Active travel means making your journeys physically active, by means such as cycling, walking, or scooting. This is a great way to build in physical activity around what you are already doing. If you don't know where to start, Active Travel is easy and reduces the need to find extra time in the day to be active.
Active Travel journeys are often short journeys such as a trip the supermarket or into town, or your daily commute to work or school. Some benefits of Active Travel include:
- Improve air quality and reduces pollution / noise
- Reduce congestion, in built up cities and towns it can be quicker to use active modes of transport than to travel by car
- Incorporates physical activity into your daily routine – reduces the need to find extra time in the day to be active. Physical activity is good for our physical and mental health.
- More cost effective (for the individual and the economy) – less money spent on fuel and public transport
- Resolves parking issues at workplaces and outside schools
- Fewer cars mean the roads are safer
- Improves mood and concentration – improving productivity at work or school
- COVID-19 – safer mode of travel and reduces chance of virus transmission
Top Tips for Walking to School / Work
- Plan your route – it might be a different journey to the one you would do in the car. Pick quieter roads or footpaths, it will be safer and the air your breather will be healthier.
- Predict how long it will take you to walk to make sure you have enough time in the mornings.
- Wear the right shoes and socks. Bring your work or school shoes in a bag and change footwear when you arrive at your destination.
- If you normally take a briefcase to work, it may be comfier to use a rucksack for walks that are longer in duration.
- Be prepared for bad weather (coat, umbrella, change of clothes/footwear).
- Use your active commute as an opportunity to teach your children about road safety.
Top Tips for Cycling to Work / School
- Begin with a frequency and distance that is achievable. Perhaps get a lift to work and try riding home to begin with.
- Use a route planner to help ensure you are riding on roads suitable for your ability.
- Do a practice cycle at the weekend. Learn the route so you know how much time you will need to get to work or school on time.
- Learn how to change your tyre and perform basic bike maintenance checks. You don't want a mechanical failure to make you late.
- Pack your bag the night before. Remember a change of clothes or footwear if you are wearing activewear for your commute.
- Give yourself time to shower and change when you get to work if you need to.
- Safety first – always remember a helmet, lights, and reflective clothing.
Useful Active Travel links:
Choose How You Move: https://www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk/
- A project encouraging more people in Leicester and Leicestershire to choose more active methods of travel. The website features ideas / routes / toolkits for walking, cycling, public transport and more
- An employee benefit that saves you 25-39% on a bike and accessories. You pay nothing upfront and the payments are taken tax efficiently from your salary by your employer
Living Streets: https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/
- Aspiring to become a nation where walking is the natural choice for everyday local journeys due to better walking environments
- A charity designed to make sure the way we travel creates healthier places and happier lives for everyone, they work to make it easier for people to walk and cycle
Modeshift STARS: https://www.modeshiftstars.org/
- A scheme that recognises schools, businesses and other organisations that have shown excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable and active travel
- A cycle training programme, with a level to suit everyone. It focuses on gaining practical skills and understanding on how to cycle on today's roads