Published: 21st JUNE 2024

City solicitor swaps dreaded car commute for refreshing walk and bus journey

During the Active Travel Challenge in June, people across Northern Ireland are encouraged to alter their usual journeys and try something new which will get them moving more and reduce congestion on our roads.

A woman wearing a hat and glasses turns to smile at the camera while walking along a country path with a lake in the background.

Hannah Sloane feels better off in every way after swapping her car commute for a bus and walk to work. Credit: Hannah Sloane

It often seems like stepping into the car is the quickest and easiest way to get from A to B, whether it’s to nip to the shops, do the school run or set out on the daily commute.

But 29-year-old solicitor, Hannah Sloane, soon found that a multi-modal alternative to driving - involving a bus trip and a brisk walk - was much better for her mood, not to mention her finances.

Instead of dreading a journey spent sitting in queues with dozens of other cars, she now feels invigorated and refreshed travelling to and from her job in central Belfast.


‘Costs had me looking for alternatives’

Hannah said: “I live just outside Belfast City Centre, and I commute regularly for work in the Cathedral Quarter.

“When I first moved to Belfast, I used to drive my car into town as I thought it would be the handiest way to travel.

“I quickly realised that this wasn’t the case. I found myself sitting in rows of traffic, and when I added up the cost of travelling this way it had me looking for alternatives.


‘Walking is a great way to unwind’

“Opting for the bus as my primary mode of transport not only gets me into town quicker than driving but also adds a refreshing 20-minute walk to my daily routine.

“This blend of travel and exercise is a perfect fit for my office job, where finding time for movement can be a challenge. This is a way of getting my daily steps in without thinking about it.

“The walk back post-work is a great way to unwind, steering clear of the dreaded Belfast traffic. I find myself arriving home much more relaxed, rather than coming home frustrated that the commute took so long.

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This is a way of getting my daily steps in without thinking about it. Blockquote quotation marks

‘Notable improvements to public transport’

“In my opinion, public transport in Belfast has seen notable improvements, offering commuters an alternative way of travel that’s both reliable (most of the time!) and cost-effective.

“By eliminating daily parking expenses, I enjoy the savings every week. Let’s hope things continue to get better.”

Feeling inspired by Hannah’s story? Sign up to the Active Travel Challenge at: and see for yourself what a difference a multi-modal journey can make to your mental and physical health, your carbon emissions, and your money!

The Active Travel Challenge is a joint initiative between Sustrans, Translink, the Department for Infrastructure, Public Health Agency, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Belfast City Council.

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