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Active travel is just that – using physical activity to go somewhere, instead of motorised transport.  You can walk, cycle, run, or even use a canoe if you’re visiting somewhere on the coast or down the river!  Most of us have got used to travelling to most places in cars.  It’s become a habit, and it’s usually convenient unless we get stuck in traffic or can’t find a parking space easily.  But it’s also increasingly expensive, it causes noise and pollution, and it means we get much less exercise than we should.  We also see less of our neighbours and other members of the community.  And it’s at the community level that we can start to change this habit and rediscover the benefits from making some short journeys on foot or on a bike.  

 

Stride aims to make it easier to change these daily routines at the local level.  Everyone’s different, and so we tailor our advice to suit each person’s situation and the kind of changes they feel comfortable with.  This might be:

 

  • walking to the local shop when there’s not much on the shopping list

  • cycling to work when the weather’s good

  • sharing a lift into town with a friend who lives nearby

  • catching the bus and not having to worry about where to park

  • walking or cycling to the gym as part of your workout, instead of driving there

  • getting a bus into town when you want to enjoy an evening out.

Why Is It Important?

 

  • the steady growth in use of cars costs a lot of public money to improve and maintain the road system

  • more and more space has to be devoted to roads and car parking at the expense of green public space

  • busy roads separate people and communities from places they want to go to

  • busy roads are dangerous, particularly for children and the elderly

  • motor vehicles cause serious air pollution problems in Dundee, affecting our health

  • traffic congestion causes delays for everyone using the roads, including emergency vehicles

  • the carbon emissions from motor vehicles make a major contribution to climate change

  • we may already have reached “peak oil”, after which oil production will start to decline and prices will increase even more dramatically

  • increasing use of cars by the majority affects the quality of public transport for others

  • as we use our cars more, and our legs less, it affects our physical and mental health

  • we can all benefit - young and old - from using our legs more

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Benefits of Active Travel

 

For you, the individual, active travel:

  • saves you money on car fuel

  • helps you get fit, or keep fit

  • helps you relax, reducing stress

  • benefits all members of the family

  • is a way of meeting other people and enjoying time with them

  • enables you to notice things around you that you'd miss in a car!

 

For the community, active travel:

  • brings people together

  • encourages use of local facilities and shops

  • improves the local environment

  • makes public spaces safer as they are better used

  • encourages investment in community facilities

  • can lead to better planning decisions for people instead of roads

 

For the environment, active travel:

  • reduces congestion, noise and pollution in local streets

  • will help to reduce pressures for more road building

  • reduces carbon emissions and the impact on climate change

 

For the economy, active travel:

  • leads to higher productivity in the workplace

  • means that fewer people take time off work due to stress and ill-health

  • reduces time lost in traffic congestion

  • reduces the need to build more roads and car parks

  • should reduce traffic accidents over time

 

For future generations, active travel:

  • will mean that our children and grandchildren have healthier and happier lives

  • reduces the damaging consequences of climate change in Scotland and elsewhere

  • helps to retain oil reserves for more valuable uses than transport

  • will lead to development of attractive networks of parks and paths

  • will result in more attractive towns and cities

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