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Leicestershire councils change travel behaviour with BetterPoints

Leicestershire councils change travel behaviour with BetterPoints

Case study

Leicestershire councils change travel behaviour with BetterPoints Download

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Leicester City and Leicestershire County councils’ Choose How You Move programme encourages active and sustainable traverel and reduces unnecessary car journeys.

In year five (2022–2023), it saved a potential 206,000 kg of CO2 emissions.

Cutting car journeys

Year five also piloted the successful Drive Less campaign, which targeted regular drivers of short journeys. 52% changed their behaviour, collectively making 25% fewer car journeys. (Read more.)

Personalised travel planning

In September 2021, the programme joined forces with the transport consultancy Systra to increase uptake of their Personalised Travel Planning project in Leicester East.

Monitoring pop-up lanes

During lockdown in 2020, Choose How You Move also tracked and measured the use of Leicester’s new pop-up cycle lanes and footpaths .

In Year 5 (2022–2023):

  • 25% reduction in short car journeys during targeted campaign
  • 52% of regular drivers cut their car use
  • Over 200,000 kg CO2 emissions avoided

BetterPoints for towns and cities

How it works

Local residents are invited to download the free BetterPoints app, join Choose How You Move Rewards with their postcode, and complete a baselining survey from which their behaviour change is measured. The app then records their journeys for them automatically, and rewards them for walking, wheeling, cycling and using public transport. 

Mini campaigns keep the momentum up, such as bonuses for regular drivers who reduce their weekly car use, and rewards tied to events such as Bike Week, Clean Air Day and the Walk Leicester Festival. 

Ambassador Rewards, for referring friends, help recruit new people into the programme.

We also geofence areas of specific focus, which we did for the pop-up lanes so the councils could monitor their effectiveness and reward people for using them.

In March 2022, the programme ran a workplace challenge in which 82 workplaces competed for £1,000s worth of prizes and a high ranking on the leaderboard.

Reducing unnecessary car journeys in Leicestershire 

Drive Less, Save More, Feel Great was a specific campaign to target regular car drivers, and so named to resonate with the current cost-of-living crisis. It ran for three months in 2022.

Identifying the drivers

People who had joined the Choose How You Move programme were filtered into the Drive Less, Save More, Feel Great challenge if their BetterPoints app regularly recorded car journeys of less than two miles in a given period.

Additionally, programme members were filtered into the challenge if they accepted an offer of additional rewards for pledging to change their driving behaviour.

To be eligible, they must also have responded to a survey asserting they were physically able to walk or cycle. This established they had the capability and opportunity to change, in line with the COM-B model of Behaviour Change.

Encouraging engagement

As well as the usual rewards on offer to Choose How You Move participants, the Drive Less challenge introduced two new elements:

  • Drive Less on Wednesdays
    Congestion in Leiecester is particicularly bad on Wednesdays, so a specific prompt was used to encourage people to drive less on those days;
  • Challenge Champions
    People could become ‘Challenge Champions’ and win a £50 Leicester Gift Card by sharing inspirational stories of how this challenge had changed their habits.


Overall, 52% of people in the target group reduced their car driving behaviour, making 25% fewer trips by car on average in the eight weeks during the Drive Less campaign compared to the eight weeks before.

Actual numbers will be higher, because the analysis only considered those people registered with the programme for at least one month before the start of Drive Less and who remained engaged throughout its three months.

What next?

Drive Less successfully changed the driving behaviour of around half of those people identified as regular car drivers.

To build on this success, BetterPoints recommended:

  1. continuing to monitor those who reduced their car driving to see if they keep it up;
  2. consulting those who did not reduce their car use to identify barriers to change;
  3. extending the targeted campaign to all drivers who are using their car for short journeys, regardless of how many times a week.