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15/09/2010 00:00:00

From 16 to 22 September 2010, hundreds of towns and cities across Europe and beyond will take part in European Mobility Week, the biggest global event dedicated to sustainable urban travel.

In London,Smithfield Market will be the venue for the capital's first City Cycle Style event on 17 September celebrating cycling as a fashionable form of transport. Participants are invited to turn up in their best cycling outfit and meet cycle fashion designers, try on outfits and sit on the saddles of some of the latest two wheel designs. Part of the money raised from the event will go to a charity which collects second-hand bikes and ships them to Africa.

Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "Most of the world's people live in urban areas. Most of our daily journeys start and end in urban areas, so we really depend on urban transport systems. We all suffer from the negative effects of urban transport such as congestion, accidents, poor air quality or noise, which clearly diminish our quality of life. These problems are not local matters but concern the EU as a whole. By working together, I am certain we can come up with innovative and sustainable ways to tackle the mobility problems in cities and give people more alternatives that would suit their needs."

Environment Commissioner Janez Poto─Źniksaid: "Too many Europeans rely on their cars for short journeys. This is a concern: more driving means more accidents on the road and more air pollution. The theme of European Mobility Week 2010 – Travel Smarter, Live Better – should be a wake-up call to local authorities to think more about the impact of travel policies on the urban environment and quality of life and help people make smarter, healthier choices."

The 2010 campaign theme – Travel Smarter, Live Better – recognises the detrimental effects that current urban transport trends have on citizens' health. The aim is to encourage local authorities to promote alternatives to the car and highlight their positive impact on public health and the environment.

    Background

    Mobility week has seen a continuous increase in the number of cities taking part since its launch in 2002. Last year, a record 2,181 cities representing some 237 million people registered to take part. More than 4,440 permanent measures were introduced as a result of the week-long campaign. European Mobility Week's successful model is also increasingly being adopted by countries outside Europe including Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Japan and Taiwan.

    The European Commission is pursuing legal action against the UK for air quality in London. The case is for failure to comply with EU air quality standards for dangerous airborne particles known as PM10. These particles emitted mainly by industry, traffic and domestic heating, may have negative effects on health leading to asthma, cardiovascular problems, lung cancer and premature death. This summer a second and final written warning has been sent to the UK for still exceeding the limit values.  If the UK fails to take the necessary measures to comply with the legislation, the Commission could refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

    Other highlights among events organised during this year's European Mobility Week are an auction in Bologna, Italy of second hand bicycles found abandoned around the city. The event is being managed by a university students' association in collaboration with the Municipality of Bologna. Lucky bidders will receive safety tools, brochures about road safety and other promotional material and gadgets.

    The city of Brno in the Czech Republic has developed a range of activities promoting Nordic walking, cycling and inline skating. The programme includes guided city tours, training and public exercises accompanied by open air music performances.

    European Mobility Week is coordinated by three non-governmental organisations specialising in urban environmental issues: Eurocities, Energie-Cités and Climate Alliance. The European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment provides financial support and organises the annual European Mobility Week Awards for the best programme of activities and measures.

    For further information visit the European Mobility Week website: www.mobilityweek.eu

     

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 31/10/2010  |Top