Merton Council helps residents reduce car dependency

Could you give up your car for a month? Merton Council is offering to help one family do without their car during October and find ‘smarter’ ways to get to work, take their children to school and do the shopping as part of its pilot lifestyle change challenge.

The council will visit the volunteer family to assess their lifestyle, look at where they live, how they shop and what time they need to get to work and take their children to school.

Merton Council will also provide the family with a special kit to help them with this huge lifestyle change. The kit will include a one month adult Oyster card, car club membership – so they can still drive when they need to – and Personal Travel Planning training to help them plan their journeys.

This pilot challenge should help demonstrate that a lifestyle change not only helps the global climate change challenge but can also lead to savings in household expenditure, reduce stress and improve the family’s health – which are things we can all benefit from.

Anyone interested in taking part in the council’s Lifestyle Challenge should contact Pip Howson on 020 8545 3452 or Paulo Câmara on 020 8545 3760 by Friday 26 September 2008.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for the environment Councillor David Simpson said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for someone who wants to try and give up their car to do so with help and support.

“We are committed to putting our residents needs first and providing them with value for money and this includes turning Merton into a greener borough that is pleasant to live in as well as helping our residents save their pennies.”