Ford’s Europe boss wants us to ‘park the car’ for short journeys

Published: 19 May 2022

President of Ford Europe Stuart Rowley has told us all to Park The Car and go by bike instead. Sadly, not a motorbike, but a pushbike.

He freely admits that this was ‘probably the last thing many people would expect from an automaker. However, driving responsibly is no longer just about safety. It’s also about caring for our environment and our health—and walking, or cycling can bring about significant change.’

Rowley states that half of the European car journeys are less than three miles, school/nursery runs, trips to the shops, nipping into town, etc. He says that these are the ‘kind of trips that could easily be made by bike or on foot.’

While acknowledging that travelling by car was an ‘absolute necessity’ for some people, Rowley countered ‘but for many of us — myself included — it is a habit we must change.’

Rowley went on to say that Ford will be ‘supporting and investing in schemes that encourage active travel, such as walking and cycling projects.’

Inside the city of London, this seems fair and reasonable, where cycle infrastructure is in a better place than most in the UK but still way behind on the continent.

Ford is no stranger to initiatives to try and get drivers and cyclists to drop the feud and get along. They have been championing the Share the Road campaign for quite some time now, starting way back in 2018. Ideas like warning lights on wing mirrors and strange emoji jackets are meant to help cyclists and drivers communicate with each other.

Does this mean we will see Ford move into the cycle manufacturing world? We doubt it, but there is one manufacturer who has sold more Bikes than it has cars – Rimac. Greyp (say it like the winemaking fruit) has been around since 2013 with Mate Rimac the CEO.

But, back to Ford, where Stuart Rowley rounded off his statement with ‘together we can help create healthier streets, healthier lives and a greener future and over the next 12 months, ‘Park the Car’ will target 1 million ‘journey swaps’ across Europe.’

Do you think you’ll be swapping the short hops in the car for walking or cycling?

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