COMMUTERS are being challenged to ditch their cars and walk or cycle to work instead.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) has announced a four-week ‘Workplace Challenge’ initiative which will start on September 16 and run until October 11.
Research has shown that people who exercise regularly through walking or cycling can reduce their fitness age by up to 10 years.
Council bosses also hope the chance to escape traffic jams, avoid high fuel costs and improve productivity will tempt people into taking up the challenge.
Cllr Lynn Riley said: “We want to change the way people think about travel in Chester and Ellesmere Port so, whether you’re a regular cyclist or novice, a jogger or a couch potato, this initiative is aimed to get everyone moving.
“We’re offering local businesses and individuals a fun and challenging way to reap the benefits of cycling and walking at a fitness level suitable for all.
“With everyone’s support, the impact this month-long campaign could have on our health and our communities is huge. I’d urge everyone to get involved.”
Commuters and businesses who sign up to the scheme will be able to record journeys cycled or walked on an online leader board, and compete with other businesses, friends and relatives in the area.
Throughout the challenge, prizes will be awarded for both individual and group achievements.
In addition, a prize-giving will be held at the end of the challenge to celebrate the organisations that show the greatest participation.
Cllr Riley said: “Any journey change, work or leisure, will be celebrated. Whether that means walking from the bus or train station or setting up a group walking scheme; our aim is to make travelling more sustainable and exciting.”
To sign up for the initiative or find out more go to www.itravelsmart. co.uk.