Workplaces in Leicester and Leicestershire have been competing all month to see who can get the most staff to leave their cars at home – with a total of 82 employers and 550 participants taking up the challenge.
The Let’s Go – Betterpoints Workplace Challenge has invited anyone who travels to work to walk, run, wheel, ride or use public transport to help their team climb the leaderboard.
So far, the 550 participants have together clocked up more than 52,000 miles and almost 33,000 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 could have saved up to 11.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions and burned an estimated 3.7 million calories.
Workers taking part in the challenge have the chance to get rewarded for their efforts up to and including 31 March, with participants going into a prize draw to win prizes including an electric bike from Rutland Cycling, a FitBit, and £400 worth of outdoor gear.
One such worker is Jigna Dhorajia, who works for Leicester City Council. She said: “Because of BetterPoints and the encouragement and incentives offered, I started walking a lot and resumed cycling.
“This has had positive effects on my health and mindfulness. I can really see the health benefits. The rewards and incentives mean I’ve been able to get money off my food shopping, and I’ve also been able to treat myself with other vouchers in the app too.
“With the Let’s Go challenge it’s really made me rethink my car use. I’ve swapped many of my normal car journeys for walking and cycling instead. With rising fuel costs I’m filling up my car less and saving money, so it’s a win-win for me!”
Although the challenge is nearly over, anyone who fancies being rewarded for sustainable travel can still do so, by downloading the free Betterpoints app, registering and then tracking your activities – such as walking or cycling to work or for leisure – to earn points and rewards.
Deputy city mayor for environment and transport Cllr Adam Clarke said: “It’s fantastic that 82 workplaces and 550 employees have been taking part in the challenge.
“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 workplace challenge is being supported by a project called Choose How You Move Leicester and Leicestershire. This is a Department for Transport-funded programme to promote walking and cycling, supporting active travel across the city and county.
Find out more about the workplace challenge at www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk