People across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to switch up their usual routine during June and sign up to our Active Travel Challenge. From nipping out to the local shop to commuting to work, the Active Travel Challenge encourages people to walk, wheel, cycle or use public transport as a cleaner, greener way to travel.
Pictured at the launch of the 2023 Active Travel Challenge (ATC) at Belfast City Hall are (from left) Fiona Meenan, Belfast Health Trust; Gerard Walls, Public Health Agency; Chris Conway, CEO Translink; Caroline Bloomfield, Director, Sustrans; John Walsh, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council; and Raymond McCullough, Active Travel Branch, DfI. Photo: Brian Morrison
As well as being more sustainable, travelling actively boosts physical and mental health.
What better time to find out than during the long days of June!
The Active Travel Challenge is free to join and lasts for the whole month.
Participants just need to log their active travel journeys on the online platform for a chance to win a range of prizes, including vouchers, travel tickets, gym passes and rewards with national and regional retailers.
Open to individuals and organisations
The Active Travel Challenge is led by us in partnership with Translink, the Department for Infrastructure, Public Health Agency (PHA), Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, and Belfast City Council.
A popular annual challenge, it's open to individuals and organisations of any size across Northern Ireland to take part and help create habits for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable lifestyle.
It's also a great way to stimulate a little friendly competition between organisations and amongst teams and colleagues throughout June.
In 2022, the Active Travel Challenge saw almost 9,000kg of CO2 saved by people opting to travel by walking, cycling, taking public transport and even skateboarding instead of using the car.
Caroline Bloomfield, our Director in Northern Ireland, said:
“Each year we hear from people who have enjoyed a renewed love of walking, cycling and other active travel methods, thanks to the challenge.
“With so many benefits to health, household budgets, wellbeing and the climate, we would encourage everyone to have a go and see what steps they can take to build active travel into their routine.”
A fun way to get moving and be greener
Aidan Dawson, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency, said:
“We know that keeping physically active can improve our physical and mental health and wellbeing and quality of life, with as little as 30 minutes of moderate level physical activity most days of the week shown to help reduce anxiety, help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, some cancers, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis, while also improving our quality of sleep.
“The Active Travel Challenge is a fun and interactive way to get moving more and highlights how incorporating physical activity into our daily lives, such as walking the kids to school or cycling to work, can have a positive impact on our health.
“The PHA would encourage as many people as possible across Northern Ireland to take up the challenge this June and encourage family, friends and work colleagues to take part too.”
Commenting on this year’s challenge, Chris Conway, Group CEO at Translink, added:
“Active travel is an easy and accessible way to make small changes which make a big difference in creating a cleaner, greener environment.
“We’re hoping that even more people will get on board as part of this year’s challenge and start enjoying the many benefits of a less stressful and more cost-effective way to travel.”
Keep up to date with all the latest ATC action on social media using #GetMeActiveNI.