‘Active travel map’ to be launched for Bute

An Active Travel Map for Bute, encouraging island residents to walk or cycle to work and school instead of taking the car, is to be launched on September 9.

An Active Travel Map for Bute, encouraging island residents to walk or cycle to work and school instead of taking the car, is to be launched on September 9.

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An Active Travel Map for Bute will be launched in Rothesay next month - at the start of a week of activities designed to make people thing again about how they get to work and school.

The map, which will be available free to residents of Bute, is the work of Towards Zero Carbon Bute, the initiative set up in 2009 to try and reduce the island’s carbon footprint, and accompanies TZCB’s online travel planner.

Its launch, at the Green Tree Cafe in the Moat community centre in Stuart Street at 5.30pm on Monday, September 9, will mark the beginning of a week of walking and cycling activities designed to encourage people to think about their commute to work and school.

In 2010 a report compiled for TZCB concluded that 47 per cent of journeys on Bute were by car, and 70 per cent of those journeys were for less than two kilometres.

Project manager Reeni Kennedy-Boyle said: “During 2011 Our Be A Zero Carbon Hero campaign saw TZCB working with Bute’s primary schools.

“The children have shown the way – from just 17 per cent to 31 per cetn walking and cycling to school – combined with other carbon busting choices a dramatic reduction from 47 per cent being driven as single passengers to just 19 per cent.

“Now for the rest of us! Do you live within 2km of your workplace? Why not dump the car for a day or two? There are huge potential benefits in walking and cycling as alternative means of transport.

“If more people walk or cycle, we can ease congestion – think about High Street in the morning - reduce noise pollution, cut exhaust emissions and improve our health.

“Active Travel is also a great way to relax, giving us more time to enjoy our environment and improve our work-life balance.”

There will also be an Active Travel breakfast club on Tuesday, September 10 from 8am-9am at the Green Tree Cafe for those who have chosen to walk or cycle into work in Rothesay.

In addition, if you’re not quite ready to get back on a bike, there are two one-hour ‘Consider Cycling’ workshops at TZCB’s headquarters at 7 Castle Street, Rothesay on Tuesday, September 10 - the first at 12 noon and the second at 1pm.

And if you’re not sure whether you’re fit enough you can join local walk leader Jim Sweeney for the regular Rothesay Health Walk on Thursday, September 12, meeting at the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre in Victoria Street at 11am.

If you’re currently looking for work you can walk or cycle to the local Work Club at the Green Tree Cafe, also on September 12, with a soup and sandwich lunch from 1.30pm before the club starts at 2pm and a hot drink and snack after your job search from 2-4pm.

Displays on ‘active travel’ will be on show at the Green Tree Cafe throughout the week, while TZCB are also working with the Argyll and Bute ‘Choose Life’ initiative, who are highlighting the benefits being active can have on mental well-being during Suicide Prevention Week.