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Published: 2013-09-18 00:00:00

Five large Hamilton organisations have signed up to encourage their staff to travel smarter and go car-free next week.

Sunday 22 September marks World Car Free Day across the globe and this year Waikato Regional Council and Hamilton City Council are celebrating with a week of car-free promotions in Hamilton. Visit www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/carfree for more information. 

The regional and city councils are joined by the NZ Transport Agency, WEL Energy Trust and the Waikato Times in supporting this initiative in their workplaces. 

“Whether it’s a one-way or return trip or your five day a week commute, going car-free is a realistic option for most people in the city,” said the regional council’s business sustainability advisor, Anna D’Arcy. 

“Walk, cycle, bus, formally carpool with others, or just catch a ride with your husband, wife, neighbour or friend who is going the same way. Every car-free trip helps.” 

Using your car one day less each week will reduce your carbon footprint by one tonne of CO2 per year. This would fill a typical 25 metre swimming pool and take 3.6 trees to offset. 

Ms D’Arcy added that one full bus can mean more than 40 less cars going through your neighbourhood. 

“We have almost 1000 stops and more than 25 routes connecting most suburbs to Hamilton’s city centre, so if you haven’t hopped on board previously this is a good week to choose to be driven,” Ms D’Arcy said. 

City council Transportation’s transport behaviour change coordinator Ngaire Pattison said: “World Car Free Day and the week of activities that follows are a great way to celebrate the many choices we have in transport in Hamilton. 

“Jumping on a bus, enjoying a cycle or a walk on a sunny day, or organising a car pool – these are all not only fun and economic ways to get into and around our city, they also help reduce congestion and vehicle emissions. 

“Together we can all work towards our Access Hamilton vision of a safe and sustainable transport system that meets the travel demands of a world-class city,” she said. 

Be driven – visit www.busit.co.nz or www.letscarpool.govt.nz for more information on bus and carpool options that can work for you.