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Alex’s Car-Free Remedy (17/09/07)
Senior access officer with The Highland Council Alex Sutherland is setting an example to his colleagues on Inverness Car Free day with his own personal triathlon journey to work on Wednesday.
Alex (59) will run, cycle and kayak the 18 miles from his home at Errogie, Stratherrick, to Council headquarters at Glenurquhart Road, Inverness.
Early on Wednesday morning Alex will leave his house and set off across a dew wet field, jump a burn then run 4 miles through the wilds of the Farigaig Forest to Torness. There he will have a “pony express” type change over to his bike and cycle 10 miles to the point where the river Ness flows out of Loch Dochfour and his kayak awaits him. Donning a life jacket he will then paddle down the river past the occasional surprised heron and early morning angler to negotiate various weirs and the Ness Islands to finish his journey less than 100 metres from the Council’s headquarters at 9 a.m.
Alex is one of many people who will take part in AlternativeNess on Wednesday.
He said: “This is an initiative that fits my own outlook and I am delighted that Inverness has taken the lead in Scotland in promoting environmentally-friendly forms of transport.
“I have spent the last 30 years of my working life trying to create better access to the countryside for walkers and cyclists and I believe that it is equally important that everyone should be encouraged to actively use paths, trails and minor roads to improve their personal health and fitness. And if it’s possible to do that on the way to work and inspire your colleagues to reduce their carbon footprint on Wednesday, then that’s an added bonus! My only regret is that I couldn’t build in a stage which utilised a horse but Inverness is kind of short of livery stables these days, still there’s always next year.”
Highland youth convener Gillian Slider has encouraged Highland Youth Voice members and youth development officers to take part in car free day.
She said: “Even if you are not in Inverness give it a go you could save money, save time, relax, get fit and you never know you may even enjoy it!”
Less intrepid travellers can also play a part on the day, with free Park and Stride facilities available at the away supporters car park at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium and the Co-op car park in Telford Road. Commuters can just turn up on Wednesday, leave their cars and walk to work.