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“I walk everywhere now” – How Leicestershire councils are motivating thousands of people to walk and cycle

“I walk everywhere now” – How Leicestershire councils are motivating thousands of people to walk and cycle

Leicester City and Leicestershire County councils are using BetterPoints to get more people to choose walking, cycling and public transport over using the car.

It’s been very successful, as evidenced by local resident, Nusrat, in the video below:

“I walk everywhere now. I’ve also used my walking habit to explore Leicester more than I’ve ever done in the past.”

Motivating active travel in Leicestershire since 2018

Since 2018, the Choose How You Move programme for Leicester City and Leicestershire County councils has rewarded people for choosing to travel more actively, for the benefit of their health and the environment.

A personalised cycle of gamification, tracking, rewards and messaging repeats continuously throughout the life of the programme.

Our proven approach combines regular, achievable goals with encouragement to pursue them and rewards for achieving them, so that, over time, healthy new behaviours are adopted and become easier to sustain.

In 2020, participants saved as estimated 149,773 kg of CO2, with more than 50% of assessed trips replacing a car journey.

Over the years, Choose How You Move has included initiatives for local schools, challenges to motivate people in the colder months, and, when COVID-19 struck, a concerted campaign to promote and evaluate their pop-up infrastructure.

“As pop-up cycle lanes were introduced in 2020, we found that BetterPoints has really helped to encourage the use of those lanes,” says Lydia Ison of Leicester City Council’s Walking and Cycling Team.


We geofenced the pop-up lanes to track granular sections of each one.

Journey tracking

Our algorithms track when participants use each section of each lane, the mode of transport they use and how fast they travel.

‘Really good data’

“We have access to a real-time dashboard,” says Tony Lenihan, Sustainable Travel Coordinator at Leicestershire County Council. “So we can tell, on any given day, how many users we’ve got, what our engagement rate is, how many car journeys are being replaced. It also gives us the ability to really target certain areas or programmes.”

“We get some really good data.”

Examples of charts and heatmaps generated in the client dashboard

‘Real people making real changes’

“We get some really, really rich personal testimonies as well,” says Tony. “And for us, that’s really valuable because it shows real people making real changes, rather than just a number on a screen.”

“Before, I used to take the car for all my daily journeys … Since I downloaded the [BetterPoints] app I now leave the car at home. On all of my journeys I now question whether I do really need my car or can I go walking instead.”


“The best bit about the app is that it’s great at motivating me to get out of the door, even when I don’t feel like it. When it’s cold I’ve just wrapped up and I always feel so much better for it.”


Choose How You Move offers me a real incentive to cycle more. I’m very happy to say being stuck in traffic and trying to find parking is now a thing of the past!”


“A really crucial thing for us is the ability to survey and talk to our users in a way that we’ve never been able to experience before,” says Tony.

“Hearing stories about people who may not have even thought about walking or cycling for short journeys, and how that has benefited them, has been really rewarding,” says Lydia.

“Working with BetterPoints is really, really fun,” she says. “The team are so engaging, creative and enthusiastic.”

“I would wholeheartedly recommend BetterPoints to any local authority who is trying to change behaviour,” says Tony. “It’s been really successful, we’ve got thousands of users now across the whole county.”

Update: Choose How You Move was re-commissioned for a fifth year from April 2022.

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