Derry City and Strabane District Council have commissioned two short films to encourage commuters to consider their alternatives to driving to work.
The videos aim to prove that sustainable modes of transport can be faster than driving to work by comparing the time taken for a journey by car compared with both cycling and running.
They are part of ‘Leading the Way’ - a three year programme being delivered by active travel promotion charity Sustrans to staff at the Public Health Agency (PHA), the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) and Council.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, expressed his hope that the films can help encourage people to consider the many benefits of making active travel choices.
“The New Year period is a time when many people vow to increase their physical activity levels so it is an opportune time to encourage everyone to consider their travel options,” he said.
“The videos prove that cycling or running to work is a cost and time effective way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
“Active travel brings with it many health and economic benefits for the individual, frees up the demand on parking spaces at workplaces and helps reduce the environmental impact of driving which we all have a responsibility to consider.”
Sustrans works with workplaces, families, communities, schools, policy-makers and partner organisations, so that people are able to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys, with better places and spaces to move through and live in.
One of the main aims of the Leading the Way programme is to encourage staff to travel more actively for their journeys to and from work and to achieve this, the programme has run various activities and events to aid staff in ditching their car for a more sustainable mode of transport.
The programme focuses on four sites, Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Strand Road Offices and Derry Road Offices, and the Gransha Park Estate, Derry which includes both the PHA and WHSCT.
The project has run Active Travel Challenges, Walk/Cycle to work days, and the Cycle to Work Scheme to name a few.
Sustrans’ Workplace Active Travel Officer Michelle Murphy added: “The new videos demonstrate that by using sustainable travel modes to get to work such as cycling, walking or running, they not only save you time but can also be good for your health and well being.
“Research has shown that organisations who promote active travel and other physical activity initiatives in the workplace are more likely to have reduced absenteeism, experience lower staff turnover and report higher levels of job satisfaction.
“According to a recent study, cycling to work lowers your risk of premature death by as much as 40 percent.”
The Sustrans Active Travel promotion videos can be viewed on Council’s website at www.derrystrabane.com/greenways or Council’s facebook page www.facebook.com/derrycityandstrabanedistrictcouncil.com