Twenty employees at the MoD site at Donnington are piloting an innovative new project called Active SMiles, which uses behavioural science principles to incentivise and reward ‘active commuting’ – ditching the car and walking or cycling to work instead. The project was designed and is run by the Telford & Wrekin Council’s Health Protection Hub and the Health Improvement Team, in conjunction with Travel Telford.
Research has shown that there will be benefits to the employees in terms of their physical and mental health and the money they will save on fuel, and also to wider society in terms of improved air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and to employers through the reduced sickness absences experienced by active commuters.
Although walking or cycling for shorter journeys has many benefits over using the car, car usage is so entrenched in our way of life and the perceived barriers to walking or cycling are given so much prominence, that people can be put-off trying it. It was felt that giving people an incentive to try it for a month, with a view to them sustaining this change longer term, was key to shifting them to these sustainable forms of commuting. The twenty participants will be rewarded with £50 in supermarket vouchers if they walk or cycle to or from work ten times during the month of October, with the incentive designed to help the participants with the cost of living issues people are currently facing.
The council is seeking funding to extend the […]