Cars sent to the back burner as energy firm steps up to challenge

This Is Wiltshire: Some of the staff who took part in Sustrans’ Big Cycle and Walk Challenge Some of the staff who took part in Sustrans’ Big Cycle and Walk Challenge

Staff at a Chippenham company put their best feet forward to win a national competition to encourage employees to ditch the car and walk or cycle to work.

Good Energy, based in Monkton Hill, Chippenham topped their category in Sustrans’ Big Cycle and Walk Challenge.

More than 2,000 individuals and 50 groups nationwide competed to clock up the most cycling and walking miles in one month.

The energy supplier was a deserving winner of the 100 to 499 staff member category with more than 60 per cent of employees participating.

Staff split into teams and competed against each other for motivation.

They completed 1,549 journeys in the month, covering more than 3,379 miles in total.

The team burnt more than 215,000 combined calories and saved £1,000 in travel costs.

Sustrans’ Wiltshire area manager Alistair Millington said: “I would like to congratulate Good Energy for winning their category in the Big Cycle and Walk Challenge.

“It shows how easy it can be for many commuters to leave their cars at home and feel the benefits of walking and cycling.”

Good Energy’s Ed Coleman said the challenge was for those who drive to work every day. He said: “The challenge wasn’t aimed at those already pounding and peddling out the big miles, it was about encouraging as many people as possible in the organisation to get involved.

“A lot of the time the hard part is making the decision to cycle or walk – once that’s done, the rest is easy.”

Mr Coleman thanked Sustrans, a British charity promoting sustainable transport, for the challenge.

He said: “Sustrans do a fantastic job of encouraging people to walk and cycle and have been very supportive throughout the challenge.”

Wiltshire Council’s portfolio holder for public transport, Coun Richard Gamble, said: “It’s great that a Wiltshire company has won this award.

“Walking and cycling are not only good for the participants, they are helping the environment by helping reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.

“Wiltshire Council has ambitious plans to improve bike hire and bike storage at railway stations in Wiltshire and to improve cycle links to stations using money recently awarded from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.”

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