Transport Minister visits Lake District to see 'green' travel options (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Transport Minister visits Lake District to see 'green' travel options
8:42am Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
TRANSPORT minister Norman Baker visited the Lake District to see the growing number of ‘green’ ways it is possible to visit popular areas of the national park.
He made the journey to Windermere railway sta-tion to find out about new initiatives being delivered by the GoLakes Travel programme.
And after travelling by train from London, Mr Baker launched the new Mini Clubman pay-as-you-drive service now available from the station through CoWheels.
The low-emission car is designed for people who need to make the last leg of their journey by hire car if the options of bus, boat, bike or electric bike are not suitable for their holiday destination.
The vehicle is one of a growing fleet of short-term hire vehicles being rolled out by GoLakes Travel – all of which are either zero- or low-emission.
There will be eight vehicles available for hire in the Lake District’s most popular locations, such as Ambleside, Coniston, Hawkshead and Staveley for this summer.
As well as the Minis, visitors can also hire fun-to-drive electric Twizys, while local businesses are being encouraged to consider hiring an electric van.
GoLakes Travel is also establishing a network of electric charge points, with 12 now coming on stream – and the total sustainable hire fleet is predicted to expand to 15 vehicles by 2015.
After launching the pay-as-you-drive service, the minister also had a go on an electric bike.
The minister’s visit was another key step in the development of the Go-Lakes Travel program-me, a £6.91m project funded through the Department for Transport and local partners. It aims to create a step change in the way people travel around the Lakes by offering a wide range of alternative travel options and investing in infrastructure, such as new cycle routes.
Mr Baker said: “We have now launched the Government’s strategy for a joined-up transport system, so it was pleasing to see first-hand how this vision is already being delivered in the Lake District. I am convinced the Go Lakes initiative offers holiday makers the opportunity to make real sustainable travel choices and I urge other towns and cities across the country to follow their example.”