July 26 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Lowestoft town centre was a hive of activity this morning as visitors were given the chance to sample some alternative forms of transport as part of a project to get more residents walking, cycling and using public transport.
The Lowestoft Motion Festival, organised as part of the Lowestoft Local Links Project, offered shoppers the chance to test out eco cars and electric bicycles, explore old busses from the East Anglia Transport Museum and new busses running on biogas, as well as a variety of stalls offering advice, merchandise and free high visibility jackets and maps.
Steph Jones, coordinator of the project, said: “It was a fun and free event for all the family and a great way to get people thinking about their transport choices and exploring alternative and more sustainable ways of travelling.
“Instead of making short journeys in the car which can cause lots of congestion and pollution, we spoke to people about more healthy and economical ways of making their trip, like car sharing or cycling.”
The festival also included an exhibition and awards presentation in the town’s library with Waveney MP Peter Aldous. More than 2,000 school children have taken part in the ‘design a vehicle for the future’ competition as part of the Streets Ahead Schools Education programme, and Mr Aldous presented prizes to the winners and runners up of three different age categories.
Miss Jones said: “Last year we held a cycle festival but this year we wanted to do something that involved more modes of transport.
“We have now been running the project long enough to be able to check up on people’s transport patterns and some of the businesses we have been working with have shown a 10 per cent shift in the way people are travelling which is really positive.”
The project, which was launched in 2012 with the help of Suffolk County Council, is a three-year sustainable transport project funded by the Department for Transport. Alongside running campaigns with local schools, community groups and businesses, it is funding the development of new infrastructure, including a bus-rail interchange, a pedestrian cycle bridge and increasing bus frequency.