Travel scheme rewarding Warwick district residents and visitors for sustainable travel will be continued - despite just 200 people actively using it

An incentive programme that rewards members of the public who ditch the car in favour of sustainable travel is to be continued for another year in spite of just 200 people actively using it.

Warwick District Council will shell out a further £36,400 to continue using the Better Points Choose How You Move programme if neighbours Stratford District Council opt not to join, prompting one councillor to ask whether the money could be better spent elsewhere.

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Users of the scheme, which has been adopted by a number of local authorities and organisations up and down the country, collect ‘Better Points’ if they use the mobile app to travel sustainably such as on foot or by bike.

Residents and visitors can track their active travel in Warwick district using the Better Points Choose How You Move programme. Photo by Sarah Miners (S Miners Photos)

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These can then be exchanged for rewards, ranging from a drink in a local coffee shop to money off shopping or a charity donation.

Members of Warwick District Council’s cabinet agreed to the one-year extension, with or without the support of their neighbouring council which would see the bill halved.

Cllr Alan Rhead, the portfolio holder for climate change, supported the proposal.

Referring to the company’s evaluation document he said: “The conclusion to the report shows that the response to the Choose How You Move Warwick District has been overwhelmingly positive with 93% of respondents saying they would recommend the challenge to family, friends and colleagues.

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“One of the challenges we have is that I don’t think enough people know about it and I don’t think it has been well publicised which is why this report is also recommending that we employ an apprentice so that there is better media coverage of the scheme.”

That point was raised by Cllr Mini Mangat who said: “£36,000 seems quite a lot of money to invest when it is only 200 people actually using it and only 8% of those redeem their points with local businesses. Could there be a better way to spend this money?”

An officer’s report explained that while less than 10 per cent of points had been used with local businesses, that did not include local branches of national companies such as Costa Coffee.