Change the Way you Travel
In Devon, transport accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. There are many ways to cut down the carbon produced when we travel, such as taking public transport, car-sharing, or switching to active travel. Check out our short video for hints & tips to reduce your transport emissions!
Switch to Active Travel
68% of all car journeys taken across the UK are under 5 miles (and 23% are under 1 mile) and transport is one of the largest contributors to Devon’s carbon footprint.
If we just had just one car free day every week, we could each save over £120 a year on petrol bills and around 300 kilograms of CO2 emissions as well.
The Travel Devon website provides a range of resources and support offers to help you and your family get back on two wheels, and experience all the benefits that cycling has to offer.
Not been on a bike for a while, and not feeling confident enough to get started? Why not book a cycle confidence session, completely free for people living in Devon. Spend 2 hours with a friendly and qualified instructor, addressing whatever would help you to start cycling.
Cycle confidence training will help with:
- Working on your general cycling skills
- Finding the most convenient and comfortable route to get from A to B
- Getting tips on how to cycle confidently on roads and in traffic
- Taking a practice ride with our instructor on a route to e.g. your commute to work
Use Public Transport
There are many benefits to using public transport:
- You can enjoy a less stressful journey by letting someone else do the driving – time to yourself to enjoy the view, read a book or tidy up your photos app!
- You don’t have to worry about finding a parking space
- It reduces congestion in towns and cities
- Using public transport is often cheaper than the full costs of owning and operating a car
Save money and find great offers for tickets that suit you, for transport all around the county.
There are regular local train services linking many parts of Devon, with some superb scenic journeys.
For train times and general information visit National Rail Enquiries.
Reduce your flights
Aviation is the fastest growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions at a time when we desperately need to reduce them. Although aviation currently makes up less than 5% of global emissions, this is because most people have never been on an aeroplane; the same people who will be hit first and hardest by climate breakdown.
For those who can afford it, flying can make up the single largest part of their carbon footprints. A return long-haul flight is roughly equivalent to driving for a year or eating a meat-heavy diet. Even if you take other measures to be environmentally friendly, one flight can wipe out those savings.
If you used to fly for pleasure, why not try a staycation this year? Check out Explore Devon and Visit Devon for some inspiration for staying local. Or take a trip by train or ferry – both of which have substantially lower footprints than a flight.
If you normally travel for work, can it be done via video conferencing instead?
There will be times when you need to use your car, and there are ways to make that more sustainable. Driving efficiently can improve fuel consumption by an average of 10%. For the average Devon household that’s an extra 1,000 miles for free every year!
Remove the roof rack, avoid short journeys, stick to the speed limits and keep your tyres at the correct pressure. Drive smoothly and gently, avoiding hard braking or acceleration and stick to the speed limits. For more information, check out this useful guide.
Buy an Electric Vehicle
Plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) are fun and practical. They reduce emissions and save you money on fuel and running costs.
EVs also reduce the emissions that contribute to smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage. Charging your EV on a renewable electricity tariff minimizes these emissions even more.
Lots of vehicles now have electric options, so you’re spoiled for choice! Have a read of this article that provides guides on the models available and covers some of the common questions about charging away from home.
Charging networks are improving all the time. ZapMap shows all of the charging stations.
Become a supercommuter and try effortless cost saving – share the ride, split the cost! A typical commuter can save around £1,000 a year car sharing. Cut congestion and reduce the stress of travelling by sharing a car with your next best friend.
You could also share the ownership of a vehicle by joining a car club. Vehicles sit parked-up for most their lifetime. There would be fewer vehicles in towns and cities if we shared them. Each shared vehicle can replace up to 20 vehicles!
Considering car sharing but need help finding a car share partner? Carshare Devon is a free journey matching website which offers you the opportunity to find people travelling the same way as you. Simply register, add a regular or one-off journey you make and search over 11,200 members to find a match.
Not yet convinced about the benefits of carsharing? Complete the savings calculator and find out how much you could be saving by car sharing.
There are various car clubs operating in Devon: