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Positive reaction to alternative travel campaign
A SCHEME to get residents to curb the use of the car, in favour of other modes of getting around, has been welcomed by many of those who have been targeted to get on their bike or use other forms of transport.
More than 580 residents in Chineham and Popley have taken up the ‘My Journey’ challenge being championed by Hampshire County Council , and are trying out, or have tried out, an alternative way of travelling around Basingstoke instead of using their own car.
As part of the travel awareness campaign, residents have been encouraged to use the bus, train, walk, cycle, or car share instead, and personal travel planning advisers have been talking to residents in Chineham and Popley to offer free travel advice.
Chineham resident Ken Thake, 60, of Saffron Close, tried using the bus to get into Basingstoke railway station in town before making a trip up to London after being visited by a travel adviser.
Mr Thake, 60, said: “I tried taking the bus to and from town instead of taking my car. The bus stop is very close to my house and the buses are frequent so I found the journey was very easy. I also didn't have to worry about parking the car.
“The bus worked out less expensive overall and I would use the bus again when I get my bus pass.”
Nearly 1,450 households in Chineham have been visited so far since Friday, June 29, and the council says 40 per cent have taken up the challenge and that 76 residents have taken up the offer of a free one-week Megarider bus pass.
During August, a further 2,350 homes in East Popley will be offered free personalised travel planning advice and support to take up the challenge.
Borough mayor Councillor Martin Biermann , who is a keen cyclist and a green campaigner, had a meeting with borough and county council officers about the scheme. He said that although he believed it would be a challenge, he hoped the scheme would be a success.
Cllr Biermann added: “Changing people’s habits, particularly with transport, is a seriously difficult challenge but I hope they do it – I wish them well.”
The scheme is being funded from a £4.1million grant received from the Department for Transport as part of a project aimed at reducing congestion and carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.
Other ‘My Journey’ events and activities will be carried out in Basingstoke, Aldershot, Andover, Farnborough, Fleet and Winchester over the next three years.
For more information visit myjourneyhampshire. com.