What is active travel?
Active travel means using cycling or walking for everyday journeys, rather than just for fun or sport.
It offers a convenient, accessible and affordable way to move around.
What are the benefits of active travel?
There are many benefits to using active travel to get around. For you, it will help you get active which will lower your risk of getting certain types of diseases. Walking regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease by 35%, while active travel helps manage stress and weight. It can also help improve your mood. Leaving the car at home will also reduce your fuel use and save you money as well.
You will also be doing your bit to help the environment by cutting your carbon emissions, reducing air pollution and congestion.
Active travel is also quicker than you think. On average you can walk a mile in around 15 to 20 minutes or cycle in five minutes.
How do I start moving actively?
Start with small steps. Think about all those journeys you make by motor vehicle of a mile or less.
Then one-by-one start to replace them with walking or cycling. You can start with just one journey a week for now and do more over time. You could walk to a friend’s house, go to get the newspaper on foot or walk the children to school.
Just replacing a single one-mile trip to the shops and back once a week could deliver fuel savings of £16 a year and cut your Co2 emissions by 27kg. This is the same as charging your smartphone 3,433 times.
If you have longer journeys to make, such as commuting to or from work, then it may be more practical to make these by bike.
If you haven’t got a bike then your company may offer a cycle to work scheme to help with the cost. Some also offer cycle mileage as an incentive. Ask at your workplace for details.
Evesham Adventure Playground also refurbish and sell second-hand bikes. Just give them a call for more information on 01386 442154.
Help to get on your bike
If you need help building your confidence before using a bike for active travel (or maybe if you have never learnt to ride a bike) then don’t worry.
Bikeability courses are available for children, families and adults. It’s a bit like the old cycling proficiency courses but a lot better as it gives you the practical skills and understanding you need to cycle on today’s roads.
Worcestershire County Council offers bikeability sessions in all schools but you can also book them directly yourself.
Visit www.bikeability.org.uk for more information.
You could ask a friend to join you on a ride while you build your confidence or find a local cycling club. They are happy to welcome cyclists of any age, experience or ability.
Women on Wheels is a women-only cycling club with introductory easy rides offering a nurturing friendly and supportive environment to help women get into cycling and go at the speed of the slowest rider. Visit the Women on Wheels website for more information.
What is Wychavon doing to encourage active travel?
We’re committed to making it easier for people to travel actively. We’re doing a number of things to encourage people to walk or cycle more in their everyday lives including:
- Working with partners on new walking and cycling infrastructure
- Planning new developments so people’s needs can be met without the need for a motor vehicle
- Installing new cycle parking
- Encouraging businesses to make cycling more attractive for staff
- Introducing new cycle hire schemes and behaviour change campaigns to encourage people to take up active travel