As part of Climate Week, which took place from 4–10 March, Lewisham Council organised a day raising awareness of the links between transport choices and climate change.
On Friday 8th March, Teams from Lewisham Council, in conjunction with the Met Police, put on a range of free activities and services in the car park of Sainsbury’s, New Cross.
Despite the persistent rain on the day, the event attracted local people and shoppers who were passing. Many were intrigued by the power that could be generated by a bicycle which was organised by Electric Pedals. This brought out people’s competitive spirit as they were encouraged to see who could produce the biggest surge of energy and see what that would be able to power. The winner was Billy, who managed to generate a peak of 266 kw/h which would be enough to power a large flat-screen TV. However, this surge of effort would have to be continually maintained for some time if anyone wanted to watch their favourite TV programme.
Also popular was the free bike service and repair provided by Bicyclenation and the cycle security marking and registration carried out by the Lewisham Safer Transport Team. Many people have a bike that may have not been used for some time or has been put away because of a minor defect. Having the bike checked for its roadworthiness and repairing these faults helps to improve road safety as well as encouraging more journeys to be made by bike instead of a motor vehicle. This has positive benefits for local air quality, climate change and the health of the cyclists.
Vehicle emissions testers were also on hand to check what was coming out of cars’ exhausts. Motor vehicles are the main cause of local air pollution in urban areas such as Lewisham. Therefore, it is important that vehicles are maintained properly between MOTs so that emissions are kept low. The Environmental Protection Team were also there to provide advice and provide free items that can help to reduce vehicle emissions. These included tyre pressure gauges, air freshener reminders to use the car less, water bottles for cyclists and maps on local public transport connections. One of the most useful items that was given out on the day was an emergency rain poncho for when people get caught out while walking in the rain!