Commuters urged to ditch cars

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COMMUTERS and residents in south east Northumberland are being urged to ditch the car and think of alternative ways to travel in a new campaign launched this week.

Radio, newspaper and bus adverts will be used to promote Go Smarter Northumberland, the £2.8m government funded project to promote sustainable travel choices in the county.

For employees of companies that sign up to the scheme, the package of measures includes free cycle training, Dr Bike sessions delivered by Cycle Experience Ltd, free cycle loans from Sustrans, cycle maintenance classes from the Northumberland Adult Learning Service, and cycle route maps from Northumberland County Council.

Businesses can also access free cycle stands through the Park that Bike scheme.

The project is part of a scheme paid for by the Department for Transport under its Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSFT) to support those finding it difficult to access employment or education because of transport barriers.

Go Smarter Northumberland is targeting communities in Blyth, Ashington, Cramlington, Newbiggin and Seaton Valley.

Sarah Rowell, Go Smarter project manager, said: “Travelling to work or school more actively and sustainably has many benefits both for employees and businesses.

“We already have a number of businesses signed up to the project and will be working with more each year until March 2015.

“By then we will have built in a sustainably legacy so that the aims of the project will continue.”

For more details e-mail GoSmarter@northumberland.gov.uk