travel Academy, University of Westminster, London.   

Link to our February programmes – click here  

Facebook Pages/ Groups, Websites and Reading  

  • Supporting Sustainable Travel Solutions for Chester Facebook – click here – 232 members 
  • People Against Active Travel Lanes Chester Facebook – click here – 3.3k members 
  • Chester Cycling Campaign Facebook Page  – click here 
  • If you haven’t seen the event, please do watch it- click here  
  • Cheshire West Cycling Strategy – click here 
  • CWAC – Active Travel and Sustainable Transport lanes questions – click here  
  • CWAC – Active Travel Fund Tranche 2 engagement plan – click here 
  • From Andy E – suggestion to read Bike Nation from Peter Walker – click here  
  • Anyone wanting to build confidence on a bike- Bikeability – click here 
  • Manchester opens the first Cyclops cycling junction – click here 

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