Since its launch last summer, 266 Whitehill and Bordon residents have downloaded and regularly use the free app.
Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Highways Operations, said, “This is a new approach to encouraging behaviour change and we are hoping at least 1,000 Whitehill & Bordon residents will download the app, engage in the challenge and enjoy the benefits and rewards from choosing sustainable travel. BetterPoints offers rewards for a number of active means of travel, including scooting, running and wheelchair users, so can be used by most people in Whitehill and Bordon, with great benefits in terms of health – both physical and mental, reducing traffic and, in turn, carbon emissions.”
At the heart of the project is a new A to B Actively app which tracks journeys using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and allocates ‘rewards’ in the form of tradeable points for travelling actively. The points can be exchanged for vouchers to spend at local cafés, retailers and other local services or donated to charities, including Woolmer Forest Timebank, so that they can use them for the benefit of their causes.
81% of current app users surveyed about their use of the app said that taking part in the challenge encouraged them to travel more sustainably for everyday journeys and pleasure.
Local resident Sarah Jane, who uses the app, said: “Since taking part in this challenge I've been getting active every day. I've now been working at home for almost two years due to the pandemic and getting outside has never been more important for my well-being. I have to get checked annually for Diabetes, so the BetterPoints app helps motivate me to be more active and keep Diabetes at bay! I'm thinking about all the other journeys I make too and seeing if I can make them on foot. My first choice now is to walk instead of taking the car.”
Inspired by the app, this term five local primary schools are taking part in a friendly leaderboard challenge which involves, parents, guardians and staff joining in to collect BetterPoints for themselves and their chosen school. The three schools with the highest percentage of participants taking part each term will receive a donation to spend on resources for the children.