Birmingham’s leaders are again being challenged by local environmental campaigns group Friends of the Earth to free up the city’s streets for the International In Town Without My Car Day on Wednesday 22nd September.

Last year, the Power 50 were challenged to support the day but only a few showed real leadership. This year it’s Birmingham’s biggest employers who have been asked to take on the challenge.

A table will be drawn up to show how well they do, but so far the leaders are Aston University and Aston Villa whose willingness to get behind sustainable travel is showing up University of Birmingham and Birmingham City FC.

Birmingham City Council have also shown a desire to get behind the event in recent days with emails going out to about 20 000 staff of the biggest employer in the city and leading councillors, such as Paul Tilsley, Randal Brew and Martin Mullaney all pledging not to use cars on the day.

Business leaders are also backing the day with the Chamber of Commerce offering free buns and coffee to car-free employees on the day and Brindley Place supporting it as part of a week of green initiatives.

Joe Peacock from Birmingham Friends of the Earth said “Each year the response to this event is getting better, as more individuals and organisations realise the problems of relying on cars for commuting to work. We hope that this will lead to more focus on sustainable travel and ensuring that everyone can travel safely and affordably around this city.”

Birmingham Friends of the Earth will also be turning a car parking space in the centre of Town into a mini park for the day. They will be giving out medals and free tea and coffee to car free commuters as well as talking to the public and hopefully councillors about sustainable transport and how it could be improved to make it easier for everyone to go car free regularly.

In order to see how well employers have done, they will be checking up on them during the day and the results will be released next week.

ENDS

 Notes to Editors

1. Last year’s event was widely covered, making the front page of the Birmingham Post: http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-news/2009/09/21/birmingham-post-power-50-fails-friends-of-the-earth-green-test-65233-24747085/

2. Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigns on many environmental issues, including the promotion of sustainable transport. http://www.birminghamfoe.org.uk/transport

3. In Town Without My Car Day is part of European Mobility Week: http://mobilityweek.eu/

For more information contact: Joe Peacock (Birmingham Friends of the Earth) 0121 632 6909 joe@birminghamfoe.org.uk