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BetterPoints helped Ruth become an active travel champion

BetterPoints helped Ruth become an active travel champion

When individuals are shown how they can make small changes and are helped to make them, they often become advocates for those changes. Ruth is an excellent example of this. She had wanted to be more environmentally friendly but needed a bit of support, which she found in her local BetterPoints programme. She is now a keen advocate for active travel and promotes the programme whenever she can.

Ruth is a GP in Peacehaven in East Sussex. She heard about Move for Change through her surgery’s Green Team and through the council’s campaign to help local businesses become greener.

‘I was keen to be more environmentally friendly and get fitter in the process’, she says. ‘I wasn’t a keen cyclist so I bought an electric bike to encourage myself to do the ten miles each way, with the plan that as I got fitter I could gradually lower the power output.  

‘It’s a glorious and invigorating ride down to the seafront and along the undercliff path most of the way until Saltdean. Then it’s a brief hop onto a road to get into Peacehaven. The Brighton cycle paths have been getting better and better, which has made cycling around town more enjoyable. We’ve also got a family cargo bike too so we can all get around.  

‘The benefits are plenty! The commute time is much more predictable as there are no traffic jams to contend with. I also feel great on days that I’ve cycled, with a much more active and relaxed mind, and smug that I’ve done my exercise for the day as part of my commute rather than needing to do anything at home. I often feel really pleased with myself as I speed past queues of traffic and I wish I could persuade the people I pass sitting in solid traffic into Brighton to jump on bikes instead!

‘I think Move for Change is great as it just nudges you towards a better behaviour for yourself and the environment, both for those in the community locally and on a global scale. I think it’s easy to think things are too difficult but making little steps to increase your active travel can really help with health – even just walking a bit further to a bus stop or getting off a stop earlier.’

‘I’ve been encouraging people to change to a green and active commute to work and promoting BetterPoints as part of that during team meetings.’