Sustainable travel

There are many ways to make travel more sustainable for everyone. They can help reduce emissions and your Carbon Footprint. Some options make the urban environment a less congested, safer place to be. Many can help you get active and even save you money and time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed working, commuting and travel practices for nearly everyone. Some of the restrictions that were put in place actually led to people following more sustainable routines, the most significant change was working from home. There was a significant drop in air pollution levels during lockdowns, if many of us can continue to work, travel and relax in these new, sustainable ways we can make a difference to the air quality in Kent and Medway and the global issue of Climate Change.

Studies have shown that on average car users are more exposed to pollution than cyclists and pedestrians. Equally, studies have also concluded that the physical and mental health upsides of cycling are greater than the dangers posed by air pollution.

Want to cycle more but not sure where to get started check out Cycling In Kent, supported by Kent County Council, for further information.

Kent Connected is an excellent resource for finding ways to travel smarter around Kent and your local area.

Organisations like Medway Council encourage employees to travel and works sustainably. They have implemented a travel plan offering practical options for greener travel including a Carshare scheme. You can check whether your employer has a similar travel plan and make use of options available. Try to encourage your colleagues to take up greener travel too, perhaps by sharing a car (if COVID-19 precautions allow).

Lots of schools which have a Walking Bus. This is a sustainable way for children to get to school. It cuts traffic and congestion at the school gates, gets children aware of travelling more sustainably and gets them active. It could even save the parents time in the morning too! Find out more about setting up a Walking Bus on the Kent County Council pages.

Many schools also have their own travel plans – check out the jam busters website here.

Car clubs are a great way of being able to access a car without the hassle and cost of ownership. Car clubs are a key component for future sustainable transport solutions. With cars being low emission and car club users driving less, polluting less and being healthier by walking, cycling, and using public transport much more.

Many people still need to drive – especially if they are less mobile or live in a rural area. Here are some tips for greener driving:

Check estimated emissions from the journeys you make with our emissions calculator in the Care for Air Kent & Medway educational section.

There’s lots more information available on available schemes, ideas and policies on the Kent County Council and Medway Council pages.

Further information about changes you can make can be found in this 2021 review for the Department for Transport.