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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 110

Date:- 02 August 2003

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THIS Year's European Car Free Day will offer Merseyside people the chance to have a preview of how the new tram system will operate in part of Liverpool city centre.

European Car Free Day is held on 22 September each year when more than 1500 cities across the Continent take part. It is aimed at getting people to think about the way that traffic impacts on our cities, how we get around and how we use our public spaces. 

Last year Liverpool took part with a hugely successful event in the Bold Street area of town. This year's event will be bigger and better.  Plans for the day include a demonstration of changes to traffic management required for Merseytram and the City Centre Movement Strategy when city centre streets will be opened up to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport with some restrictions on access by private vehicles.

It is planned that the Dale Street Flyover, Castle Street and the outside lane of Dale Street will be pedestrian only with the rest of Dale Street open to buses, taxis and cycles.

A parade, involving local school children and other groups will be held in the area. Castle Street will house a Farmers and Craft Market, and there will be street entertainment and special events throughout the day. City walk tours will also be on offer and cafes will be taking to the streets to complete the continental atmosphere.

However, plans are still being finalised and businesses and residents in the area are being invited to a meeting on 6 August at 5.30pm at Millennium House,Victoria Street, to discuss the proposals.

Councillor Peter Millea, Executive Member for Regeneration said:- "Last year's Car Free Day was a real success and there was very positive feedback. This year we want to build on that success. However, it is important that business and occupiers let us know what their needs are so it is important that as many people as possible attend the meeting. Car free Day is a truly European event and as we lead up to being the European Capital of Culture we want to embrace more and more of the spirit of what that entails. The Merseytram and Movement Strategy were vital parts of our Capital of Culture bid and this year's event will give a glimpse of how they will operate by 2008"

The Car Free event is being organised by Liverpool City Council as part of the Merseyside TravelWise initiative and is backed by Cityfocus, Merseytravel and Capital of Culture team.

It follows the success of Car Free Day last year when a street festival was held in Bold Street. A survey of businesses and residents in the area found that:-

· 94% of people thought Car Free Day a good idea 

· 60% want to see it quarterly 

· 83% expressed concern over the effects of traffic on the city 

· 26% of businesses had better sales. 

· 50% of businesses want to see the event repeated and take part again! 


Do You Still Smoke, Drink or Take Drugs?
Report with thanks to the Department of Health.

FULL results from a major national survey "Smoking, drinking and drug misuse among young people in England in 2002" are published today.

This survey, commissioned by the Department of Health was carried out
by the National Centre for Social Research and the National Foundation for Educational Research among just under 10,000 pupils
aged 11-15 in England during Autumn 2002. 

The key findings from this survey were made public in March 2003.

The full report includes information on the following:-

- Prevalence of smoking, drinking and drug use among young people

- Social and educational factors

- Family attitudes to smoking

- Where pupils get cigarettes and alcohol from

- Trends in volume and type of alcohol consumed.

- Proportions who had taken cannabis, volatile substances and Class A drugs in the last year

- Relationships between smoking, drinking and drug misuse. 

Findings from this survey are included in a Statistical Bulletin "Statistics on young people and drug misuse:- England, 2002" which is also published today. The Statistical Bulletin presents information on reported drug misuse among young people aged under 25 years based on information from two key published sources.

The summary shows that:-

- Among 11 to 15 year olds in England in 2002:

- Prevalence of taking drugs in the last year decreased between 2001 and 2002 (from 20% to 18%), but prevalence of taking drugs in the last month (11%) was at a similar level to 2001.

- The prevalence of drug use increased sharply with age: only 6% of 11 year olds had used drugs in the last year compared with two fifths (36%) of 15 year olds.

- Cannabis was the most frequently reported illicit drug used in the last year, used by 13%.

- One per cent had used heroin in the last year and 1% had used cocaine. In total, 4% had used Class A drugs in the last year.

- Among 16 to 24 year olds in England and Wales in 2002:

- 30% had used drugs in the last year and 19% in the last month.

- 27% had used cannabis in the last year, 7% ecstasy, 5% amphetamines, 5% cocaine, 4% poppers and 1% crack. In total, 9% had used Class A drugs in the last year.

- The proportion who had used drugs in the last year was at about the same level in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002 (around 30%). The only drugs to show a significant increase in misuse between 1994 and 2002 were cocaine in the last year (from 1% to 5%) and ecstasy in the last year (from 4% to 7%). During this time the use of amphetamines in the last year has fallen from 10% to 5% and of LSD from 6% to 1%.

Produced by the Government Statistical Service within the scope of National Statistics

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