Active travel

We all know that walking more is good for our health, but have you considered some of the other benefits to be gained by leaving the car at home? From saving money to reducing your carbon footprint, opting for alternative modes of transport for shorter journeys can create positive impacts for you and the planet.

The science is clear, the climate is changing. In the UK and around the globe we are already seeing changes to weather patterns and average temperatures as a result of human-induced (anthropogenic) climate change. The Met Office is one of the UK's foremost climate change research centres. We have a deep understanding of how greenhouse gas emissions are impacting our climate. We also know that rapid and significant cuts to emissions can still help us to mitigate against the worst impacts of climate change.

By making changes in our lives, we can all play a part in protecting our planet and adapting our lives to protect ourselves from the impacts we will see. One simple change that we can make in our day to day lives is the way that we travel, particularly for shorter journeys, which has many personal and wider benefits.

Move your way to improved health and wellbeing

Whether you walk or cycle to your destination, or even just walk to the nearest bus stop, incorporating more movement into your day is a great way to improve not only your physical health but also your mental wellbeing. 

The UK Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines on physical activity recommend that adults undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, 75 minutes’ vigorous activity, or a mixture of both each week. As well as helping to improve your physical health, Mind provide information on how regular exercise is a great way to support and improve your mental wellbeing. Walking or cycling - active travel - provides a gentle, accessible, free means of transportation for many people. The UK Government’s Cycle to Work Scheme also enables people to reduce the cost of buying a bicycle.

Save on the cost of fuel by leaving the car at home

With high fuel costs, choosing to walk or cycle on shorter journeys could make a significant difference to your monthly outgoings as well as reduce emissions. 

Do your bit for improved air quality 

Poor air quality due to emissions of greenhouse gases creates an invisible but significant challenge for the health and wellbeing of people and the planet. According to the Clean Air Programme, funded by the Strategic Priorities Fund, poor air quality is acknowledged as the top environmental risk to public health in the UK, with air pollution responsible for ~40,000 early deaths and a cost of ~£20bn p.a. to health services and business.

By leaving your car at home and travelling via foot or bike, you will greatly reduce your carbon emissions and help to reduce the amount of air pollution in the atmosphere. 

Help to reduce noise pollution in your neighbourhood

Defined by the presence of unwanted or disturbing sound in an environment, noise pollution is something that impacts millions of people every day. Not simply an irritating inconvenience, research has found that extended exposure to loud noise can cause several problems for humans, including sleep disturbances, stress and high blood pressure. 

By walking or cycling for shorter journeys, you can help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and limit congestion and noise levels in your neighbourhood.