The animals at Chester Zoo might notice staff arriving on two wheels rather than four to give them their breakfast this month, as the team joins a city-wide competition with other local businesses to get active and green up their transport habits.
The four-week Travel Smarter Challenge, which runs until 30 March, is organised by Sustrans with Cheshire West and Chester Council, and is open to individuals or workplaces in the Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston area.
Chester Zoo is currently top of the leader for businesses of 501-1000 employees in the Challenge, with staff making 134 journeys in the first week of the challenge.
The team is competing with companies across the region to make the most journeys travelling on foot or by bike, as well as less carbon-guzzling commuter options like car share or public transport. Also top of their league tables are Up and Running (3-20 employees), Black and Veatch (21-90), Bristol Myers-Squib (91-249), Mark and Spencer, Cheshire Oaks (250-500), and the University of Chester (1000+).
Employers or individuals working in the Chester area can still join the challenge at any stage at www.travelsmarter.getmeactive.org.uk
There is a weekly prize draw of vouchers for shopping and leisure.
Kim Halliday from Chester Zoo said:
“A large number of Chester Zoo staff already cycle and walk to work, and we are seeing a steady rise in car-sharing too. The current Challenge is really helpful as it recruits new people to try sustainable travel options. It also helps equip them for their journey – with free Dr Bike sessions, bike lights, pedometers and other incentives –so we all benefit from this partnership. The reduced impact on the environment is also something that aligns with our Mission as a conservation charity. As an added bonus –it’s been fun!”
Pippa Cameron of Sustrans said:
“It’s still not too late to join the Travel Smarter Challenge, and get a chance to win lots of prizes, including tickets to Chester Zoo. Cycling and walking are great exercise as well as forms of travel, so you can get fit, improve your local environment and get to work on time. The competition also includes journeys by public transport and car share too, so everyone can join in.”
Travel Smarter Challenge participants can win prizes each week of the competition, including Kindles, Love2-Shop vouchers, Chester Zoo tickets, bus and rail tickets. Journeys to work (and back) can be on foot, by bike, by public transport or lift-sharing. You can also log a 'work at home' day if it means you don't have to travel to the office by car on your own and you can also log virtual meetings. The only thing that doesn't count is travelling in a car on your own.
The winning workplace in each size category will be those achieving the highest level of participation. The winning workplaces will receive a £100 donation for the charity of their choice plus a certificate and trophy. The Travel Smarter Challenge is funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, a Department of Transport Programme, aimed at achieving economic growth, job expansion and carbon reduction through generating sustainable journeys to work.