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The Independent Online
Leaving the car behind

This week the Today programme reported the astounding discovery that, if you restrict road space, some drivers will switch to public transport or not make their journeys at all. At least some tourist attractions in Britain are aiming to cut down on car-borne visitors.

Gibson Mill is a National Trust property in West Yorkshire which, at the turn of the century, was an "entertainments emporium" complete with dance hall and roller-skating rink. The Trust is working to provide sustainable visitor facilities - including catering, lavatories and space for information, education and community use - without using any mains services. The Mill has never had mains services; its power is from renewable energy sources - hydro-electric, solar and biomass - and a 1927 turbine is being restored. Dry compost lavatories will be installed, local spring water supplies will be tapped. When refurbishments are complete, most visitors will be obliged to walk from the entrance to the property, a distance of more than a mile. (An exception will be made for the less able.)

Farther south east, the Earth Centre near Doncaster is promising reduced- rate admission to anyone who can demonstrate that they have arrived at the former colliery by public transport, or under their own steam.

The drawback is that you will have to wait a year for these commendable Yorkshire ventures to open.

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