Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Press Release: Commuter Challenge

Press Release - Commuter Challenge

For immediate release: 17th September 2002

Commuter Challenge - Wednesday 18th September
Can you-

Save time and money
Live longer, happier and healthier
Pay less tax
Reduce pollution
Reduce traffic congestion
-all at the same time?

The COMMUTER CHALLENGE will find out. On the morning of Wednesday 18th September teams of commuters from all round Sheffield will travel into the city centre to see who arrives first- motorists, cyclists, public transport users, or pedestrians. We know that cycling and walking are cheaper than driving; that they reduce pollution and congestion; and that the positive health benefits outweigh any risks, but can they really be quicker as well? Join us on Wednesday for the answer.

Given the advantages of cycling, it is surprising that only 1-2% of journeys in Sheffield are made by bike, while other cities manage up to 30%. If more of us cycled we would see benefits for health, the environment, transport and business in Sheffield, and we would leave the roads clear for those who really need to use them.

These are crucial issues for the City Council and Sheffield First, so what are they doing to promote cycling? Well, there are plenty of small projects and enthusiasts working behind the scenes, but the "big hitters" remain silent. At the recent conference to promote Sheffield First plans for the city, attended by Council Leader Jan Wilson, there was no mention, among all the glossy presentations, of simple strategies that could improve our quality of life by promoting cycling.

Cyclists are vulnerable road users and need protection. Sheffield Friends of the Earth want to see our City Council take the lead in promoting and protecting people who want to cycle – giving us a real choice in how we get about.

Liddy Goyder of Sheffield Friends of the Earth said: "The car is not the only option for transport, and certainly not the most sensible. Cycling is cheaper, more reliable and better for the environment. Cycling could solve many of Sheffield’s problems. The City Council should be taking the lead in promoting it."

Details: Commuter Challenge, 8:00 to 8:30am, Wednesday 16th September

Organised by Pedal Pushers.

Note for editors: The will be opportunity for photos, filming and interviews with team members. Friends of the Earth members will be taking part in a team leaving the Closed Shop pub on Commonside, at 8:15am.

Contact: Liddy Goyder or Steve Goodacre

Sheffield Friends of the Earth

steveg@doctors.org.uk 07890 374154

e.goyder@sheffield.ac.uk 0114 222 0873

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