Nottingham City Council is calling on citizens to rethink how they travel this winter.

The winter months have the slowest journey times of the year and this is at a peak high in November. The clocks change which means darker, colder nights. Fewer people want to cycle or take public transport, which means there are more cars on the road. This is understandable, but the more people who think ‘I’ll drive instead,’ the longer the traffic jams.

There are other factors too. People don’t drive as efficiently in poor visibility, where you need to leave bigger gaps between cars for safety – particularly in bad weather. So not only are there more cars on the road, they are also moving more slowly.

Nottingham City Council is working to keep the city moving by managing traffic, improving real time information and investing in alternative transport, but we all need to amend our behaviour to see a big difference in winter congestion.

What we are doing for you:

  • Helping drivers by…
    • Rethinking roadworks – every year Nottingham City Council bans non-essential roadworks from 22 November until the New Year – so diversions won’t get in the way of your Christmas shopping
    • Managing traffic – our team in the traffic control centre monitor the roads and can intervene to help traffic flow better.
  • Improving transport choice…
    • Public transport – public transport is a much more efficient use of space. A full bus at peak times can carry between 50-80 people, and a tram up to 200. That’s hundreds of people who aren’t in cars, adding to traffic. So even if you don’t use the bus, the fact that so many people do helps to keep you moving.
    • Cycling and walking – active travel is good for the user, environment and helps to reduce congestion. Cycling is up 40% across the city since 2010. The more people that walk or cycle – the better.
  • Better, live information…
    • Offering real time information to help you better plan your journey – Our journey planner can help you make travel choices before you even leave the house and on street real time information takes the uncertainty out of your commute.
    • Follow @Nottm_travelwise for the latest travel info on the roads.

What we’re asking citizens to do:

  • Be more flexible – more and more businesses offer flexible working hours, so if you can, try to travel outside peak hours.
  • Share the load – there are too many cars on the road with single occupants, which is one of the main causes of congestion. Help to reduce the number of cars on the road by sharing a lift with a friend or colleague. We can even help you find a carpool companion with Nottingham Liftshare – why not give it a go?
  • Use alternatives – Nottingham has some of the best public transport in the country so avoid the traffic by catching the bus or tram. Drink driving is also a big problem at this time of year, so if you’re heading to a Christmas party why not take public transport instead.
  • Get active – Brave the weather and walk or cycle short trips. Not only will this cut down on time spent in traffic but this will have great health benefits too.

Councillor Dave Liversidge, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport, said: “We all hate being stuck in traffic, and statistically November has the slowest journey times for drivers. Nottingham City Council is working to keep the city moving but council intervention can only go so far.

“As individuals, we all need to think about how we can change the way we travel in order to have a real impact on congestion. Together we can get traffic flowing better and help to reduce air pollution.

“We know some people have no option but to drive. However, we’re asking those that don’t need to drive, to consider alternative means of travel – that’s why transport choice is so important. Nottingham is one of the only areas of the country where bus usage is growing, our city has some of the best public transport in the country and we should be proud of it.

“We would ask those who do need to drive to consider car sharing or travelling outside peak times if possible. This will have a real impact on traffic in the city.”