The drive away from cars

An initiative to encourage people to use their cars less is under way in Bucks.

Using public transport or your own vehicle is part and parcel of our daily routine.

However, driving also means a lot more sitting down, stuck in traffic jams before we spend the rest of the day perhaps at a desk in front of a screen.

Research has shown that sitting for prolonged periods has detrimental effects on our long-term health and this is something Buckinghamshire Council is keen to tackle.

This is why it us urging people in parts of the county to sit less and move more as part of a new health initiative called ‘Active Communities’.

‘Take a walk, not the car’ campaign is part of an initiative created to give everyone the chance to add some activity to their daily routine. For the next few weeks, the focus is on the way we can limit our use of every kind of transport. For example:

  • For regular use (work, school etc.), try to leave the car at home at least once a week.
  • If you have to use the car, park it further away (different street, furthest spot in the car park, away from the school entrance) and walk the extra distance.
  • If taking a bus, get on or off a stop earlier or later than usual.
  • Try to actively travel in other ways – walking, cycling or scooting.
  • Reduce the use of a buggy for the young, encouraging them to walk or toddle.
  • Take a walk, take a friend. Find someone to walk with to make the journey more enjoyable.
  • Don’t use lifts or escalators – take the stairs instead.

Even if you cannot do this every day, making the occasional change can add less sitting and more moving to our daily routine to improve more than our own health; reducing our use of transport will benefit our environment, too.

Carl Jackson, Buckinghamshire Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing (Public Health) said: ‘The Take a walk, not the car’ scheme is the next step in our exciting Active Communities pilot to encourage people to look at their daily routines and see how they can add just a little more activity every day. 

‘Over time these simple acts of sitting less and standing and moving more can become part of our usual behaviour, so benefiting both our physical and mental health and wellbeing without even realising it.’

Click here to find out more about the Active Communities initiative and how to participate.