Fleet News

EC urges fleets to walk or cycle on Car Free Day

THE European Commission is urging fleets across Europe to support the European Car Free Day, and use alternatives to cars and vans on Friday, September 22.

Nine member states - France, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Spain and Luxembourg - have signed the 'European Car Free Day Pledge', building on the success of 1999's Car Free Day when 66 French cities and 92 Italian cities established car-free zones in their centres.

The Car Free Pledge makes no exceptions for 'essential' fleet users, and Elisabetta Zanon, Car Free Cities co-ordinator, said: 'Sales representatives, photocopier engineers and other professionals using the car on a regular basis for their work should not be allowed to enter reserved areas with their polluting vehicles.

'Only emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, the fire service or police, should be allowed in the car-restricted area.'

She highlighted the fact that car-restricted areas were not generally large, and that business people could walk or use a bike on September 22.

'The European Car Free Day can also be the opportunity to test some innovative measures towards the development of green commuter plans in large companies,' said Zanon.

Member state signatories to the Car Free Cities Charter promise to reduce the use of the private car and promote environmentally-friendly modes of transport 'to employers, by offering sound solutions for more economical methods of transport'.

International courier firm DHL has found its own solution to motor vehicle restrictions in Amsterdam by converting a tourist boat to a Floating Distribution Centre that is linked on-line with bicycle couriers.

This removes the equivalent of 10 vans from Amsterdam traffic, and saves 150,000 car kilometres and 12,000 litres of diesel each year.

  • For details of European Car Free Day contact Car Free Cities, c/o Eurocities, 18 Square de Meeus, B-1050 Brussels. Tel +32 2 552 08 74 or email cfc@eurocities.be (April 2000)
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