SHOPPING centre bosses are urging staff and customers to leave the car at home.
Washington Galleries is hosting a five-day-long Environmental Week from Monday, promoting cheaper and healthier ways of travelling.
Sunderland City Council’s Go Smarter to Work team will be on hand all week to encourage more people to walk, cycle or use public transport when travelling to work, shopping or doing the school run, rather than relying on the car.
Each day will focus on a different aspect of green transport, from using the bus and car-sharing, to walking, cycling and even electric vehicles, with a Nissan Leaf on show all week.
Councillor James Blackburn, the council’s cabinet member for city services, and Councillor Bernard Scaplehorn, chairman of the council’s Washington Area Committee, visited the centre to launch the week of events.
The benefits of ditching the car were two-fold, said Coun Blackburn.
“If we can persuade people to walk or cycle to work, it is not only better for the environment, there is also the health benefit to it as well,” he said. “It is a win/win if we can encourage more people.”
Galleries marketing manager co-ordinator Jennifer Beavis said: “Most people who shop here live within 15 minutes of the centre.
“You can walk, take the bus or ride your bike – we have plenty of bike racks.”