Free municipal bus service in Orihuela for European Mobility Week. Will Covid-19 restrictions mean this initiative has to put on the breaks?
TODAY, September 16, sees the launch of an initiative in Orihuela to try to get more people on public transport and away from their cars.
To celebrate European Mobility Week, the Orihuela City Council is offering a free municipal bus service from September 16 to 22.
The offer coincides with World Car Free Day which is on September 22.
The initiative is part of a plan to lower carbon emissions by 2030 and is supported by the European Commission in coordination with the Ministry of Ecological Transition to provide alternative solutions to transport of motor vehicles.
The scheme running under the motto “For mobility without emissions”, has experienced difficulties this year and was severely hampered last due to different catastrophic events.
Last year saw DANA devastate Southern Costa Blanca and this year has seen the world experience a pandemic.
However, despite DANA, “Mobility Week [saw] more than 3,000 people participate and the most used lines were those that link the La Zenia Boulevard Shopping Centre and the Torrevieja Hospital,” explained Councillor for Urban Transport, José Galiano.
Speaking on the coronavirus, Councillor for the Environment, Dámaso Aparicio stated “we have been again affected by Covid-19, so we have decided not to carry out concrete actions and public participation based on the [sanitary] restrictions.”
The Orihuela City Council is committed to reduce CO2 by 2030 and is assuming a greater responsibility to promote sustainable urban mobility.
Different actions are being carried out throughout the municipality to promote sustainable development.
The expansion of green spaces, the drafting of the new Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, the expansion and improvement of lanes and cycle streets, have all been introduced.
Further initiatives such as; the reduction of the tax on mechanical traction vehicles to hybrid, electric or mixed vehicles and the inauguration of new charging points in public spaces, have all been put into place.
“Orihuela City Council continue to bet on the use of sustainable mobility, either on foot, by bicycle, by vehicle 0 emissions or by public transport, since our city rewards itself to be able to walk and enjoy it in a more sustainable way,” explained Aparicio.
Encouragement was offered by José Galiano to “all residents to leave their vehicles parked and join the Mobility Week using public transport.”
Before reassuring residents that the Council “are intensifying and following a lot rigorously all the protocols decreed by the health authorities in order to improve the safety and health of users who use transport.”
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