What it's all about
Have you heard of World Car Free Day? On Saturday 22 September, motorists are encouraged to swap their car for the bus or a bike, or even leave their car at home and give walking a try instead.
The aim is to let people see what our towns and cities would be like without cars – hopefully, less congestion, less noise, better air quality.
Hop on board
To encourage more people to use public transport on World Car Free Day, bus companies are supporting the campaign. First Huddersfield, which provides a local bus service have launched their HD Connect service to provide a reliable frequent service for customers. They’re also in the process of making it easier and more convenient for people to use their buses, and are planning to introduce more improvements. As well as contactless payments to speed things up at bus stops, they’ll be adding free WiFi on all HD Connect routes.
You can find First Huddersfield timetables and routes online.
On your bike
Two wheels is also an option. Kirklees are promoting cycling in all its forms through the Kirklees Cycling Campaign. The campaign is creating cycle routes that link the town with outlying villages. Find out more about their plans and routes by visiting Kirklees Cycling Campaign.
If the idea of cycling appeals to you, but you haven’t been on a bike for a while, don’t worry. CityConnect Cycles is offering free cycle training and maintenance courses for anyone over the age of 16. They’ll even provide you with a bike and a helmet while you’re on the course.
With more cycle paths in West Yorkshire than ever before, including the recently completed Leeds to Bradford Cycle Superhighway, the project aims to get more people on their bike. Nick Hutton, Cycling Development Officer - West Yorkshire, said:
“Participants can take advantage of up to 3 cycling sessions per level. Training can take place at one of the CityConnect Cycle Hubs located across West Yorkshire or at a location and time convenient to you.”
For more information about CityConnect Cycles visit their website.
Out for a walk
With all the stunning countryside around here, walking is also an option. At River Holme Connections we’re working hard to improve riverside footpaths, which we’ve already achieved at Bottoms Mill, near Hinchliffe Mill and by the river at Sands recreation ground in Holmfirth.
If you live near Spa Wood, why not use the Riverside Way to walk to work? We’ll be helping to make further improvements to Spa Wood later this year and early next. Eventually we want to expand the Riverside Way to take people from Huddersfield to the Peak District, and vice versa.
In the meantime, if you live further out of town, you can use the Meltham Greenway to cycle or walk. Alternatively, check out the tracks that Meltham Walkers are Welcome have mapped.
World Car Free Day is also about making people think about how often they actually need to use their cars all year round. It’s about encouraging people to change their habits and think twice before taking the car. If it’s a short journey, can you walk or cycle? If it’s a longer journey, taking the bus or train might be a more relaxing alternative to sitting in a traffic jam.
Why not take up the challenge? See how much you could save on fuel by taking a walk instead of the car, and you’ll feel fitter and healthier too.