Sustainable options for the future

Winchester provides the regional focus later this month for an environmental event to promote sustainable travel options. The 8th Winchester 'Alternative Transport Day' on Wednesday 22 September takes place in Winchester's High Street between 10.30am and 3.00pm.

Sponsored by transport consultants Mott MacDonald and W S Atkins, this annual event continues to be the catalyst for local businesses and organisations to come together to help promote change and awareness of the way in which we choose to travel.

G-Wiz and the GEM
Exhibits include three electric cars not seen at the event before. GoinGreen's Reva G-Wiz is said to be the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly car available in Britain. It is 100% emission free and consumes on average only 25% of the energy of a petrol or diesel car. As it is exempt from road tax, it requires only Group 1 insurance and costs just 1p or less per mile electricity to run (that's around 90% less than an average petrol car); the GEM is being marketed locally by Zero Emission Vehicles Ltd. Available as a two-seater (GEM2) or four-seater (GEM Long), it has two gears - forward and reverse - and a top speed of 25 mph. A single charge gives it a range of about 30 miles. Running costs are 4.3 pence per mile.

The line-up also includes the Honda Civic IMA and Toyota Prius (electric/petrol); the Vauxhall Combo van and Zafira (LPG/petrol); the Volvo S40 (LPG/petrol); and a display by the Battery Vehicle Society.

Help and information on getting around by bus and train will be available, whilst local authorities and transport consultants will provide advice on sustainable options and future initiatives - including the newly launched 'Bikeabout' scheme where you can borrow a bike to get around Winchester.

Electric 'Powabykes' and folding bikes will be displayed by Portswood Cycles, and St Swithun's School will exhibit two Greenpower electric racing cars.

The event is supported by Winchester City Council and help has also come from Hampshire County Council's CIVITAS MIRACLES project.

Cllr Richard Knasel, the City Council's Cabinet Portfolio holder for Economy and Transport, says: "Traffic congestion, air pollution and noise need to be reduced, but conventional vehicle use is increasing all the time. We need to come up with alternatives for the future that are sustainable and lessen the impact on the environment and our health. The event will showcase some of the technology currently available."

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