RAC Cars News


European Mobility Week

By raccars Published

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With nervous motorists anxiously expecting to hear the news that certain towns and cities will be banning cars, this year's European Mobility Week will see Lambeth in London and Aberdeen take part in a 'car free day' on 22 September. The annual event takes place this year from 16-22 September, and so far, more than 360 European cities have signed up.

The event is aimed at promoting sustainable mobility, encouraging people to leave their cars at home and use cleaner and greener transport methods - ideally walking. The event's organisers created the initiative, in a drive to reduce emissions in urban areas.

Various events will be held to raise awareness of European Mobility Week, all designed to show people the advantages of using public instead of private transport. While Aberdeen and Lambeth have signed up to close roads and streets to cars on 22 September's car free day, Southwark in London and Glasgow will both be participating in the week's other events. As part of the project, improvements will be made to urban cycle lanes and cycle hire firms will be offering discounts. European Mobility Week isn't entirely anti-car, as it does promote the use of clean and green alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric cars.

European Mobility Week was first introduced in 2002 and has been growing on an annual basis since then. Last year, 2,011 cities took part, including Lambeth, which stopped short of banning cars for a whole day but did organise the closure of its main road, which was used as the site of a music festival and roller disco, to celebrate the initiative. This year, Hungary is the most enthusiastic participant so far, with 170 cities signing on, 150 of which will be following car free day on 22 September. The theme for 2015's European Mobility Week is 'multimodality,' which requires citizens to think about the range of transport options open to them on any journey rather than automatically using a car. The theme suggests that travellers see transport not just as a means to an end, but as an end in itself, making the journey part of their day's activities rather than a mindless commute.

European Mobility Week's organisers have made a range of resources available to towns and cities, to help them raise the profile of their events and encourage the use of low emissions transport. Along with entertaining events during the relevant week, the idea is to take some more permanent measures, such as implementing a new cycle lane network or investing in cleaner and greener public transport vehicles.

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