How Leicestershire is using BetterPoints to promote and evaluate its pop-up infrastructure
Leicester City and Leicestershire County councils had just started their third year of BetterPoints support for the Choose How You Move programme when restrictions in response to the Covid-19 crisis were announced. Responding quickly to the government guidelines and the lockdown, Choose How You Move participants were encouraged to get active at home, be kind and connect with others, try something new and share their lockdown stories.
As we emerge into a brave new world of socially distanced travel, Leicester has been quick off the mark to give residents the opportunity to cycle or walk safely in and around the city. Building on the success of temporary cycle lanes to help keyworkers reach Leicester Royal Infirmary during the lockdown, Leicester City Council has recently pledged to roll out a mile a week of temporary cycle and walking infrastructure for ten weeks. Their BetterPoints programme has, once again, adapted rapidly to support this evolution.
Working in partnership, we have put in place a Pop-up challenge which includes:
- Geofenced pop-up routes to track and reward residents who use them with prize draw tickets.
- Celebrating the use of the pop-up lanes and widened footpaths by sharing stories of how they have helped residents get back on their feet or two wheels. This is a regular feature that can earn the story teller 25,000 BetterPoints and the accolade of being that month’s Pop-Up Star! Users can share their story directly through the BetterPoints app.
- Top of the Pop-ups medals that are earned by regular use of the temporary infrastructure, including our “Pop to the Shops” and “Top of the Pops – don’t stop”.
- Notifications and in-app alerts to all users who live in and around Leicester, to encourage them to use the pop-up lanes. Users can click through from these messages into a longer story which gives details of pop-up lane locations and explains the rewards and how to earn them.
As the campaign evolves we will be considering adding the following features:
- Real-time messages when people get near the routes, to alert them to the fact that they are in the vicinity.
- Targeting people who live near to cycle lanes with more focused messages using postcode data.
- Giving users the ability to create their own Pop-up Team and work towards a charity goal by travelling by bike or on foot.
- Allowing people to join their neighborhood team and compete against each other to cover the most distance using pop-up infrastructure.
BetterPoints have provided content to support Leicester’s Transport Strategy team to reach out to their networks, to promote the challenge and help to collect as much data as possible about the use of the new infrastructure. This includes Leicester Bike Aid, Wheels to Work and a range of local cycle shops and centres such as Rutland Cycling, E-bike Centres and Community Cycles.
The benefits that can be realised by people tracking their journeys on the pop-up cycle lanes and sharing their data via the BetterPoints app include:
- Real time, hyper-local heat map visualisations to show frequency and time of use.
- Insight into demographics of people using the lanes as well as those who don’t.
- Direct engagement with users at the time of travel to ask for feedback on lanes, their sense of safety, whether they are sufficient and should be made permanent.
These insights can help Leicester to make planning decisions about which lanes to make permanent, and where new infrastructure may be needed. Overall, to build a future of cleaner air, less congestion and a safer way for residents to walk and cycle in the city.
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