Zero Carbon Harrogate invites local businesses to join Car Free Fridays initiative

Zero Carbon Harrogate is asking local businesses today and in future weeks to encourage their employees to travel to work sustainably, as part of its Car Free Fridays campaign.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 11:29 am
Updated Friday, 15th October 2021, 11:34 am
Children from St Joseph's Catholic Primary in Harrogate enjoying their walk to school on a Car Free Friday.

Building on the success of its half-termly Walk to School Day, this Harrogate-based volunteer-led charity dedicated to making Harrogate District a net zero carbon community by 2030, launched Car Free Fridays as part of the Harrogate Climate Action Festival last week, in a bid to further reduce carbon emissions from road vehicles.

Transport is the largest source of carbon emissions in the Harrogate District, making up almost half of the total, at 49%.

This is 28% higher than the national average.

Tackling emissions from transport is key to lowering the district’s carbon footprint, and greener commutes have a vital part to play.

Companies are being offered Taylors tea bags as an incentive to pledge their support in the first two weeks of the campaign, along with a free bike surgery with Resurrection Bikes, for the first participating company to request one.

The initiative is supported by Harrogate Borough Council and The Harrogate Bus Company, which has given its backing, with a two-for-one travel offer, allowing two people to travel together for the price of one, around Harrogate, on a ‘Harrogate 1’ day ticket, on Car Free Fridays.

Events Manager Fiona Jones said, “Last Friday’s launch was the first Car Free Friday of this ongoing campaign.

!We are delighted to have the backing of Harrogate Borough Council and The Harrogate Bus Company, and all the individuals who have already signed our pledge to go car-free on Fridays.

"We now welcome businesses to join us and to encourage their employees to sign up.

"We are grateful to Bettys and Taylors and Resurrection Bikes for their support, which has enabled us to offer a free bike surgery and a good Yorkshire brew to employees when they arrive at the office.”

Colin Robertson, Group Energy and Environment Manager at Bettys & Taylors Group said: “Bettys & Taylors Group is proud to be supporting the Climate Action Festival in Harrogate and the Car Free Friday campaign is a great way to raise awareness about how we might all be able to make small changes to support the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Jemima Parker, Chair of Zero Carbon Harrogate, said, “We hope the campaign will encourage residents and employees to think more about greener, cleaner alternatives to the car, such as walking, cycling or using public transport, on Fridays and on other days too.

"It’s not always possible for everyone to leave the car at home for every journey, but this campaign isn’t about all of the journeys all of the time.

"It’s about choosing the practical, greener alternative where we can – for example, short, local journeys can easily be made on foot or by bike, and a trip to Leeds might be more efficiently made by train.

"By choosing more sustainable alternatives, we can all do something positive to help tackle the climate crisis.”

Businesses are invited to request an event pack via email to [email protected]

Individuals can sign up to Car Free Fridays at: https://actionstorm.org/petitions/car-free-fridays.