Eco-friendly travel alternatives for the city dweller

Driving and travel methods in major cities are going through some transitions, as climate change becomes a growing issue. Not only is it difficult to travel around the city by car already, with mass amounts of traffic around peak times and expensive parking, but charges and emission penalties make it even more of a hassle to get around efficiently.

Aside from public transport, for those living in the city and looking for alternatives, here are some examples of cities that are already making strides, as well as some lightweight travel methods. 

Developing cities

Cities across the UK and Europe are already making huge movements to become cleaner and eco-friendlier, helping to promote cleaner air quality in concentrated areas and fight the ever-growing and real threat of climate change. Here are some interesting, pioneering examples of cities throughout Europe making strides to be better:

  • In London, a toxicity charge in the city centre aids in keeping clean air for residents. Those driving older vehicles with more pollution have to pay a daily fee to drive their vehicle in-and-around the capital, incentivising alternative routes.
  • Electric and hybrid cars are surging in popularity, and will continue to become more affordable and accessible as time goes on. In Norway, electric cars lead all new car sales, with a record market share of 58.4%. If anything, the demand is outstripping supply of electric vehicles, which are sometimes difficult to produce.
  • Travel methods aren’t the only way cities are making eco-friendly strides. As the demand for living in cities increases, new build properties and developments are integrating modern energy-efficient, sustainable designs into their construction, equipping them for the future. RW Invest are an example of a property investment company making these strides across Liverpool and Manchester, as the city welcomes the idea of the ‘smart building’.

eScooters

Electric scooters are growing in popularity throughout many different European cities, and while they are banned currently in the UK, even car manufacturers are jumping on the trend. Often lighter than a bike, and much easier to carry on and off public transport, the popularity and growth of scooters in cities such as Copenhagen and Paris are almost uncontrollable.

Laws governing these e-scooters and similar devices are strict in the UK, citing health and safety issues in concentrated cities. Judging by the amount of accidents that happen in European cities related to the transport method, it might be for the best, but it’s still worth keeping a close eye on what could be a pioneering travel solution in the future.

Bikes

Bicycles are debatably the best alternative travel method for those living in a city centre, certainly in the UK. Not only are they cheaper and healthier than cars, while faster than walking, but they are extremely easy to hire using apps.

Known colloquially as ‘Boris Bikes’, hireable city bikes are council run and available throughout popular cities in the country. You can hire a bike on a pay-as-you-go basis, and drop them off conveniently at one of the many drop-off zones when done.

Walking

Still not convinced of these alternative methods, and unsure of what route to take to get to work? Perhaps you can try standing on your own two feet, putting one foot in front of the other, and walking a mile in your own shoes. If you live a feasible distance from where you work, then it’s a simple, cheaper, and healthier option.

Exploring the city on foot will also give you a more intrinsic link to the area you live in, and you’ll start to notice things you might not have done before. There’s a huge difference between experiencing the city through a clean, robotic view on a map, and through a personalised view on the ground floor.