What is Active Travel?
Active travel is an approach to travel and transport that focuses on physical activity (walking and cycling) as opposed to motorised and carbon-dependent means.
We all rely heavily on cars and public transport, because they make our lives so easy. Whilst it can take a bit longer and you may not be able to do it for all of your journeys, making active travel choices is an easy way to fit activity into your day. Swap the car for two legs or two wheels and you may be surprised how easy it is to fit physical activity into your day.
What are the Benefits of Active Travel?
- Active travel supports local businesses and promotes vibrant town centres.
- It makes for a high quality, appealing public realm.
- It reduces car travel, air pollution, carbon dioxide emissions and congestion, helping our environment.
- It reduces road danger and noise.
- It increases the number of people of all ages out on the streets, making public spaces seem more welcoming and providing opportunities for social interaction and children's play.
- It provides an opportunity for everyone, including people with impairments, to experience and enjoy the outdoor experience.
- Health benefits (physical, emotional and mental).
Benefits for your workplace:
- Control costs e.g. mileage expenses.
- Boost productivity.
- Recruitment and retention - make your company more attractive by implementing management strategies to reduce travel needs.
- Reduce parking pressures.
Why Should I Walk?
You're in charge. You decide if you want to cut the route down, or run some errands along the way.
A reliable journey. There's no traffic when you walk, you're entirely in control.
Thinking time. Clear your head and de-stress - get to work in a better mood!
Easy exercise. Walking reguarly can build your fitness and help to reduce your risk of all kinds of health problems.
More pounds in your pocket. There is no doubt that walking is the cheapest method of travel. The only thing you'll be spending is calories!
Keep up to date with your community. Keep your eye out for all the changes that happen on your route - whether it's a new shop, restaurant or cafe, you'll be more likely to notice it if you're walking.
Why Should I Cycle?
Cycling is fun. Remind yourself of your childhood! It's much more fun than being stuck in traffic.
It's fast. You can sail past traffic jams.
Get fit. Cycling is a great exercise and a really easy way of building in some activity to your day. A cycle to work will count towards activity points and remember points mean prizes!
It's free. Apart from the maintenance of the bike (nothing compared to the running costs of a car), no petrol is required! Save money and treat yourself!
Can I cycle that far?
It might take some time to build up the distance but in the meantime you're fitting activity into your daily routine. Maybe put your bike in your car and cycle the last little bit.
I don't feel confident cycling on busy roads.
Get some cycle training if you think you need it or look into routes that avoid busy roads. The main road is probably not the only route to work.
My bike isn't in a good condition.
Take some time to look over your bike to check that it is safe. If you're not sure how, take it to a local bike mechanic - they tend to do a bike MOT for a fairly low cost.
I don't want to arrive at work hot and sweaty, or drenched by the rain.
Give yourself plenty of time so that you don't have to rush. Check to see if there are changing facilities at your workplace - there are sometimes showers so you can freshen up before you start work.
It doesn't ALWAYS rain! Carry waterproofs rolled up in a bag for emergencies! And if it's torrential, just drive! It's okay to take a day off every now and again.
How do I keep my bike safe?
Spend a bit more on a good solid D-lock, and think about how and where is best to lock your bike. If your workplace does not provide good cycle parking, maybe suggest they look into it.
- Plan your route - practice the route at the weekend when the roads are quieter so that you know where to go come Monday morning.
- Find out if there are places for you to get freshened up before you begin your work day.
- Roll your clothes so they don't get creased.
- Bring shampoo/shower gel if there are shower facilities.
- Combine your journeys if it's a longer one - cycle to the train station and do part of the journey on the train. Check that your train allows standard bikes or invest in a fold up bike.
- Buddy up - if someone from work lives nears you why not travel in together?
Have to Take the Car?
Car Sharing is a great alternative to driving alone.
- It's sociable.
- Saves parking spaces.
- Saves money.
- Helps the environment.