Promoting local shops and services not only helps secure their viability, it also encourages shorter journeys that are more likely to be made by sustainable means

Sustainable travel is not just about how you travel but where you travel to. There’s as much scope for communities to promote and improve local shops and services as there is for them to promote and improve local forms of transport. And don’t forget that the saying 'use it or lose it' applies as much to shops as it does buses.

Over the last century the average length of journeys people make has increased. If making a longer trip, people are more likely to use a large shop (such as a supermarket) rather than a small one. This leads to the closing down of smaller local facilities and centralisation. The other side of the coin is that promoting local shops will also help promote shorter journeys. It is not just that promoting local shops at the same time as local transport makes sense, by joining up the issues you can also join up different people in your local community and be more effective in changing things for the better.

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