Beat the Street by walking, cycling or wheeling for short journeys

Residents of South Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, and North Lanarkshire are being encouraged to walk, cycle or wheel for their short local journeys by joining a free 6-week challenge called Beat the Street.

Using contactless Beat Boxes mounted on lampposts across the towns taking part they track when someone has actively travelled between the Beat Box sensors within an hour to score points. For example, across Cambuslang and Rutherglen in South Lanarkshire there are sixty three Beat Boxes to travel between.

Starting on the 15th of September until the 27th of October there are prizes to win including sport, book, or fitness vouchers.

Supported by funding from our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Local Authority Funding these 3 Beat the Street challenges are designed to get more people using active ways to travel for short journeys and spend more time outdoors which all help to improve overall wellbeing.

Graham McQueen, Programme Manager for our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme is enthusiastic about using online gamification to make active travel fun. He said:

Well done to Renfrewshire, North and South Lanarkshire Councils for using innovative technology to get more people walking, cycling or wheeling for their short local journeys.
Taking a community wide approach towards changing travel behaviour for short journeys will not only help to tackle the climate emergency and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 but improve health and wellbeing.

This is important as the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on mental wellbeing for many people, especially those with long term health conditions, people of colour and single parents.

The challenge is open to individuals, schools and teams from workplaces or community groups to help more people realise how easy it is to turn short journeys into an opportunity to be physically active.

Dr William Bird, CEO of Intelligent Health and founder of the Beat the Street game, is looking forward to these 3 Scottish autumn challenges as he knows they will make a positive impact on participants travel behaviour. He said: 

"We know enjoyment is a key driver of participation in physical activity, and that we need entire active communities for any changes in behaviour to be sustained."

"Beat the Street is fun, free and easy and takes place in people’s own environment. By turning physical activity into a compelling game, we can engage the most inactive and hard-to-reach members of the community who would never think of joining the gym or taking up a sport."

"We also ensure that whole schools, workplaces and communities participate which helps create a network of physical activity and ensures that the changes sparked by Beat the Street continue long after the game has finished."

“We are so grateful to all of our partners and staff who have supported us on this journey and look forward to helping more people across Scotland to get active.”

Beat the Street in Renfrewshire 

In Renfrewshire, residents of Bridge of Weir, Houston, Linwood, Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Howwood, Lochwinnoch and Elderslie can benefit from this fun way to travel locally.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: 

“We are delighted to bring this innovative and compelling game to Renfrewshire, and we can’t wait to see how far everyone is able to walk, run, cycle and scoot as part of their daily exercise.” 

“It’s clear that now, more than ever, it is vitally important to ensure that we adopt healthy lifestyle habits including regular physical activity into our daily lives and try to travel in more active ways like walking or cycling.”

“We’re improving active travel routes throughout the area to make this as easy as possible and our towns and villages have so much to see and do on your doorstep, there’s no need to take the car.”

"Anyone living, working or studying in the area can get involved – it's completely free to play and is an excellent opportunity to go outdoors, spend time with your friends and family and get moving.”

North Lanarkshire 

Towns taking part in North Lanarkshire are Wishaw, Motherwell and Bellshill.

Councillor Jim Logue, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said:

“Having seen the successful Beat the Street games in nearby Airdrie, Coatbridge, and Kilsyth, we’re delighted to have commissioned the Beat the Street games to a large part of North Lanarkshire. As a council, we’re committed to encouraging more active travel and know that Beat the Street is a fun and compelling way of helping people get started.”

“Getting out and moving more, plus spending time with friends and family in green space is one of the best things people can do right now for their physical and mental health and Beat the Street has been proven to do that in a safe way.”  

“It’s free to take part in Beat the Street and it’s open to everyone regardless of age, ability or background. It’s an inclusive game that encourages you to exercise from your front door and to clock up the miles within the game framework.”

South Lanarkshire 

Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, Councillor John Ross, is keen more people change their travel behaviour. He enthuses: 

"We are delighted to again be bringing the game to two new communities in our council area.

"Having already seen first-hand the way it transforms whole communities, we're delighted to launch the game across Cambuslang and Rutherglen and know that this is a great way of encouraging people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to get active together."

"More than two thirds of UK journeys are less than five miles with one in five actually less than one mile. If everyone could travel as many of these short journeys by walking, wheeling, or cycling we can all help protect the air we breathe whilst playing our part in protecting our environment." 

"By playing Beat the Street many players have realised how easy and enjoyable it is to travel these local journeys more actively and sustainably. And that these new healthier travel habits last a lifetime.”

Find out more and sign up online

Read about the difference Beat the Street has been making in Scotland since 2015. Watch more videos about Beat the Street in Scotland here.

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