Bristol's City-wide active travel day

Sustrans has successfully organised active travel days for schools, teaching children about the value of travelling to school sustainably.

Perhaps we could organise a city-wide one?  See if we can dramatically reduce the number of cars coming into the city just one day of the year to see what the future could really be like for Bristol with reduced congestion and better air quality.

Some ideas:

1. Organise this during Big Green Week 2014

2. Get key businesses on board to celebrate people in their organisations who travel sustainably - car sharing, train, bus, park and ride, walk or cycle.  Perhaps provide funding for the businesses to hold a breakfast on that day celebrating people who travel sustainably to work.  For example, the University of Bristol, Lloyds Bank, and other major employers in the city.  

3. Hold a breakfast (e.g. tea and donut?) outside of city hall celebrating both council workers and other members of the public who travel sustainably into the city.  Provide information at breakfast about travel options (e.g. car sharing websites) and ask for feedback from the commuters.  Thank the commuters for working in our city and making it the best it can be.

Key element: these breakfasts do not have to be limited to just the people who travelled sustainably.  In fact, perhaps information gathering can be done at these events to understand why some people can't / don't car share, cycle or travel by public transportation, and this information could be fed back to the travel planners.  It's not an us and them situation.

4. Have signs outside of each of the park and rides promoting the event and asking commuters to try them just for one day.  Potentially discount the park and ride for one day (e.g. trial price).  Offer free donuts at the park and rides?  (Everyone loves a free donut...)

5. Have volunteers at each of the council car parks thanking people in cars with more than 2 people inside and perhaps awarding a few of them at random free parking for the day?  

6. Make it as fun and as community-based as possible.  Fund small grants for street parties in different areas of the city where communities can come out and express their gratitude both for the commuters but also for travelling sustainably.  Not all the commuters travel into the city centre... e.g. offices in Cliton Village, businesses in Gloucester Road, business centres south of the city.

7. Perhaps one bus can be selected at random coming into the city that day to win small prizes - e.g. 5 or 10 Bristol pounds per passenger - to incent people to try the buses and reward those who do.  Same could be done with some cyclists - some cyclists could be awarded 5  or 10 Bristol pounds at random who are travelling sustainably on that day.

8. Measure, measure, measure.  Try to get as much data as possible about the effect on the number of cars, traffic, congestion, increase in public transportation use, and feedback from travellers on the day.  Also, start marketing the event 3 months prior to the event, to give people plenty of time to plan their travel.  Have marketing for the event *everywhere*.  Make posters available for residents to post in their windows (and again, perhaps have a small prize awarded to some houses chosen at random to thank them for their support in showing the sign in their window.)  Have these signs go up across Bristol - in every part - to show that we are indeed one city and no part is forgotten.

9. Create an award for the best short video from the day, supporting local documentary filmmakers and ensuring we have as many people in the city as possible documenting the day as well as local media.

10. And have the schools have events too, like they are used to doing.

Why the contribution is important

Would be inspiring to see what our city could look like with fewer cars on the roads, even just for one day.

Cross-community event for the city

Could become a focus event in the Big Green Week

By trying public transportation for just one day, some people might decide that they prefer it!

by user419622 on December 07, 2013 at 10:28PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.3
Based on: 8 votes


  • Posted by user412750 January 18, 2014 at 14:50

    Good idea! There used to be a "cycle to work day" with some of the features you've listed - including the doughnuts!

    It's always a good idea to show people just how different (and better) life could be if they left their cars at home.
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