MINISTER KENNEDY URGES PEOPLE TO TAKE PART IN EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK

Travelwise NI and the Public Health Agency have joined up to encourage people to get outdoors and get active for European Mobility Week which is an annual campaign run by cities and local authorities across Europe to promote sustainable urban travel.  The international theme for 2014 is ‘Our Streets, Our Choice’.

Travelwise NI and the Public Health Agency have joined up to encourage people to get outdoors and get active for European Mobility Week which is an annual campaign run by cities and local authorities across Europe to promote sustainable urban travel. The international theme for 2014 is ‘Our Streets, Our Choice’.

TRANSPORT Minister Danny Kennedy urged people to rethink their travel options to improve their health to mark this year’s European Mobility Week ( 16-22 September).

Travelwise NI , the Department for Regional Development’s sustainable transport initiative and the Public Health Agency have joined up to encourage people to get outdoors and get active for European Mobility Week which is an annual campaign run by cities and local authorities across Europe to promote sustainable urban travel.

The international theme for 2014 is ‘Our Streets, Our Choice’, reflecting the power of citizens to shape the urban space around them and how they use it.

Minister Danny Kennedy said: : “Northern Ireland is joining towns and cities across Europe to promote sustainable travel during European Mobility Week.

“The initiative offers an opportunity to highlight the benefits of car-free travel and I would encourage people of all ages and abilities to use sustainable forms of transport where and when they can.

“Only nine per cent of people in Northern Ireland currently walk to work. I hope this figure will increase during European Mobility Week and people start to view it as a viable alternative to travelling by car.

“By using more sustainable transport options and reducing dependence on cars, people can reclaim the streets and help create a better quality of life in urban areas.

“Walking and cycling are two of the four forms of sustainable transport that are being highlighted during European Mobility Week, alongside car sharing and public transport.”

Danny Kennedy added: “Walking and cycling have been linked to improving happiness and well-being and of course, increasing levels of fitness. These activities also reduce pollution, traffic congestion and help commuters save money.

“As well as the health benefits associated with walking and cycling, using these methods of travel also help improve the environment by reducing pollution and traffic congestion and can help commuters save money. “

Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency, Dr Eddie Rooney added: “The benefits of regular physical activity are wide-ranging, and not only can it reduce the risk of developing illness such as heart disease and many cancers, but it can also have a positive impact on your mental health.

“Cycling and walking are great forms of exercise and among the simplest to do.

“Walking at a brisk pace and hopping on your bike for a ride has many health benefits.

“They can make you feel good, reduce anxiety, help you sleep better, reduce blood pressure and help manage your weight.

“I would urge everyone to take to their feet or to get on their bike during European Mobility Week and to try a more sustainable method of travel that will benefit your health.”

For further information on the benefits of walking and cycling visit nidirect.gov.uk/travelwiseni .

CAPTION: Travelwise NI , the Department for Regional Development’s sustainable transport initiative and the Public Health Agency have joined up to encourage people to get outdoors and get active for European Mobility Week which is an annual campaign run by cities and local authorities across Europe to promote sustainable urban travel. The international theme for 2014 is ‘Our Streets, Our Choice’, reflecting the power of citizens to shape the urban space around them and how they use it.

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