Why not try something different? Walking Works!
Wouldnt it be great if you could arrive at work on time, with a spring in your step, feeling energised for the day ahead? Well you can simply by walking to work.
Across London, that was the message being promoted on Thursday 26 April, on the first ever Walk to Work Day. The morning rush hour saw a parade across Tower Bridge, led by commuters dressed in Dolly Parton wigs, to highlight the days message of Walking 9 to 5. A collection of the great and the good followed them to the official campaign launch in City Hall.
Local events in a wide range of locations from Tower Hamlets to Brent Cross Shopping Centre made sure that the message got out right across the city. This fantastic day launched the new campaign Walking Works, run by national charity Living Streets and funded with £150k over three years by Transport for London.
Walking Works aims to show Londons workers that being a bit more active on their daily commute will make them feel better and give them more control over their lives. And, most importantly, that they can have fun doing it.
The benefits of walking for health, for the environment and for peoples pockets are well documented. Whats often missing is the encouragement to make it a regular part of their daily lives. Walking Works will aim to do just that by encouraging people to sign up to www.walkingworks.org.uk and pledge to walk a certain amount each day, with lots of tips and encouragement along the way.
The campaign will focus on the benefits that regular walking brings. In particular:
Examples of people taking part across London included a joint event run by our pathfinder council The London Borough of Hackney, with City and Hackney Primary Care trust. They offered free healthy breakfasts and health checks to everyone taking part, based at St Leonards hospital. Even the gorgeous Dolly-a-likes were central London workers who walked in from points ranging from Kilburn to Finsbury Park, and Waterloo tube to London Bridge train station, to take part in the launch.
Tom Franklin, Chief Executive of Living Streets, the national charity running the Walking Works campaign, said:Walking all, or just part, of the way to work has fantastic benefits. Youll arrive energised, having seen whats happening in your community en route, having had time to yourself, and with the reassurance that youre not likely to be too delayed by leaves on the line. Join in with people across London and use Walk to Work Day 2007 as an excuse to test run a new, and more enjoyable, way of getting into work.
Ben Plowden, Programme Director of Travel Demand Management at TfL said:The Mayor and TfL are committed to making London one of the most pedestrian friendly cities in the world. By working with Living Streets to encourage people to walk part or all of their daily commute, we hope many more people will realise just how quick and enjoyable walking in the Capital can be.