Car Bans Mark Mobility Week – ‘Everyone’s OK’

An impressive number of towns and cities sign up for European Mobility Week’s Car-Free Day in September though the vast majority are in Hungary.

Also, a Dutch driver takes the scenic route straight off the motorway. Eurotunnel recovers in the cross-Channel truck market, and finishes ahead again with cars too. P&O brings new Dover-Calais freight ferry into service early. Concerns about the number of migrants across the Belgian border from Dunkirk.

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CAR BANS MARK MOBILITY WEEK

Stockholm, Lisbon and Budapest join Paris and Brussels in holding Car-Free Days.

The Paris Car-Free Zone for

The Paris Car-Free Zone on Sunday 27 September, 11-18:00.

It might sound strange to ban cars as a way to highlight mobility but that is exactly what 172 towns and cities across Europe will do.

European Mobility Week takes place from 16-22 September, culminating in a ‘Car-Free Day’.

The aim is to ‘improve the uptake of sustainable and multimodal mobility’.

According to the website, the places taking part commit to: organising a week of activities; implementing one or more new permanent measures ‘which contribute to modal transfer from private car to environmentally sound means of transport (where possible, at least one of these measures should be a permanent reallocation of road space in favour of walking, cycling or public transport)’; and, organising a ‘Car-Free Day’ on 22 September ‘by closing one or more streets to traffic, and instead opening it to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport’.

Actually the headline figure isn’t quite as impressive as it sounds. More than 140 of the car-free places are in Hungary.

However, one of those is capital Budapest. Meanwhile Stockholm and Lisbon have signed up too.

Aside from Hungary the biggest take up has been in Spain where eight out of fourteen places will hold car free days followed by Sweden with six out of twelve.

Participation has been less enthusiastic in the major Western European countries.

Only Lambeth and Aberdeen have registered in the UK. No towns or cities in the Netherlands or Germany will take part.

Paris is involved though it will hold its Car-Free Day on the following Sunday 27 September.

The mother of all Car-Free Days is the now traditional Car Free Sunday in Brussels.

Held every September since 1973, it started off as a reaction to the fuel crisis but subsequently evolved to include the entire Brussels Capital Region – inside the R0 ring road – with errant drivers subject to fines.

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Random: a driver heading towards Goes on the A58 in the south west Netherlands yesterday had a lucky escape after apparently mounting the guardrail and ending up in the field beside the motorway. Occupants shaken but suffered no injuries according to Rijkswaterstaat road inspector @WIS_Jacco

Random: a driver heading towards Goes on the A58 in the south west Netherlands yesterday had a lucky escape after apparently mounting the guardrail and ending up in the field beside the motorway. Occupants shaken but suffered no injuries according to Rijkswaterstaat road inspector @WIS_Jacco

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roundup: EUROTUNNEL. The Channel Tunnel operator has recovered growth in the cross-Channel truck market according to its financial results released today. During the whole of 2014 the number of trucks carried grew by 6% as the market expanded by 8%. But for the first half of 2015, Eurotunnel kept pace with both growing by a healthy 8%. Market share remains at a ‘relatively stable’ 37.5%. Meanwhile the number of vehicles carried on Eurotunnel’s passenger shuttles continues to outperform the market. Last year numbers grew by 4% compared to an overall increase of 1.5%. For the first half of 2015, passenger shuttle numbers grew by 4% compared to overall market growth of 3%. Again, market share remains at a ‘relatively stable’ 54.8%. P&O. European Seaway has joined the operator’s Dover-Calais fleet today, ten days early. The dedicated freight ship can carry 120 units at a time. On its scheduled eight daily crossings the new ship represents a 12% increase in P&O’s freight capacity at 6,000 units per day overall. European Seaway was expected to join the route at the beginning of August. BELGIUM. As security improves in Calais, police in Veurne – just across the French border from Dunkirk – are concerned about the number of migrants in the area. ‘We’re worried refugees will be heading for our area for some time to come and that refugee camps will pop up here like in Calais and Dunkirk,’ local police chief Nico Paelinck tells Deredactie.be.

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