According to a CSA survey, 77% of French people living in the provinces use their car at least once a week. It’s hard to do anything else when it comes to shopping, going to the doctor, taking the kids to sports. To change habits, Cap Cotentin and Codev (Cotentin Development Council), in collaboration with the urban district, are organizing the 3rd mobility challenge from 12 to 26 September.
Mobility Week starts today. For this third edition, the Cotentin urban area is relaunching its “15 days without a car” drive. The goal is to do without your car as much as possible, especially individually,” explains Guillaume Benoist, director of engineering and territorial strategy for the Cotentin urban area.
Following a call for applications launched this summer, 41 people responded to the challenge, double the number of last year.
A mobility kit is given to each participant: an electric bicycle, a map of the Cotentin public transport network, a mobility card offering free bus and train travel. Everyone also has a logbook in which they record their daily movements (route, number of kilometres, positive and negative impressions, etc.). “Participants must change the way they move” continues Guillaume Benoist. Last year, 7000 km were covered on bicycles by the 24 participants. “The interest is to see if habits change thanks to the challenge.”
The interest is to see if habits change thanks to the challenge.
Guillaume Benoist, Director of Engineering and Territorial Strategy for the Cotentin Urban Area
Véronique Fleury, a resident of Valognes, was selected for this operation. She is already conquered. “In Valognes, I take the bike for small errands. When I want to see my family or go shopping in Cherbourg I put the bike on the train, it is very useful. It is also possible to put it on the bus. I discover these modes of transport.”
I used to take my car, but the price of diesel makes you think; with the bicycle we reduce our CO2 footprint! »Véronique Fleury, resident of Valognes
The new cycling enthusiast continues: “My husband already has an electric assisted bike. At the weekend we take the cycle paths to discover the coast, it’s amazing!” she exclaims. “On a bike you see things that you don’t normally see. And to the sad spirits who ask me how I’m going to manage in the rain, I tell them I put on a cloak and that’s it.’
Véronique is already considering getting her own electric-assisted bike as the operation stops at the end of the month. An operation that falls under the policy of the “development council” of the urban area of Cherbourg, which provides strategic advice on the Cotentin itinerary.
Since the start of the school year in September, transport has been set up as needed at more than 500 stops, “the most ambitious plan in France” according to Guillaume Benoist.
In the most isolated areas, citizens have the option of booking a van (Cap request) which picks them up at the bus stop and delivers them to the bus network if necessary.Guillaume Benoist, Director of Engineering and Territorial Strategy for the Cotentin Urban Area
“A way to make them aware of public transport that the urban area wants to promote, especially through the ‘new generation bus’ on two dedicated lines which are currently under construction. Goal: to make the bus more efficient and thus more attractive.
Different modes of transport are one of David Houivet’s goals. “This year I’m going to test “Cap à la demande”, it’s a light transport service with a stop in Bricquebec, 2 kilometers from my home, then I’ll see what happens.” David Houivet, who lives in Saint-Martin-le-Gréard, 11 kilometers south of Cherbourg, is experimenting for the second time with the “living without a car” system.
“The challenge forces me to do without the car. I tested the e-bike between my home and work to see if it suited me. There are hills to climb and I realized that with the e-bike you don’t sweat, I don’t have to change when I get to work.David Houivet, resident of Saint-Martin-le-Gréard
“So I bought a bike and I’ve been doing the trip regularly since March, four round trips a week. I save a day for the car when the weather is less good for shopping, but without leaving the bike in the garage when it’s raining . a little!” David continues: “Also, cycling allows me to develop in the sport I play on the side. Coincidentally or not, this year I went on classic cycling holidays with my partner with luggage. Is it the challenge that made me do it? Maybe !?” he wonders.
David Houivet will be able to share his experience with the other participants. The development council is organizing a big closing party on 11 October at 18.30 in the Salle de l’Europe in Tourlaville with elected officials from the urban area, who will be able to draw inspiration from it for future public policies. Everyone gets a packed basket and three winners are chosen, those who, in the light of their careers, have known how to best change their habits according to criteria defined by ADEME (Ecological Conversion Agency).