Brake says ditch the car this World Car Free Day

Wednesday 21 September
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, is encouraging all drivers to try and ditch the car and use alternative forms of transport this World Car Free Day.

Every year on 22 September, people from around the world get together in the streets to show everyone that we don't necessarily have to live in our current car-dominated society.

Currently a quarter of car journeys (23%) are less than two miles [1], a distance which can easily be covered on foot or by bike. On the other hand, average walking trips per person have decreased by 27% since 1995, with walking now making up just over a fifth (22%) of trips in Britain [2].

Transport also accounts for a fifth (21%) of UK greenhouse gas emissions, with road transport making up the most significant proportion of this [3].

With all of that in mind, Brake believes that local authorities and the government should invest money in sustainable transport infrastructure which would provide a real alternative to the car. This would benefit individuals financially along with improving the environment and our communities, by reducing the number of cars and harmful vehicle emissions.

Alice Bailey, campaigns advisor for Brake, said: “In an ideal world we’d love all car users to change their attitudes and only use their vehicles when necessary rather than down to sheer convenience, as it currently is.

"However, that can only be done on a major scale and if there is significant investment in safer and cheaper alternatives. Many people are turned off walking and cycling due to how unsafe they feel and public transport often isn’t an adequate or a convenient alternative.

"Hopefully World Car Free Day will showcase how good our towns and cities look and feel without cars, while also putting pressure on the appropriate authorities to give priority and adequate investment to sustainable modes of transport."

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on Twitter, Facebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

[1] National Travel Survey 2014, Department for Transport, 2015.

[2] National Travel Survey 2013, Department for Transport, 2014.

[3] 2012 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2014