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Wheels Of Change

1 December 06

We'd all like to change the world. But let's face it first we're going to have to change ourselves just a little bit

The environment is a big issue at the moment! There are more statistics out than ever before telling us about the dangers of what will happen to our global atmosphere if we don’t act now and about the damage we’ve already done. Did you know that globally we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2050 if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change? Or that the warmth produced by global climate change so far is the equivalent of a one watt light bulb shining constantly over an area of one square meter everywhere on the planet? Facts like these are in the newspapers, on the television and radio and they should (and do) worry most of us. But are you sick of them yet? ‘It’s all doom and gloom!’ I hear you cry.

Well, how about we try a different approach? Instead of focusing on the downright miserable, why not focus on the fact that we can change the long term effects of climate change by changing the way we live now - most of us are trying in little or big ways. If you want to make a difference it is possible, easy and it won’t hurt your wallet!

Why not try concentrating on the way you get around Nottingham for a start? Nottingham’s public transport system and the way we use it is improving all the time. Public transport is important and something the whole nation should focus on if we are ever going to cut emissions. It’s looking good in Nottingham we’re bucking the national trend, with lots of people getting back on the bus over the last year. There were over 75 million trips on public transport in 2005 and there has been an impressive increase of nearly six percent of passengers over the last four years! If you’re on of those passengers give yourself a pat on the back!

The Big Wheel is all about sustainable transport and we’re trying to show people in Nottingham just how easy it is to get from A to B in an environmentally friendly way. It brings together bus, tram, train, car, cycling and walking and is backed by councils and companies across the city. The Big Wheel are committed to keeping our city moving and looking after our environment – for the sake of a clean, green city that can grow.

Public transport really does make a difference. Not only does it cut the number of cars on the roads which cause traffic and noise pollution but it significantly reduces the amount of Carbon dioxide produced per person in each journey taken. Did you know a double-decker bus carries the same amount of people as 20 fully laden cars? Add to that the fact that ten miles in a petrol car produces roughly four kilograms of carbon dioxide, whereas ten miles in a bus produces only one kilogram by comparison. With facts like these you can really grasp what a difference our transport choices make to the environment. Also don’t forget the massive financial savings you can make every year by leaving your car at home. It only costs £350 for a whole year’s unlimited travel on NET and NCT transport. Compare that to the costs of running your car.

But remember, you don’t just have to use the bus to travel in an eco friendly way. Why not get on your bike or start walking for a change? If saving the planet and your bank balance isn’t enough motivation here are a few more fascinating facts to leave you with:

• A fifteen minute bike ride to and from work five times a week burns off the equivalent of eleven pounds of fat in a year!
• The average person will spend fourteen days of their lives waiting for traffic lights to change.
• Cyclists and pedestrians absorb lower levels of pollutants from fumes than car drivers.


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