Sustainable Transport case study – Running & Car Share

Natalie Willetts

Running has always been a great passion of Natalie’s and from a child she used to compete at local level in cross country and athletic competitions. However it wasn’t until her short time in the Big Smoke (London) that she was introduced to the concept of the run-commute.

The 27-year-old, who works for Capita in Blackburn, said: “I regularly saw people running with rucksacks on their backs whilst I sat in wall-to-wall traffic trying to get across London.

“At the time I thought these people must be mad, turning up to work in a sweat, who wants that? But there I was sat in frustratingly non-moving traffic!

“With lives getting busier and busier, many runners, including myself, have found that running to or from work is a really efficient way to get about.

“It is also a great option if you are running short of time and need to fit all your training in for an upcoming marathon or event.

“Morning runs before you get to work ensure you arrive at the office feeling awake and more alive.

“If you choose to run-commute home, it is an opportunity to clear your mind of all the stresses of the day, ensuring you arrive home relaxed and energised, ready to put your feet up.”

After starting work at Capita last summer, Natalie decided to run into work as often as she could but when the winter months set in, she opted for the car as a more sensible option.

She said: “It wasn’t until I discovered the Connect project that I made the conscious decision to organise a lift share with a few work colleagues who commuted into Blackburn from Rishton. We take it in turns to drive in each week and I have noticed the difference it has made to my pocket and the amount of visits I make to the petrol pump.

“It also helps in reducing car emissions, a bit of simple maths: two people driving together in one car produces roughly half the emissions of two people travelling in two cars.

“Initially I did not take up the idea of lift sharing to save a few pennies here and there but it definitely helps in that respect. It is also a fantastic way to meet new people and make new friends, as well as getting to know your colleagues more. I would definitely recommend this mode of transport, especially if you are new to the area and you are looking to expand your social network.”

Natalie has appeared as a model and a real-life example in a new advertising campaign to promote running to work and car sharing. It is being delivered by the Council’s Connect project to help promote sustainable transport.

The campaign has been brought to life and printed onto giant bus shelter posters across the borough.

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Connect project was set up to promote and encourage sustainable transport in the borough. It aims to help reduce congestion on the borough’s roads. It works alongside six main employers including, Royal Blackburn Hospital, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Capita, Barbara Castle Way Health Centre, Evolution Park and Blackburn College.






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