Do you ever wonder what life might be like if we travelled in ways that actually benefited our health and our environment? We'd have safe roads, cleaner air and a better quality of life. Sustrans is the UK's leading sustainable transport charity. Every day we're working on practical and imaginative solutions to the transport challenges affecting us all.
But what is sustainable transport? Essentially for transport to be sustainable it must exist within the means of the planet to both create the resources needed to create and fuel all modes of transport, and absorb the waste from their creation and use.
Currently the way we travel is a major user of one of the world's most valuable natural resources - oil. The burning of that oil for travel produces a lot of waste, including pollution and CO2, one of the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.
And there's also our health to consider. We are able to travel a huge distance without actually moving, and our sedentary lifestyles are taking their toll on our health and well-being. Nearly a quarter of all adults in the UK are obese, and 27% of girls and 24% of boys aged 11-16 are also obese.
Cycling and particularly walking are the most sustainable ways of travelling. They require very little use of the planet's resources, and they are both fuelled by food, a renewable source of energy.
But are cycling and walking really an option in our everyday lives? When you consider that a quarter of all journeys made by car are under 2 miles long, the answer is yes. Many of these short journeys could be walked or cycled. Take the school run - the average school trip is just over 3 miles, but cycling that distance takes less than half an hour. And children are desperate to cycle to school - 31% of them would like to, but only 1% do.
So Sustrans has set about creating an environment that will actually help people to walk and cycle much more. Hence the National Cycle Network offering a mixture of traffic-calmed streets, quiet roads and traffic-free routes in communities all over the UK, helping people to work, shops, school and play.
Hence Safe Routes to Schools and Bike It, both Sustrans schemes working with schools and children to give them the independence they crave from getting to school under their own steam and parents the peace of mind to let them.
So why sustainable transport? Because we think everyone should have the choice to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment.
To find out more, please visit our website at www.sustrans.org.uk