Bid to get people to ditch the cars
Transport officials are to go door-to-door urging people to ditch their cars in favour of public transport, walking or cycling.
Leicestershire County Council is hoping to tackle traffic congestion in Loughborough by reducing short car journeys.
The authority is contacting residents living in the Garendon, Nanpantan, Shelthorpe and part of the Outwoods areas of the town to show how easy it is to cycle, walk or use buses and trains.
As part of the door-to-door surveys, people will be asked about their travel patterns and given advice about alternative travel options.
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Residents in Nanpantan thought it was a good idea.
Bev Thompson, 53, said: "I don't know how people will take to someone coming to their home and telling them to get on their bikes, but I suppose it will get the message across better than a leaflet or something."
Tom Bulling, 24, said: "It would be a bit of nightmare cycling or walking if you had lots of stuff to carry to work – or you were running late.
"But I think it is a good idea because people just get in the habit of using their cars, and probably don't even think of another way to get around."
A similar initiative was used by the council last year in Dishley and Outwoods Edge.
A total of 832 residents took part, resulting in a six per cent reduction in the numbers of people using their cars for all trips.
A total of 14 per cent also said they had changed their travel behaviour.
The surveys will cost £70,000 and will be funded from a £4 million Government grant County Hall received to tackle congestion in Loughborough and Coalville.
Lesley Pendleton, county council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "We were really pleased with the success this initiative had before and we hope it will continue to make a positive impact in Loughborough.
"We want to show people there are a range of ways to make short journeys without having to use the car.
"By changing their travel habits, people will not only save money on fuel, but will also play their part in improving air quality in the town.
"Also, by cycling and walking for shorter journeys, there is the added bonus of getting fitter and healthier for free."