Leave your car at home for the day

NINE TOWNS in the Algarve are shutting down major roads on Friday (September 22), as part of the European Commission-financed In town, without my car scheme.

The car free day is the conclusion of European Mobility Week, an annual event dedicated to sustainable mobilty with the aim of encouraging people to use their cars less in everyday life.

The towns particpating are Faro, Lagos, Loulé, Monchique, Quarteira, Silves, Tavira, São Brás de Alportel and Vila Real de Santo António.

A host of events will take place in these areas to mark the day, focusing on providing information and raising awareness about cars and their effect on climate change. According to the European Mobility Week website, Portugal is one of the countries most at threat from global warming alongside Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania.

Vila Real de Santo António will be offering free bike rentals for the day, while Loulé and Quarteira will be running free bus services.

Lagos will be holding sporting and cultural activities in its centre, including a basketball demonstration. Silves will be focusing on a wide range of activities involving children and schools and Tavira will be monitoring air quality and noise levels in the town centre.

An exhibition on renewable energy and sustainable mobility, including energy consumption demonstrations, has been running at the Parque da Pontinha in Faro throughout the week.

The annual project, financed by the European Commission, has the objective of facilitating widespread debate on the necessity for changes in behaviour in relation to mobility and, in particular, the use of the private car.

The week’s activities conclude in Faro, which will host the first ever Algarve Green Vehicle Challenge, a rally showcasing a range of environmentally friendly cars.

The rally will start at 11am on September 22 and passes through Faro, São Lourenço, Almancil, Vilamoura Marina, Quarteira, Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago before returning to Faro.

The event is being organised by the Portuguese Association of Electric Vehicles, the Automobile Club of the Algarve and Faro Câmara.

A variety of vehicles, including solar powered, natural gas, hybrid, battery, hydrogen, fuel cell, electric and compressed air powered vehicles will be participating.