Staff from four large employers in Middlesbrough were given a five day challenge to find and use a greener, healthier way to travel to and from work.
More than 260 sustainable journeys were recorded over the course of a week, totalling more than 4,500 miles of walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing.
The aim of the Commuter Challenge, which runs in rotation across the Tees Valley, is to reduce the number of single occupancy car journeys being done in the region, especially on local trips.
Staff from Middlesbrough Council, The James Cook University Hospital, Teesside University and Chemoxy International took part in the challenge run by Let’s Go Tees Valley.
“The message is simple,” says Alex Kay from the Let’s Go Tees Valley team. “You can get to and from work without a car. If you drive, you don’t need to do it alone.
“Around four out of five cars commuting to and from work have only one person in them, and almost half of car journeys are under two miles.
“Swapping the car for walking or cycling for shorter journeys can save you hundreds of pounds each year.”
It’s not just the cost to our environment that is staggering, with 40,000 deaths a year being attributed to air pollution in the UK.
Traffic jams are thought to cost the UK economy around £9 billion a year, and on an individual level, a daily 40-mile commute by car costs around £1,500-2,000 per year, to say nothing of the wear and tear on your vehicle.
The next Tees Valley Commuter Challenge will run in Stockton, and businesses that would like to get involved are asked to contact Alex Kay at Let’s Go Tees Valley on 01325 40 50 40 or visit www.letsgoteesvalley.co.uk.