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Why do 68% of commuters drive to work? Ipswich workers could be less stressed if they ditched the car

PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 April 2017

Ipswich mayor Roger Fern takes his bike to the Town Hall. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich mayor Roger Fern takes his bike to the Town Hall. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Star's new Ditch the Car campaign has today received more high-profile backing from the town's mayor and MP Dr Dan Poulter who both backed it as a way of improving health and easing road congestion.

Ipswich mayor Roger Fern got on his bike to travel to the Town Hall and join the calls to support the campaign – and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter said it was one way of beating the looming obesity crisis that is threatening the NHS.

Their calls came on the day that the British Heart Foundation warned that physical inactivity is costing the NHS billions – and leading to serious preventable health problems for many people.

And a report from Lexham Insurance calculated that the “average Briton” spent £48,000 commuting during their working life.

A survey of 2,000 commuters found that driving was the most stressful way of getting to work – followed by using public transport. Walking, cycling, and riding a motorcycle were the least stressful.

The Ditch the Car campaign logoThe Ditch the Car campaign logo

But the survey showed that 68% of commuters drive to work.

Mr Fern said: “People have to take responsibility and I’m trying to do my bit to reduce the amount of driving I do. It’s the old saying ‘you’re not in traffic, you ARE traffic.’

“I try to get on my bike as much as I can and I think the Star’s campaign is very welcome.”

Dr Poulter said: “I’d like to commend the Ipswich Star for launching its ‘Ditch the Car Campaign’. We all know too well the growing problem of congestion in Ipswich, particularly around rush hour, but aside from easing traffic congestion we all need to think about the health benefits that can be achieved when we ditch the car.

Ipswich mayor Roger Fern with Ipswich Star reporter Paul Geater. Picture: GREGG BROWNIpswich mayor Roger Fern with Ipswich Star reporter Paul Geater. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“The report by the British Heart Foundation claims that more than 20 million people in the UK are physically inactive, costing the NHS around £1.2bn each year.

“Here in Suffolk, only four in 10 people meet healthy levels of physical activity, costing the county around £14 million every year.

“Simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference – choosing to ditch the car, and walking or cycling to work on a regular basis can bring about significant health benefits, boosting levels of productivity and helping to prevent a number of illnesses, not to mention saving money in the long run.”

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