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6 April 2010 | Printer friendly

’Mobility management - PORG moves’

Country: Austria

Project: ’Mobility management - PORG moves’

Organisation: PORG Volders grammar school

Representative: Franz Leeb


Winner of the Mobility category of the 2nd CEHAPE Awards for environment and health.

Students promote free public transport

Students at the PORG Volders grammar school in the Tyrol area of Austria decided they were fed up with the noise and pollution from traffic on a nearby motorway. They were worried about its effects on their health and unhappy that most of the private cars had only one person in them. They were also angry that public transport was so expensive that it did not provide a real alternative. Mobility needed to be better managed!

A group of"environmentalist" students worked with their headmaster to raise awareness of what needed to change. They asked doctors to come and speak to them about the health concerns related to poor mobility, and a provincial official gave a talk about a new policy which reduced the motorway speed limit in the Tyrol to 100 kilometres per hour.

The findings of a school questionnaire and several workshops were used to provide information for posters about the project. These were pinned up around the school. Finally, a demonstration by 25 students and teachers was organised, which created quite a stir. The group from PORG Volders marched from the school on the main road to the nearby town. They carried banners and each wore their own "GehZeug", which is a wooden frame the size of a car - to indicate their message (see photo). The demonstration took up the equivalent space of more than 25 cars and inevitably caused a slowing of the traffic. This attracted the attention not only of the drivers but also of passers-by and the local media. Fortunately, the local police had been willing to support the event.

The school head master in charge of the project admits that the project has not managed to reduce transit traffic through the Tyrol. However, fewer students and teachers are using private cars. The school has seen an almost 50% increase in numbers arriving by bicycle, which has required an extension to the cycle parking area.

At the same time, newspapers and radio stations have reported on the project. The media discussion has allowed grievances about the high cost of travel on public transport to surface. More students, teachers and members of the public are talking about the problems caused by unsatisfactory policy on mobility and transport. They hope it will encourage local policy makers to act.

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