More Sustainable Motor Travel
the huge number of cars now on the streets (well over 200 million
in the EEC), you might feel that the age of the Grand Tour by
car or bike through the open roads of Europe is a thing of the
past. Nonetheless it is still it is relatively easy to get your
car across the water and on to the quieter roads still found
in Northern, Eastern and Southern Europe, not to mention those
of Ireland. See our page on sea travel for details of cross
channel ferry companies.
There are also a range of opportunities
to get your car deep into Europe by train. The Eurotunnel will
deliver your car on the other side of the channel, and Rail Europe
will arrange for French Motorail to take your car from Calais
to the Nice and five other destinations in the south of France.
German motorail operator, DB
AutoZug, can carry you between 16 destinations in Germany,
France, Italy and Austria, and the Dutch Autoslaap
Train runs from the Netherlands to Avignon, Bologna and Livorno.
Sadly a number of countries seem to fail to get their act together
on Motorrail trains, and some routes are restricted to summer
Nowhere has the environmental
debate been felt more keenly than in the world of motoring. The
effects of pollution, C02 emissions from combustion engines,
oil running out and congestion have frequently been in the headlines.
Current estimates put the worlds oil as lasting another 40 years,
but more significantly Peak Oil production is estimated to be
much sooner -perhaps as soon as the 2020s. This is the time when
oil production starts to decline, leading to runaway inflation
in oil prices and shortage through protectionism by the oil producing
The car manufacturers are no
longer ignoring environmental issues, and with virtually every
manufacturer rushing to get on the green bandwagon, it is difficult
to know which is the best type of ecocar to buy. Cars operated
by new energy systems are now readily available -there are engines
powered by Liquid Petroleum Gas, biofuels, hybrid and electric
engines on the market -try Green
Car Guide.com for an assessment of current models. Your next
car may well be an ecocar, so why not hire
one on holiday to see how you get on? In fact there are now companies
offering ecocars as taxis and for wedding hire, so there are
lots of opportunities to use one.
Some ways to make your motoring
- avoid short journeys.
- avoid travelling in rush hours.
- let the kids walk to school.
- know what speed your car is
most economical at.
- join a car
- leave your car at home once
- work at home once a week.
an eco car for your holiday
-it will give you chance to try one out and probably save money
your car less often and
use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
- Autonational Rescue -the breakdown service with a no claims bonus.
travel, leisure, insurance, route planner.
Club -all things to do
with caravaning -from insuance to camp sites.
and Vehicle Licencing Agency
-maintains registers of drivers and vehicles, as well as collecting
vehicle excise duty (VED).
body responsible for conducting driving tests in Great Britain
for cars, motorcycles, lorries and buses.
-bills itself as the world's only climate neutral motoring organisation.
The ETA also compile a car buyer's guide, which rates cars according
to environmental criteria.
Flag -breakdown services,
route planning, buying a car, motoring abroad.
of Advanced Motorists
-details on taking the advanced driving test.
Carbon Vehicle Partnership
-the LCVP is an action and advisory group, established to take
a lead in accelerating the shift to low carbon vehicles and fuels
in the UK.
Schools Association -exists
to provide Information, Representation and Services to Driving
Instructors throughout Great Britain.
Autombile Club -travel
and motoring -cars, hotels maps, insurance.
Society for the Prevention of Accidents -aim to to raise awareness of the causes of road
accidents and to promote effective measures that will help prevent
such accidents or reduce their severity.
Motor Cycle Club -founded
in 1946, the club caters for those interested in historic bikes.
Sports-Car Club -the
only club in the United Kingdom for vintage cars, pre 1930 -they
organise races, rallies, hill climbs, tours and other events.
- Avis -worldwide car rental network -they
now offer the Toyota Prius in the UK. In Germany you can hire
a natural gas powered Touran, Portugal the hybrid petrol electric
Honda Civic and in Sweden an ethanol fuelled Saab.
- Climatecars -London's eco friendly taxi service
uses the hybrid Toyota Prius.
- Eco Chauffeur
-make a statement by using luxury car hire that doesn't cost
- Eco Wedding Car
-hire a hybrid luxury car for your special day.
Rent a Car -rents hybrid
cars in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Jose, San Diego,
San Francisco and Orange County.
- Free Wheel Travellers -conceived
by travellers, Jennifer, Mark and Simon, following an around
the world trip, who have begun to build small campervans for
people to explore Europe in. The idea is that people save money
and impact on travelling together in a fun, basic campervan which
meets legislation requirements.
- Green Tomato Cars
-hire a hybrid Toyota Prius in London.
Green Car -offer a fleet
of Toyota Prius and Lexus RX hybrid vehicles to hire in London.
- Hertz -the world's largest and longest established
vehicle rental, Hertz offer the option to select a car from their
'green collection' of cars that achieve better than140g/km CO2
Rentals -bio diesel beetles
for hire in Hawaii.
- Lift Share -a social enterprise set up in 1997 with the initial
aim of making more efficient use of the millions of empty cars
on UK roads by encouraging and enabling more people to share
their car journeys.
- carshare.com -a directory of UK car sharing schemes
organised by region.
-car share for rural communities.
- nationalcarshare.co.uk -long established national car sharing network.
- 2carshare.com -local authorities of Bath & North
East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
teamed up with liftshare to form an innovative partnership.
Car Shop -environmentally
friendly car cleaning materials and waterless car washing.
Buying a Car
TV and Magazines
Express -news, road tests,
previews and features.
- BBC Motoring -BBC lifestyle with advice on all aspects of driving.
- Classic Motor online -classifieds, for events, for spares & services
aimed at the enthusiast.
Monbiot -articles by
the campaigning Guardian writer -a wide range of topics on environmental
issues, but look in particular in the transport heading.
Gear -Jeremy Clarkson
on the BBC -anathema to everything green.
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