Staff from employers across the Tees Valley have taken the first step to a healthier, happier lifestyle by signing up to the Let’s Go Tees Valley Commuter Challenge this May.

The challenge is part of a Tees Valley project to reduce the number of cars on our roads by encouraging local people to swap single occupancy car journeys for more sustainable modes of travel.

The week-long commuter challenge, launched by local travel project Let’s Go Tees Valley, will run from the 13th to 19th May 2019 and will see commuters switch some or all of their single-occupancy car journeys to walking, cycling, using public transport or car sharing for the chance to win prizes.

“Changing the way we travel from our usual car ride in favour of active travel modes can have a significant impact on our health, waistlines and wallets, as well as reducing congestion and improving air quality.” says Georgina Burke, speaking on behalf of Let’s Go Tees Valley.

“We’re challenging Tees Valley commuters to stop and think before grabbing their car keys for local journeys. Nearly half of all of car journeys are under two miles and these short trips have a huge impact on local congestion and pollution. ”

The challenge is running across the Tees Valley in May to tie in with National Walking Month. National Walking Month is a national campaign to encourage more walking in our everyday lives.

EE in Darlington was the first business to sign-up to take part in the Let’s Go Tees Valley Commuter Challenge for 2019 and was quickly followed by several other large employers including Chemoxy International in Middlesbrough, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies in Billingham and University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton-on-Tees.

To register for the week long Let’s Go Tees Valley Commuter Challenge or to download a promotional pack please visit: http://www.letsgoteesvalley.co.uk/commuter-challenge/ and follow the instructions.

Currently, around two thirds of cars have just one person in them[1], with travel to and from work being the main reason to travel. The majority of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK are transport related[2]. Air pollution in our towns and cities is increasingly being linked to a range of health problems; one third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution[3].


EE, Darlington

EE in Darlington is a keen promoter of being environmentally-friendly and reducing single-occupancy car journeys at its site in Darlington. It implemented a successful car sharing scheme in September 2019. With 176 employees registered for the scheme EE has managed to significantly reduce its car parking pressures.

Speaking on behalf of the business Angela Howey, head of contact centre operations said: “As a growing business with upwards of 2,000 staff needing to access the site on a daily basis we were experiencing huge pressure on our limited car parking spaces.

“The increased demand issues meant that we had started to rent additional spaces from a neighbouring site and we were keen to reduce the number of vehicles being used to access our site on the edge of Darlington town centre.

“Since launching the scheme last year we have seen significant cost savings for the business through a reduction in the number of car parking spaces we need. Car parking demand management has become easier and there is less site congestion. We’re a big employer in the town and this is helping us to demonstrate how much we care by reducing the environmental, congestion and health impact of cars travelling to and from our site.”

Since the scheme started EE has managed to reduce the number of spaces they rent by 70.

  • 176 employees registered to the car share scheme
  • In the first six months of the scheme over 6,500 miles have been saved on the daily commute by employees sharing their journey

In addition to a car-sharing scheme, EE worked with Let’s Go Tees Valley travel advisors to deliver staff travel planning on-site, ran employer travel club sessions with Arriva and Let’s Go Tees Valley travel advisors, and has worked with a local provider to run regular Dr Bike sessions for its staff on site.

[1] Statista, Van and Car Occupancy Rates in England 2002-2016: https://www.statista.com/statistics/314733/single-occupant-car-journeys-in-england/

[2] https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/air-pollution-uk-transport-most-polluting-sector-greenhouse-gas-emissions-drop-carbon-dioxide-a8196866.html

[3] World Health Organization, How Air Pollution is Destroying our Health: https://www.who.int/air-pollution/news-and-events/how-air-pollution-is-destroying-our-health