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Travel by bike, bus or train for free in Bristol in bid to cut air pollution from cars

Sep 18, 2023

City Hall chiefs are trying to reduce the number of people who drive a car in the city

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Bristol residents can travel by bike, bus or train for free under a series of offers in a bid to cut air pollution from cars. The offers from Bristol City Council include a free bike loan for a month, free bus tickets or train tickets, and free credit for a car club.

People wanting to try cycling as a way of getting around the city can get a free loan bike for up to a month, including electric bikes and foldable bikes. Free training is on offer for children and adults, as well as free bike repairs.

The offers also include 12 taster bus tickets, or train tickets, as well as free one-to-one travel planning appointments with trained travel advisers. Writing on the mayor’s blog, Labour Councillor Don Alexander, cabinet member for transport, urged people to apply for the offers.

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He said: “I regularly travel into City Hall by walking and taking the bus or by hopping on an e-scooter, and I find it a great way to start a busy day. We’re helping people in Bristol to travel more actively where they can and save money by giving out free travel offers.

“This includes free bike and e-bike loans, cycle training, bus and train taster vouchers, and car club credit. This is a great opportunity to try out new ways of travelling for free while looking after your wellbeing. The offers are open to anyone who lives or works in Bristol, so I would encourage people to give it a go and sign up today.”

Over 15,000 free travel offers have been given out by the council since the scheme launched last year. One key reason City Hall chiefs want fewer people to drive in Bristol is due to the high levels of toxic air pollution, which was estimated to contribute to 300 deaths a year before the launch of the Clean Air Zone last November.

Cllr Alexander added: “I know that it’s not always possible to leave the car at home, but it’s important to remember that together our small actions can make a big difference, not only to our own lives, but to the health of our environment and the people around us. Air pollution affects everyone, after all.

“This is something that we must continue to work together to reduce and leaving the car at home just once a week can make a big difference. We can all do our bit to help keep Bristol’s air clean.”

People living in the West of England can also get a free bus pass covering the month of their birthday, under a separate scheme run by the West of England Combined Authority. This scheme launched in August and applications can be made online here.