Be the Start: Help Greener Journeys take one billion car journeys off the road

Greener Journeys
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Greener Journeys, the national campaign to promote sustainable travel, is calling for the public to back its campaign to cut one billion car journeys.

Taking a leading role in Business in the Community’s Be the Start month, the One Billion Challenge will play a key part in Be the Start’s month long-drive to celebrate and demonstrate how living sustainably is rewarding and meaningful.

Trying to take one billion car journeys off the road may sound ambitious but considering there are more than 25 billion car journeys every year, it represents a very achievable reduction of 4% in real terms. Put another way, it requires car drivers to make just one fewer car journey per month.

To help the switch from car to bus and coach Greener Journeys and the bus and coach industry are working hard to enhance the quality of services, improving information and ticketing and investing in more efficient, low carbon vehicles.

Greener Journeys are also working with Government and local authorities to accelerate the adoption of a range of pro-bus and coach policies which will make it easier for people to make sustainable transport choices.

Similarly our Behaviour Change Lab is continually working with communities, PTEs and bus operators around the UK to develop practical on the ground methods of getting people out of their cars and onto buses. Initiatives have included providing trusted, community-level advice advocates on how to use the bus in Leicester; using guerrilla tactics to target drivers at moments of driving ‘pain’ in Sheffield; and working through well-known small local organisations in Manchester to promote modal shift in their community.

Our One Billion Challenge campaign is part of Business in the Community’s Be the Start month; over 31 days, 40+ businesses and organisations, including many household names, will be showcasing the many different, simple ways people can Be the Start of a more sustainable future. From advice on how to join or start a green project in their area, tips on how to travel smarter, through to advice on how to save energy and water; the campaign aims to arm the UK with practical advice on how each individual can make their unique contribution to a sustainable Britain.

Buses play a crucial role in a more sustainable future, fewer car journeys and more bus journeys means:

  • Healthier people –The simple act of taking a journey by bus can help achieve half the Government recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day according to Greener Journeys’ own research.
  • Happier people – The bus is a third less stressful than driving according Greener Journeys research commissioned in 2010 showed
  • A greener environment – Switching just one journey in 25 from car to bus or coach is estimated to save 2 million tonnes of CO2 and would mean one billion fewer car journeys on our roads. Buses also have a key role in relieving congestion (one double-decker bus can take the place of as many as 75 cars on the road) helping the environment and the economy – the British Chambers of Commerce put the cost of congestion at £17,350 per business.
  • More harmonious and connected communities – Buses meet vital social needs and are often an integral to local communities and a crucial link connecting people with jobs, healthcare, education, training, leisure and social networks. Lack of affordable transport is a serious barrier to looking for work and accessing education; 44% of workless households have no access to a car compared with 22% of all households
  • A more sustainable and productive economy – 2.5 million people commute by bus in the UK, and a further 1 million use buses as back up – this alone accounts for £64bn of economic output. Buses also provide vital access to education and training crucial to our future economy. The bus also has a key role in supporting local businesses and retail economies; shoppers who arrive by bus spend a combined £27.2bn on retail and leisure each year (£21.5bn in towns and cities)

Claire Haigh, CEO of Greener Journeys explained:
“Greener Journeys vision is to transform our communities into cleaner, greener, less congested and more prosperous places to live and work, where public transport is a convenient and desirable choice for everyone. Buses are so important to all of these things and initiatives like Be the Start are key to getting people on board.

Buses help reduce congestion on the roads, promote social inclusion by providing a vital link to those without other means and reduce all our carbon footprints and travel’s effect on the environment.

This campaign will be a springboard for greater public attention of the bus’s many benefits and I hope will encourage both car drivers and infrequent bus users to give the bus a try.”


For further information please contact:

Greener Journeys Press Office
+44 (0)20 3128 8555

Visit Greener Journeys Website, Twitter feed, Facebook page and Pinterest board for more information

About Greener Journeys
Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices.

It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from transport by encouraging people to switch some of their car journeys to bus or coach instead.  Switching from car to bus for just one journey a month would mean one billion fewer car journeys on our roads and would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year.

It is a coalition of Britain’s leading bus companies and other supporters including Transport for London, Campaign for Better Transport, the RAC Foundation, Confederation for Passenger Transport (CPT), and the Passenger Transport Executive Group (pteg).  Its primary funders are bus companies Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead, and Stagecoach.

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