The Active Travel Challenge is up and running in June when businesses across Northern Ireland will be encouraged to get involved in a bid to get their employees travelling to and from work by physically active, greener means. Next month employees will be urged to leave their car at home and walk, cycle or, if need be, take public transport into work.
Log Their Active Travel Journeys Online
Employees who participate in this new initiative can log their active travel journeys online. They can then compete with colleagues and other businesses to see if they can make more active journeys than the others. They can win prizes too.
Translink, the Department for Infrastructure, Public Health Agency (PHA), Sustrans, health trusts and some councils are all involved in setting up the Active Travel Challenge. The challenge could help in a number of ways. Firstly it can make participants more active and healthier, secondly it can save them money by using less fuel and thirdly it will make Northern Ireland a greener place to live in and help the fight against climate change.
Speaking about this initiative to the website 4ni Translink Director of Service Operations Ian Campbell said:
“Taking public transport, walking, or cycling, is not only an easy way to add in daily exercise, but it saves you money and creates time for yourself and your mental health. This year we have added more than 100 zero emission buses to our fleet, as well as tap on technology to allow contactless payments on a range of bus services. We are transforming public transport to make it more attractive and easier to use, so more people make it their first choice for travel. Signing up to this challenge means everyone can do their bit to reduce congestion, reduce pollution and create a cleaner, more inclusive society for all.”
Building Active Travel Into Your Working Day
And Public Health Agency Chief Executive, Aidan Dawson added:
“Building active travel into your working day can help contribute to meeting the recommended amount of physical activity of 150 minutes each week. Research shows that physical activity can improve sleep, help maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress. It also reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions including heart disease, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, Cancer, and respiratory conditions.”
In the same article Sustrans Director Caroline Bloomfield said hybrid working gives a new opportunity to try active travel methods:
“This year we are encouraging everyone to get active on their everyday journeys. Instead of sitting in a traffic jam or spending time looking for car parking, why not try walking or cycling as part of your commute, shopping trip or for leisure. As many of us return to some form of office working there is a great opportunity to change how we travel to work. The Active Travel Challenge is a great way to kick-start being active in your daily routine and make the change to a healthier lifestyle that will also benefit the environment.”
To get involved in the Active Travel Challenge you can check out the website at https://atc.getmeactive.org.uk/