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Ditch the car - walk, bike or take a bus

Do you really need to use your car to get to work or go shopping? Have you considered other options? And what would help you make the best use of the alternatives available?

Wisbech Travel Choices pic

Those are the questions being put to people living in and around Wisbech in a project designed to help boost the use of "sustainable" transport.

The Wisbech Travel Choices project aims to encourage people to leave their cars at home and walk, cycle or use public or community transport.

It is being run by the Fenland Transport Access Group (TAG), led by Fenland District Council.

Councillor Simon King, FDC's Cabinet member responsible for transport and TAG's chairman, said: "There are clear benefits in getting people out of their cars. Walking or cycling is obviously good for individuals' health, while using buses or the various forms of community transport relieves congestion on our roads. And they're all good for the environment.

"We want to encourage those alternatives. Also, the more people use them, the stronger case we have for attracting more investment into improving them and making them more accessible for as many local people as possible."

The project organisers are using a series of events to publicise the different options. They had a stand at the Rose Fair last month and will be at a series of other events over the next few months.

The group is also carrying out a survey of how people travel at the moment and what prevents them from using the alternatives. Those who complete it receive a free pedometer.

Survey participants are also being invited to keep an alternative Travel Diary for a week. The diary logs what form of transport they would normally use each day as well as the alternatives they have tried out. It also gives them the chance to comment on how they fared with the new methods.

Households in several streets in selected areas are being invited to join the diary trial, too.

Anyone submitting a diary can enter a prize draw, with the chance to win shopping vouchers worth £150, £100 and £50.

Cllr King said: "The survey and travel diaries will provide us with valuable feedback on where sustainable transport choices work, where they don't and what we may be able to do in future to change this."

Meanwhile, TAG has also produced an updated version of the Fenland Travel Directory, a free guide giving details of all the public transport schemes and providers now operating in Fenland.

It is available online at www.fenland.gov.uk/transport and at the Fenland@ your service shops and community hubs in Chatteris, March, Whittlesey and Wisbech, and in local libraries and GP surgeries.

·         For full details of the Wisbech Travel Choices project, visit www.fenland.gov.uk/wisbechtravelchoices