The Benefits of Travelling Eco
We’ve come a long way in the last decade in terms of tackling pollution, and being more aware of the impact our travel is having on the environment, both in or local area and in a global sense. Despite the awareness of environmental issues, we as a nation are reluctant to give up our cars and swap to public transport, but as the slogan goes, “every little bit helps”, and there are several ways to travel eco without compromising on lifestyle.
If you’ve ever been on a motorway or in a town centre during morning rush hour, you’ll have noticed that the majority of people in their cars are alone. Wouldn’t it make more sense to share your commute to work with someone else, to both cut traffic and save you some cash? Some major employers such as the NHS and some Universities actively encourage car sharing by putting employees in touch with colleagues who live nearby or along the route they take to work, and offer dedicated parking and other incentives to car sharers. There are also many websites which will help you find a car share partner. There are huge advantages to car sharing for the daily commute. With fuel costs and car insurance prices rising, why wouldn’t you want to share the cost with one or more people rather than paying it all yourself?
Not everyone can walk to work but for shorter journeys of less than a mile, we’d all be healthier if we left the car at home and walked instead. This is particularly relevant for parents who do the school run, and drive their kids to school when they could easily walk. Getting out into the fresh air and walking to school or the shops will not only improve your health it will save you petrol money and help relax you too. Parents who walk their kids to and from school have the chance to chat to them about their day instead of concentrating on the traffic. Some schools near Edinburgh have banned all traffic from streets around the school at the start and end of the school day and if this pilot project is a success, more schools may adopt this strategy in the future.
Cheaper for Planning Ahead
Train travel has the reputation for being expensive, and it certainly can be if you buy your ticket on the day of travel. If you can plan in advance, tickets cost a fraction of the price. For example, a single ticket from Glasgow to London booked weeks in advance can cost as little as £21, compared with as much as £130 for the same seat booked on the day. Travelling into London by train also means no Congestion Charge, and no paying extortionate rates for parking. There are also numerous discounts available for families who have a railcard, and students. Travelling long distances by train also can be far more relaxing than sitting in traffic jams on the motorway for hours on end.
If you live in a city, or don’t use a car on a regular basis, then several cities have started a “pool car” scheme where you can have access to a vehicle when you need it, but without the cost of full time ownership. In Lancaster, for example, you can register to share your car with other local residents when you’re not using it, or to use other people’s cars instead. Savings are considerable, and many families are saving thousands of pounds a year by getting rid of a second car which often sits on the drive and using a pool car instead. These sorts of car clubs are not operated nationally, so it is very much a case of finding one in your local area, or setting one up yourself. There is a joining fee initially, and then you pay a set fee per mile. There are similar projects for bikes in some UK cities too, most famously in London where they are known as “Boris Bikes”. The main advantage to using cars or bikes on a pay as you go basis is the huge cost savings which can be made, as well as the advantages to the environment.