Locally, greenhouse gas emissions from transport – mostly our private car and van usage – account for the biggest share of our borough-wide emissions.
As well as damaging our environment, air pollution can harm our health.
The rise in the number of cars on the roads today is dramatic in comparison to the 20th century.
In 1950 around four million licensed vehicles were present on our roads, whereas today that figure is almost 40 million.
The type of cars we now drive is very different from the past too. Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and larger cars are now the preferred option for most families and commuters.
Just under 40 percent of journeys are under two miles, resulting in local traffic congestion, especially around peak times which increases air pollution and damages road infrastructure, resulting in faults such as potholes.
Luckily, there are many sustainable travel options available that can support a reduction in your carbon footprint.
Public transport systems can always be improved, Wigan Borough is well connected in terms of bus and rail routes. With a bit of creativity and careful journey planning, alternative routes and methods of travel can be taken.
If a car is required for journeys, next time you are looking to purchase or lease a new vehicle, a positive step you can take is doing your research and switching to a hybrid or fully electric vehicle.
By 2030, the Government will have banned the sale of all new petrol and diesel private vehicles. Because of this, many car manufacturers are beginning to roll out more electric vehicles at a range of sizes and prices meaning over the next five years, they will become more affordable.
When making a local journey, why not take a moment to consider whether you can ditch the car?
Riding your bike or walking short distances is an option available to many people, especially on the school run. As well as being healthier and getting you moving, it gets one less vehicle off the road making our borough safer, cleaner and greener for all.
As part of the Big Listening Festival, the Council held the ‘Sustainable Travel’ week in September, where they listened to the opinions of many residents across the borough.
They will also be holding our first Go Green week on 11th to 15th October where you can find more tips and tricks on sustainable living and working.