Sustainable transport (or green transport) refers to any means of transport with low impact on the environment, and includes walking and cycling, car sharing, green vehicles and building or protecting urban transport systems that are fuel-efficient, space-saving and promote healthy lifestyles.
It’s free, easy and takes little planning. Organising an appropriate route and checking the weather forecast are the most complicated decisions you need to make.
Stride with pride: the virtues of walking
As well as being a practical and cost-effective means of transport, walking is a fantastic form of exercise. Get the walking habit and you'll reap health rewards now and in the future. Scientists have been quoted as saying that ‘Walking is the nearest thing to perfect exercise’
- Get in shape - people who need to lose weight need to burn more calories than they eat. Walking will help burn up those calories. A 60kg (about nine and a half stone) person walking at 3mph burns about 99 calories per half hour. Brisk walking at 4mph burns about 150 calories in the same time. Heavier people will burn more calories.
- Feel happier - getting enough exercise reduces depression and anxiety, promotes psychological well-being and reduces stress. So walk to work and you should sail through the day calm and happy.
- Feel full of energy - you might worry that walking to work will leave you exhausted for the rest of the day. But, although you may feel a bit more tired in the first week or two, people who exercise regularly generally have more get-up-and-go than sedentary people.
- Sleep like a baby - physical activity each day should help you to sleep well. An after-dinner stroll will help you relax - but you should avoid strenuous exercise within two hours of going to bed if you suffer from insomnia, because this will actually make you more alert.
- Back health - walking helps recovery from back pain.
- Reduce joint pain - moderate exercise can improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
- Relieve period pains - women who suffer each month should find that period pains are eased and pre-menstrual symptoms reduced.
- Keep your bowels healthy - regular exercise will help relieve and prevent constipation.
Step this way for a healthier future
Recent press articles have promoted the benefits of walking to improve our general health and it is recommended that to maintain good health we all need to walk 10,000 steps a day. One easy way to achieve this is to start walking more regularly.
This can be done by joining one of our Health Walks which run six days a week, from a variety of locations in Test Valley. Click here for more information.
10,000 steps challenge
Research shows that walking 10,000 steps a day will significantly improve your health. Putting one foot in front of the other can build stamina, burn excess calories and give you a healthier heart.
Please see our Walking and Cycling maps for information on great places to go walking.
Whether you use a bike for fun or to get to school or work, cycling is a good means of getting around. It is fast, environmentally friendly, and can help you keep fit.
Getting started is easy - all you need is a roadworthy bike, a safety helmet and some means of making yourself visible. Your local cycle dealer can advise you on the most suitable bike for your needs.
Before you start, there are some basic things you need to do to ensure that you and your bike are ready for the road:
- take your bike for a check-up at your local cycle shop
- make sure your bike is the right height and weight for you
- make sure your bike is suitable for your purposes - a town bike, for example, will be no good for off-road riding
- make sure there is a place to carry bags if you need them
- cycling can be quite a vigorous activity, so it is important that you are physically prepared. Do some simple warm-up exercises before setting off
Please see our Walking and Cycling maps for information on great places to go cycling.
Salary Sacrifice Scheme
Cyclescheme is the UK's number one provider of tax-free bikes for the Government's Cycle to Work initiative. It's a brilliant programme where everyone wins - employees make big savings on new bikes, employers get a healthier workforce and save money too! Cyclescheme has a great track record in helping employers of all sizes to set up and run successful Cycle to Work schemes. Their innovative online system is simple to use, and they have decades of industry experience and a vast supplier network of over 1,400 independent bike shops.
Vehicles which are energy efficient (e.g. running on bio fuels, chargeable electricity, solar power) have much less impact on the environment. The network of electric vehicle charging points is expanding over time. Charging points in Test Valley include sites at The Rapids car park, Southampton Road Romsey, and the garage on Charlton Road, Andover close to the junction with Mylen Road. There are also sites at South Winchester Park and Ride facility and the Mitchell Road car park in Eastleigh town centre.
Building or protecting urban transport systems
New settlements and/or developments which are designed with sustainable transport in mind and have good links to key services and facilities. For example, network of footpaths and cycle paths, provision for public transport, or protecting and enhancing existing public transport links and services (existing rail stations, bus routes).