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Season’s Greetings!

Seasons greetings

Season’s greetings from all of us at Smarter Travel, we trust you will all enjoy the festive celebrations in your local area!

Our office will close 1pm Tuesday 24th December and re-open 9am Thursday 2nd January.

Please remember, if you would like assistance in changing your travel habits in the new year, then you can contact us directly for any advice on walking, cycling or using public transport more often.

Please keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming events, prize draws and surveys in 2020!

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How to reduce your carbon footprint this Black Friday

Black Friday | Boyton Place

Black Friday occurs once a year on the last Friday in November and is a major sale event across the majority of businesses creating a mad rush to get the biggest discount. As you can imagine, all of this shopping can create a pretty large carbon footprint due to the increased number of cars on the road and all the plastic packaging!

Here are our top tips for reducing your carbon footprint and not missing out on a bargain this Black Friday:

Plan what you buy in advance:

This can help reduce over-buying which may result in items going to waste.

Order online:

Leave the car at home and avoid the mad rush by shopping the Black Friday deals from the comfort of your own home!

Buy locally:

Take a stroll into your local area and make someone smile this year by shopping locally. Often local shops offer unique and beautiful items that you may not find anywhere else.

Make the most of public transport:

If you do have to travel to the shops try taking the bus or train. You may even overhear someone discussing an amazing deal you would have otherwise missed out on!

Car share:

Here at Smarter Travel, we’ve declared November our car sharing month! Get involved and travel with friends or family, it will be more fun than going it alone! You can always visit the Liftshare website to find someone new to car share with.


We recommend making the most of the Black Friday deals by purchasing practical items that will last. Here are some websites we think are worth checking out for sustainable travel related purposes:

  • Wiggle.co.uk – This online sports and bike shop offers everything from a bike light to gym supplements. We suggest finding some cycle accessories or walking boots to improve your commute to work! They also have a great Christmas gift guide.

  • CycleRepublic.com – This cycle shop has stores across the country and features an online list of winter essentials for every cyclist.

  • MountainWarehouse.com – An online outdoor clothing and equipment specialist with coats that are tested for warmth in -50 degrees Celsius conditions. Great for finding a winter jacket for the walk to work!

  • Blacks.co.uk – Selling a variety of outdoor clothing and equipment, Blacks also has a section featuring eco-conscious products which are great for those of you trying to reduce your carbon footprint.

  • MoneySavingExpert.com (Transport) – This is a great website for finding the best deals around Black Friday. It’s worth keeping an eye on the page to check what deals you can take advantage of.

We hope this has helped you consider a more eco-friendly Black Friday, if you have any questions about changing your travel habits then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Saving £1,000 per year – easy! Just car share your regular commute!

The next time you’re out and about in your car, take a moment to realise how many journeys are being made with just one person in the vehicle. Imagine how much less traffic there would be if everyone decided to car share with at least one other person…

Could you do your bit and car share your journey with someone else? Whether this is a family member, friend, colleague or a stranger (who we have no doubt, would be your new friend before long!)

Still not sure? By car sharing the average commuter could SAVE up to £1,000 plus 1.1 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year!

To find out exactly how much money you could save, head over to the Liftshare Calculator.

Sharing your journey can be a great opportunity to meet new people and have a laugh before work as well as helping to improve air quality, reduce congestion and solve parking problems. Even if you can’t share your journey every day why not aim for one or two days a week?

Car sharing doesn’t just have to be for work, if you have a big event coming up such as a festival or sporting event then check to see if there are people looking for lifts nearby. This could help reduce traffic on route to the event as well as increasing the amount of parking spaces available once you get there.


Liftshare.com

The Liftshare website is a great tool for searching or advertising journeys. Head over to their website to sign up for FREE. There is also a very handy step-by-step guide which explains how everything works! You can also search for people already offering lifts from your local area, however, if you can’t find anything suitable, why not register yourself as a driver?


Win a £50 Love2Shop Voucher!

To celebrate all those that are car sharing, we are offering you the chance to win a £50 Love2Shop voucher. To be in with a chance of winning; just share a selfie with us of you and your car sharing buddies! Tag us on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn, and all entries will be entered into our prize draw on 30th November 2019. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Your selfie doesn’t have to be on a commute, it could be a trip to an event or perhaps just a shopping trip! Just remember, take the selfie before you set off!

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Walk to School Month 2019

Walk to School Month 2019 | Boyton Place

Did you know that October is Walk to School Month 2019? This recognised event encourages schools to get children (and parents) walking. There are many benefits to walking to school, for example it could reduce the risk of childhood obesity and get children and families in the habit of walking. The walk to school is the perfect opportunity for some quality family time or a good chat with friends helping to develop strong, happy relationships. Find out more about the great reasons to walk to school on the Sustrans Website.

To celebrate Walk to School Month 2019 and to encourage you and your children to walk to school, we have some FREE walk to school kits to giveaway! These packs include reflective items such as zip-clips, lace reflectors and stickers which are essential now that the mornings are getting darker! To claim your free pack, please just send us an email telling us why you and your children love walking to school! Please include your postal address and we will send your pack directly to you! This offer is limited to residents of Boyton Place.

Full terms and conditions of the giveaway can be found here.

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Cycle to Work Day 2019

Cycle To Work Day | Boyton Place

Cycle to Work Day 2019

Cycle to Work Day is almost upon us. This Thursday (8th August) people will be commuting to work just using pedal power. Will you get involved too? By jumping on your bike and recording your commute you could be in with the chance of winning some fantastic prizes!

Cycling is a great way to get about and provides a great alternative to walking. Occasionally, it can even be quicker than driving, especially through city centres. There are also many health benefits to cycling, including; improved wellbeing by relieving stress, helping prevent chronic and life-threatening illnesses, weight-loss and it can help you sleep better and improve your immune system!

Your bike doesn’t need to be super fancy to commute on, take a look at our previous blog post, ‘My £35 bike‘ which shows how you can make some basic improvements to an old bike you have at home. Additionally, here are some top tips on making a cycle commute successful.

Cycle to Work Schemes

Employee benefit cycle schemes allow you to receive up to £1,000 to spend on a bicycle and/or cycling accessories through your employer. This allows savings of between 25-39% and you repay through salary deductions. Speak to your employer to see if they are signed up to one of the many schemes available so you can take advantage of these discounts! Take a look at this article from Cycling Weekly where several providers are listed and some useful FAQ’s are answered.

Electric Bikes

For those that may be put off a cycle commute due to distance or gradient of hills along the route, electric bikes (or e-bikes) are a great option. These bikes can allow you to cycle further and faster. The pedal assist in these bikes just help boost the power of your legs and hills will no longer be a problem! Find out more about e-bikes here.

Route Planning

If you’d like to start cycling to work (or cycling anywhere), head over to the Cycle Streets website which provides handy route planning. This website is an excellent tool and caters for all levels of cyclists.

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Catch the Bus Week 2019

People on a bus | Boyton Place

This week (1st-7th July) is the return of Catch the Bus Week! This annual celebration, organised by Greener Journeys aims to drive awareness of the benefits of taking the bus. There are already 2.5 million people across the UK that commute by bus with a further 1 million using the bus as a backup option. However, here we have come up with five reasons for the bus being a great idea for more people to use for their daily commute;

Use your time doing something you enjoy!

By catching the bus, you can use the journey time to do something you enjoy, whether this is reading a book, chatting to friends or just relaxing. Feel refreshed by the time you get to work but using this downtime to enjoy your commute rather than driving through heavy traffic. Research suggests that bus travel can be much less stressful than car travel.

Quicker end to end journeys.

One of the biggest advantages of catching the bus is that most city centres benefit from bus lanes, this gives buses an advantage of not getting stuck in traffic. This often makes bus travel quicker during peak hours. Additionally, buses often have access through parts of city centres that you can’t take private vehicles, which means you can get dropped off at main destinations which is great when there’s bad weather or you’ve got heavy shopping bags with you!

It’s probably cheaper!

Fed up with extortionate parking charges? With bus travel, this isn’t something you need to worry about! Also, the cost of bus tickets can be reduced when travelling regularly and purchasing weekly, monthly or even annual tickets. It is estimated that cars are only actually moving 4% of the time, with them being parked up the rest. So, by catching the bus you could eliminate this costly expense of car ownership.

Reduce your carbon footprint!

Did you know that a fully loaded double-decker bus can take up to 75 cars off the road? Even if we all switched from a car to a bus for one journey a month, we could reduce our car journeys by a billion and this would consequently save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year! With 13% of the UK’s total greenhouse emissions coming from car usage, the whole environment and roadside air can be improved by catching the bus instead of driving.

You’re likely to get more exercise into your day!

It’s likely that the bus stop isn’t as close as your car! Therefore, you’re more likely to get a few more footsteps each day by walking to and from the local bus stop. If you want even more exercise, why not get off a few stops earlier too and walk even further! Just the walk to and from the bus stop can help you achieve the UK governments’ target of 30-minutes exercise per day.


Do you catch the bus? If so, what’s your reason for this? If you don’t use the buses, what would you like to see before you made a change? Let us know on Facebook!

 

 

 

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National Walking Month

Following on from Walk to Work Day, National Walking Month is almost upon us again. Throughout the month of May, walking is promoted and everyone is encouraged to increase the amount of walking they do. There are so many potential health benefits to walking, so with the days getting longer and the weather improving, why not join in this month and get more active?

Why is walking so great?

  • It can benefit your mood – Walking can modify your nervous system and subsequently improves your mood and studies have shown that just a 12-minute walk can have a significant impact on your mental health. Additionally, getting active releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins into the bloodstream, and getting that natural high reduces stress and anxiety and ultimately helps to build self-esteem.

 

  • Walking can help with weight loss – It has been suggested that you should walk 8,000 steps per day to maintain your health, but walking 10,000 steps a day can help aid weight loss. Here are some top tips to get you started with walking for weight loss.

Walking for Health | Smarter Travel Limited

 

  • You’ll be more creative – According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, going for a walk can spark your creativity. “Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to subjects while seated and while walking and found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters,” says Dr. Jampolis. Even just a quick stroll around the block can help assist in improving your creativity.

 

  • Your risk of chronic diseases can be reduced – As well as heart disease, regular fitness walking can impact on the risk of developing type two diabetes, asthma and some cancers. Studies suggest regular exercise such as walking can reduce the risk of diabetes by up to 60 per cent. Using walking as a ‘miracle drug’ is great because there are no real negative side-effects!

 

  • It can save you money – By swapping short journeys that you normally take by car to walking journeys, you can save money on the cost of fuel! Not only that, but walking is free and no specialist equipment is required!

 

  • Strengthen your bones and muscles – Getting out and about in the daylight can boost your natural levels of Vitamin D which is essential for bone health. Not only will walking improve your bone strength but your muscles are likely to strengthen too, reducing the risk of injury during other sports.

If you’re struggling to get motivated and started though here are some suggestions for getting more steps in each day;

  • Walk and talk – If you have a phone call, multi-task and take a stroll at the same time!

 

  • Take the stairs! Where and when possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator.Taking the stairs | Smarter Travel Limited

 

  • When you park the car, instead of trying to get the closest parking space to the office or supermarket, park as far away as you can! This is guaranteed to add to your daily step count!

 

  • Stuck at a desk all day? Get up and move about the office regularly. Take short breaks throughout the day to stretch your legs, it will do wonders for your productivity.

 

  • Use your lunch break! If you can, make sure you use your lunch break! Take a stroll around the block for a quick refresh!

 

  • Walk to the shops rather than drive if possible. It tends to be easier and quicker to jump in the car for quick shopping trips but why not swap this for a walk instead! Take a rucksack with you and you’ll find it’s not too difficult carrying a few items back home with you.

 

Workplace Travel Plans | Smarter Travel Ltd

  • Shake up your meetings! Instead of all sitting down and around a table, why not try walking meetings? Thinking on your feet can have as many benefits for your brain as it does your body!

 

  • If possible, walk to work instead of taking your usual commute. If you can’t walk the whole way, why not get off the bus a few stops earlier or perhaps walk a slightly longer route from the train station to the office.

 

  • Walk with others to keep motivated. Walking with other people can be a great help in keeping you going, so join a walking group such as The Ramblers or start your own with colleagues and friends!

 

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Walk to Work Day 2019!

April 5th 2019 is the return of Walk to Work Day!

If you are lucky enough to live close enough to your office, then walking to work is a great way to commute. However, if you’re not close enough to walk the whole way in, why not park further away and walk the last part of the journey or get off the bus a few stops earlier than normal?

There are a huge number of benefits to walking, so why not energise your commute? Here are some of the benefits of walking:

 It is a great way to keep the doctor away. Just a 20-minute walk per day helps prevent and manage chronic illnesses.

 It can improve your mood as well as boosting your creativity.

 Have a positive effect on your heart, including lowering your blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Strengthens your bones and muscles.

Improves your balance and coordination.

Reduces the pollution that would be generated by driving or using public transport.

Walking can help maintain a healthy weight.

Can help get you in the right frame of mind for the busy day ahead!

It’s free! Therefore considerably cheaper than driving.

Gives you the opportunity to appreciate the world around you.

It’s the easiest way of getting exercise into your daily routine.

So why not get involved and Walk to Work even if it is just some of the way into the office? Alternatively, take a lunchtime stroll, you could encourage your colleagues to join in too!

 

Walk to Work Day 2019 | Smarter Travel Ltd

 

 

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The Big Pedal 2019

The Big Pedal returns next week (25th March) for 10 days. Organised by Sustrans; the UK charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle.

The Big Pedal is the UK’s largest inter-school cycling, walking and scooting challenge. The aim is to inspire pupils, staff and parents to choose human power for their journeys to school. Schools across the country are encouraged to sign up and participate to compete with other schools in getting as many students, staff members and parents to join in. There are prizes up for grabs too! More importantly, following on from previous Big Pedal events, 82% of schools surveyed said that pupils continued to cycle or scoot to school after the event which shows that the project is an excellent opportunity to encourage positive behaviour change.

Did you know, the average primary school journey in the UK is just 1.6 miles (which would take approximately half an hour to walk), however, one in four cars on the road in the morning peak, will be doing the school run!

The Benefits of Active Travel to School

Walking to School | Smarter Travel LtdThere are an overwhelming number of benefits in encouraging active travel to and from school. For example, studies show that children who arrive to school by foot, are much more prepared to learn that day as they tend to be more relaxed and alert; generally speaking, their wellbeing is much more enhanced. Overall, physical and mental health can be drastically improved, exercise is an indispensable part of a child’s life and it is advised that children get up to 60 minutes of physical activity per day – active travel to school is an excellent way to work towards this goal and incorporate regular activity into the daily routine (for both parents and children!) Walking, cycling or scooting to school provides the perfect opportunity for children to learn about their local area and gain important independence skills along with forming regular, healthy habits. By travelling to school by one of these modes, children are likely to develop important road awareness skills and it is a good opportunity to reinforce the highway code and road safety skills.

Additionally, by reducing the number of vehicles on the road there can also be a reduction in air pollution and congestion which has overwhelming benefits for the local area and population within it.

Park & Stride

Barriers to active travel to school often include distance, time and safety. For those that may live too far from their local school to walk, there is always the option of ‘Park and Stride’. This concept is heavily promoted by Living Streets. The principle is for those that are unable to enjoy the walk to school due to distance, is to either, get off their bus a few stops earlier and walk the remaining distance or to park further away from school and walk the rest of the journey. Living Streets provides some great advice and resources on how to get started.


If you would like to get involved in The Big Pedal, find out more information and how to sign up here. Additionally, for tips and advice on how to get active on the journey to and from school visit the Living Streets website or Sustrans website.

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Claim your vouchers!

People on a bus | Boyton Place

The first few residents are starting to move into Boyton Place, Haverhill. If you’re one of them, have you claimed your sustainable travel vouchers yet?


Each household within Boyton Place is entitled to either;

4 x one-week bus tickets for services into Cambridge with Stagecoach 

OR

A £50 voucher to be redeemed at Aerocycles in Haverhill


To claim your sustainable travel voucher, all you need to do is complete the short survey at the back of your Travel Information Pack (you should have received this at handover when moving in). If you’ve misplaced your pack, not to worry, complete online here!


Personal Travel Plan

In addition to this incentive, every resident is entitled to claim a free Personal Travel Plan. A ‘PTP’ will identify all the possible ways of travelling from A to B (within reason). To request your free PTP, just complete this short form and your results will be emailed to you within 5-working days. Each Personal Travel Plan will also highlight any cost savings, calories burned and journey durations.


If you’re a resident of Boyton Place and would like specific advice on how to change your travel habits, please do not hesitate to contact us.