Almost 1,000 drivers have ‘car free awakening’ after ditching vehicles to cut pollution

Peak District: Expert discusses proposed car-free days

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The “Going Car Free 2022” challenge is being run by climate charity Possible, and is challenging drivers to give up their car, either for key journeys or completely. In July, almost 1,000 across the UK took part, saying it helped them re-evaluate their relationship with their vehicle.

Drivers were challenged to go without their car when undertaking regular tasks such as the weekly shop or commute.

Participants used low-carbon transport alternatives, including trains, bikes or walking to suit their daily patterns.

One participant tweeted about their experience giving up their car for their 12-mile round-trip commute. 

They cut out a whopping 560 car miles and estimated their savings to be about £100.

Transport emissions make up over a quarter of all UK greenhouse gas emissions.

Because of this, Possible are urging drivers to give their car up to benefit the climate, air quality and people’s household budgets.

Past studies have found that one of the most impactful actions an individual can take to reduce their climate impact is living car free.

Sandra Green, car free Birmingham campaigner at climate charity Possible, praised the scheme for its benefits for drivers and the environment.

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She said: “Seeing the impacts of Going Car Free 2022 has been truly inspiring. 

“So many people have discovered the joys of alternative ways of travelling and have realised that they simply don’t need their cars as much as they thought. 

“I hope, after a successful first year, we can make the Going Car Free challenge even bigger and better so everyone can have their car-free awakening.”

Those who took part also had the chance to win prizes from brands like Brompton, Cycle Chic and Joe’s Tea Co.

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Discount codes were also given to services like Voi, Co-Wheels, Enterprise Car Clib and Carry Me Bikes.

This allowed participants to access low-carbon alternatives for an affordable rate, ensuring they can go about their normal lives.

Councillor Hina Bokhari, a Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, took part in the scheme and called it “absolutely brilliant”.

She said it had encouraged her to learn how to cycle and had taught her the value of cycle training across London.

A smaller pilot scheme of Going Car Free was launched in Bristol in January.

Possible supported 10 people to go car free for the whole month, encouraging them to become more climate-friendly.

This follows in the footsteps of other environmentally-themed, month-long challenges like Veganuary and No Mow May.

Over the span of a year, drivers could save just over £450, something which Possible highlighted as a major saving during the cost of living crisis.

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