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North West workers urged to take up Active Travel Challenge

27 April 2017

North West commuters are being urged to leave their cars at home and explore more sustainable forms of transport next month by signing up for an online challenge.

The Active Travel Challenge will run from May 1st – 28th and aims to promote healthier lifestyle choices and a cleaner environment by encouraging workers to get to work by walking, cycling, using public transport or car sharing.

Employees and employers can create an account for the challenge online at www.atc.getmeactive.org.uk where they can log their daily journeys in a bid to win individual and team prizes that include £150 commuter packs and heartrate monitor wrist bands.

Work places that have already signed up for the challenge include AECOM, Allstate NI, Western Health and Social Care Trust and Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Mayor, Alderman Hilary McClintock, urged as many more local organisations to get involved before the challenge starts next week.

“The Active Travel Challenge is a brilliant way to encourage the public to explore their sustainable alternatives to driving to work and to be more conscious about the health and environmental benefits of leaving their car at home,” she said.

“There is a responsibility on all of us to make the small changes to our daily routine that can have a big impact on our local air quality, traffic congestion and our own physical and mental wellbeing.

“There is still time to get involved before the start of the working week, the online registration process takes only a few minutes and means workers can pit themselves against each other and other businesses by logging their progress.”

Michele Murphy, Sustrans Workplaces Active Travel Officer added: “I’m delighted that after the Challenge being held in Belfast for the past two years it is being rolled out to the North West for 2017. 

“The more people from your workplace you have participating, the better your chances of winning your size category.

“I’m really pleased to see that so many people recognise active travel and active lifestyles as something positive that can benefit our lives both inside and out of work. 

“The Active Travel Challenge is a really good way to get yourself going again after a long and dreary winter.”

Collette Brolly, Public Health Agency, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager said:

“Leading the Way with Active Travel is a three year programme that has been commissioned by the PHA to encourage and support staff in some of the North West’s largest workplaces to travel actively as part of their working day.

“The Active Travel Challenge is part of this programme, but is free to all workplaces in the North West and we welcome as many people as possible to take part.”

The Active Travel Challenge has an accompanying smartphone app to help log your journeys when you’re on the move. Simply log any journeys for leisure, to commute or for work that are carried out on foot, by bike, by motor cycle, by public transport or lift-sharing.

You can also log a 'work at home' day if it means you don't have to travel to the office by car on your own and you can also log virtual meetings. The only journey that doesn't count is travelling in a car on your own and taxis don't count as lift-sharing.

To register yourself and/or company go to www.atc.getmeactive.org.uk.