Win £15 by inspiring others to switch to healthier and greener travel habits
The My Journey Wokinghamchallenge allows everyone who lives, works or studies in the Borough of Wokingham to earn BetterPoints and win prizes for walking, cycling and using public transport. One such prize is the 'Ditch the Car Star'. Chris was chosen as our latest winner and received 15,000 BetterPoints (£15) for sharing his story. For your chance to win £15, download the app via the buttons or QR code at the bottom of the page!
Whilst a bike or train commute was a viable option for Chris, he would regularly choose to travel by car. Now, with the help of the BetterPoints app, he has ditched his car for good. Here is what he had to say.
Before joining the My Journey Wokingham challenge, what were your travel habits like?
“When I first joined BetterPoints a couple of years ago I had a car. I was fortunate enough that I could travel to work sustainably but, particularly when it was dark or wet, I would often jump in the car. I would do the same if I was visiting friends.
But over time I gradually started to get into the routine of walking, cycling and using the train. It was about a year ago that I had the realisation that I was barely using the car at all, so I decided to get rid of it.”
How has the app helped you to travel more actively? What features do you enjoy?
“Being able to convert miles into money is a real motivator. I’ve earned around £100’s worth of points so far. I recently redeemed some vouchers which I put towards a new pair of trainers. With the cost of living crisis at the moment, walking to the shops or cycling to see friends and family is an easy way to make savings.
The boosted rewards give me added encouragement. If I’m ever working from home but there are bonus points available I will go out for a cycle ride to get some fresh air and claim the extra points!”
How have your habits changed since using the app?
“I cycle into work most days now. When I first decided to give it a go and plotted out my journey, I was surprised at all of the cycle routes available. I’ve got a number of really nice routes that I take which I mix and match to keep things interesting.
On my journey in I’ll often overtake many cars. It’s so much quicker by bike! I see people in their cars sitting in traffic and I say to myself, ‘it’d be great if more people were walking or cycling’.
Bad weather doesn’t put me off anymore. When it’s raining I chuck on a rain jacket. On the odd day where I really don’t fancy the bike I’ll walk to the station and catch the train.”
What benefits have you noticed as a result?
“I’m feeling a lot fitter and healthier through all the exercise. The amount I’m saving is ridiculous. After my friend told me that their car insurance had gone up by 50% I did the maths and I worked out that by not driving I’m saving up to £400 a month, which isn’t to be sniffed at.
I know ditching the car can be a very hard sell for some but there are so many benefits. With cycling in particular, unless you give it a go you won’t fully appreciate what you can gain from it. Plus, the more that people cycle, the safer it becomes for everyone.”
Not yet earning rewards for walking, wheeling, cycling and taking public transport? To join My Journey Wokingham simply download the free BetterPoints app via the buttons or QR below and tap Challenges to get started.