Despite competition from Portsmouth City Council, the University of Southampton and the Portsmouth Dockyard, the University achieved 1st place in the My Journey Commuter Challenge. Bernie Topham received the Award on behalf of the University – from organisers Sustrans – for having the most staff participate in the Commuter Challenge this year. Although the University has taken part in the annual Challenge since 2002, this is the first year we have been awarded a prize.
Staff who took part enjoyed up to a third off rail and bus travel, and won prizes including Amazon vouchers and a Samsung Tablet. Some staff left their cars at home for all or part of May, others dusted off their bikes to give cycling to work a try. The travel discounts on offer were popular, and some colleagues used the train to get to work for the first time. A few people who got involved in the Challenge met up in Ravelin Park for a commemorative photo – look out for our trophy stashed in a bicycle basket!
Congratulations to all 161 staff who took part, securing our top spot by walking, running, cycling, car-sharing and using public transport to commute over 22,475 miles to work, and burning 389,110 calories in the process (about 1,900 jam donuts)! Other benefits of taking part included money-saving (a respectable saving of £1,741.96, compared to a single-occupancy car journey), keeping fit and reducing carbon emissions. The Challenge directly supports our Sustainable Travel Code of Practice, which encourages staff to choose healthier, less polluting transport options that improve their wellbeing.
To celebrate our achievement, the University was given £150 to donate to charity and Portsmouth FoodCycle was chosen; it’s a relatively new local charity with a sustainability aspect. We’ll provide an update about how our donation has helped them in the near future.
Thanks to everyone involved with the My Journey Challenge; we hope you’ve been inspired to continue improving your health (and the local environment) by leaving the car at home at least once a week, and that you’ll all take part again next year.
If you’d like to find out about travel discounts available to staff, route planners, bike repairs on campus and other local services, take a look at our travel information.