07 April 2022
by Christopher Carey
The UK city of Leicester has completed an incentive-based active travel scheme which saw the highest ranked participants awarded prizes for walking, cycling and taking public transport.
Throughout March, over 500 employees from 82 companies took part in the Let’s Go Workplace Challenge, which awarded points to residents engaging in active or sustainable travel.
In total over £5,000 (US$6,542) worth of prizes were awarded by Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council, including an Apache e-bike, a Fitbit, Amazon vouchers, family days out, and outdoor leisure gear.
Councillor Adam Clarke, Leicester’s Deputy Mayor for Environment and Transport, said: “We’re facing a climate emergency and it’s never been more important to think carefully about how we travel and whether car journeys are the best option for the environment, our health and the air quality in our city.
“This is a chance for people to try out different ways of getting around, discover the benefits of active travel, and get rewarded for doing so.”
The challenge was supported by the Choose How You Move Leicester and Leicestershire project, a Department for Transport-funded programme that promotes walking and cycling across the region.
In total, 517 participants clocked up 36,855 miles and almost 15,230 trips, with walking, cycling and taking the bus proving the most popular ways to get around without a car.
It’s estimated that these active and sustainable journeys saved up to 8,318 kg in CO2 emissions.
A £100 charity donation was also awarded to five workplaces that achieved the highest proportion of employees taking part in the challenge, across five different size categories.
Residents of the city and county can continue to earn points in April after a new weekly prize draw was announced where bundles of BetterPoints will be available to redeem or donate.
As part of the Choose How You Move initiative, the city has partnered with transit tech firm SkedGo to develop a journey planner app that incorporates public transport, e-bikes from Santander Cycles, Park and Ride spaces, taxis, cycling and walking routes.
Active travel is a key goal of Leicester City Council’s Transport Recovery Plan, supporting residents to reduce their car use.
Harvey Blundell, Assistant Transport Development Officer, Leicester City Council, said: “By breaking down the barriers to sustainable transport, and by making alternative modes and multi-modal journeys as accessible as possible, we are delivering on our commitments to address the climate emergency and to reduce air pollution, while also making the city a better place to live, work and visit.”
A major expansion of the city’s e-bikeshare scheme is also currently underway, with 30 new bike docks and 330 additional cycles being added to the fleet.
Image: Leicester City Council