With the start of the New Year, many people will be looking at ways that they can improve their lives by forming better habits. Most people focus upondoing things that will improving their physical and mental health…just look at the bulge in gym subscription at this time of year!
In Guernsey, it’s very tempting to jump in the car whenever you need to make a journey…even to the Gym. The Better Journeys Project (BJP) are encouraging islanders to commit to Better Journeys Days, which are on the First Friday of every month. The team are committed to encouraging islanders to travel more sustainably as Richard Agnelli, a Director explains:
“If you want to improve your health and are able, then it is really effective to substitute some journeys for a walk, jog, run or riding a regular or electric bike. This can be particularly efficient during the rush hour commute when congestion is at it’s worst. Engaging in Better Journey Day will help you form the habit of thinking about your journey in advance and taking a more healthy option which will also improve your mental health, reduce congestion for others who need to drive and do your bit in reducing your carbon footprint to combat the Global Climate Emergency“
The group also point out that it’s also a great way to beat the many road closures. Islanders are looking at roadworks at the Charotterie for 3 weeks, Pleinheume Road for 5 weeks and Le Grand Bouet for 2 weeks. All of these are open to pedestrians and also to cyclists who only need to dismount past the actual works. Adding to the volume on other roads in the evening will be a closure at the Rohais, which will be one way up the road for over 2 weeks.
Ben Craddock of the Guernsey Bicycle group points out an advantage of closed roads to cyclists and pedestrians: “If you normally commute down Le Val Des Terres, Queens Road or La Charotterie, then cycling, walking, jogging or running via La Charotterie will be far nicer than usual as there will be virtually no vehicles going that way for the next 3 weeks. What a great way to Beat the Jam”
Mark Smith, a Director of BJP re-iterates that this is not an anti-car message: “Those who need to use cars, such as commercial firms, public services, emergency services, young families and those with mobility challenges have no option but to deal with the inevitable increase in congestion and journey times when roads are closed. However, the more islanders outside those groups that make the choice to travel sustainably, including car sharing are helping to ease congestion for those that need to drive.”
Barrie Duerden, a fellow Director continues “From our extensive traffic monitoring, we know that commuting habits are very entrenched with no rise in cycling or walking compared to car use between Spring, Summer and Autumn and while volumes drop in school holidays there is no change in the mix between cars, bikes and pedestrians either. Commuters simply stick to their habits. If you are looking for a New Year Resolution that involves improving your physical health and walking, jogging, running or cycling ae open to you this would be a great time to engage with Better Journey Day – details can be found at www.betterjourneys.gg”