A new campaign is asking people in Wirral to ‘Think Outside The Box’ and see if there is a different way that they could make some of their short journeys.
The aim is to show that by making even small changes, for example by walking or cycling to school even just once a week, or when they are popping to the shops, people will be able to see the difference it can make to their health, their wallet and where they live.
And even the longer trips can incorporate active travel, such as by parking further away and walking the last part of the journey or by park and ride – doing the last part of your commute by train or bus.
More than 300 million journeys taken by car in the Liverpool City Region are less than three miles long, many of which could easily be taken by foot or on a bike. It is estimated that if 80% of these journeys were made by walking or cycling it would help cut carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes annually – the equivalent of taking more than 50,000 cars off our roads every single year.
Wirral Council leader Cllr Janette Williamson said: “We can all play our part and enjoy the benefits of increasing how much active travel we build into our daily lives. One of the key benefits is that it will help us stay healthier for longer, it will improve air quality, lessen congestion and will help to resolve problems caused by parking outside schools.
“Walking and cycling instead of taking the car not only helps us protect our environment at a time when we are facing a very real Climate Emergency, but it can help us keep the costs of travel down at a time when we are all facing real strains from rising costs of living. And the funding we are able to attract to support improved cycling and walking infrastructure will also play a vital role in supporting Wirral’s wider regeneration ambitions across the whole borough.”
As part of the campaign artwork will be displayed around Wirral including at bus stops, on the back of buses and at petrol stations and there will be a series of radio ads.
The campaign has been funded with a grant provided to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) by Central Government.
Travelling by different modes of transport is also vital to help Wirral meet climate goals set by government and locally, and meet the aims for a complete transition to fossil fuel free local travel.
In conjunction with the LCRCA Wirral Council is working to improve infrastructure to support walking and cycling. Recently completed schemes such as Tower Road and Northbank in Birkenhead are examples where £5 million of investment now enables residents to travel around without being dependent on the car. Further consultations with the public will take place later this year on other walking and cycling schemes.
For more information about cycling, walking and using public transport visit the council’s website www.wirral.gov.uk/leavethecar