Leicestershire councils explain how they motivate thousands of people to walk and cycle
With Capability Fund allocations being released, councils are wondering how to encourage more people to walk and cycle, and how to measure it. This new video from the behaviour change company, BetterPoints, shows how Leicester City and Leicestershire County councils use incentives and messaging to motivate people to choose walking, cycling and public transport over using the car, while generating invaluable data for improving the network.
Since 2017, the councils’ Choose How You Move programme has rewarded people for travelling more actively, for the benefit of their health and the environment.
“I walk everywhere now,” says local resident, Nusrat. “I’ve also used my walking habit to explore Leicester more than I’ve ever done in the past,” she says.
The approach combines regular, achievable goals with encouragement to pursue them and rewards for achieving them, so that, over time, healthy new behaviours are adopted and become easier to sustain.
In 2020, participants saved an estimated 149,773 kg of CO2, with more than 50% of assessed trips replacing a car journey.
Over the years, Choose How You Move has included initiatives for local schools, challenges to motivate people in the colder months, and, when COVID-19 struck, a concerted campaign to promote and evaluate the new local pop-up infrastructure.
“We get some really, really rich personal testimonies,” says Tony Lenihan, Sustainable Travel Coordinator at Leicestershire County Council. “For us, that’s really valuable because it shows real people making real changes, rather than just a number on a screen.”
“Hearing stories about people who may not have even thought about walking or cycling for short journeys, and how that has benefited them, has been really rewarding,” says Lydia Ison of Leicester City Council’s Walking and Cycling Team.
Choose How You Move recently entered its fourth year.
More about this at www.betterpoints.ltd [https://www.betterpoints.ltd/blog/i-walk-everywhere-now-how-leicestershire-councils-are-motivating-thousands-of-people-to-walk-and-cycle/]