Local shopping scheme rewards cyclists in Wanstead High Street

At Cycle Lifestyle we love hearing about clever new ideas that aim to help get people cycling. One innovation I came across recently really caught my eye, and is especially topical at this time of year when bargain-hunters hit the High Street en masse.

Sustainable transport charity Sustrans has launched a groundbreaking new scheme that rewards shoppers on Wanstead High Street for cycling to the shops.

The ‘Biking Borough Shops’ scheme, which is funded by Transport for London and delivered in partnership with London Borough of Redbridge, aims to reduce congestion in Wanstead by encouraging more people to cycle to their local shops and cafes.

Over a dozen of the High Street’s independent shops have joined the scheme so far, including a grocer’s, butchers, drycleaners and delicatessen.

Shoppers participating in the scheme must collect 20 points on a loyalty card by making a purchase at a participating retailer. Sustrans will reward completed loyalty card holders with a new bicycle pannier, which will help local residents carry their shopping on their bikes.

The scheme is part of the Redbridge Biking Borough project which provides skills and support to people wanting to make more local journeys by bike.

Emilie Charlesworth, Sustrans Cycling Promotion Officer for Wanstead, who established the scheme, said; “Cycling to the shops is quick, easy and cheap, and good for the environment.

“Choosing to do your shopping by bike also supports local businesses and helps to ease traffic congestion on your local roads.

Rachel Root, owner of High Street gift shop The Orange Tree, and Chair of the Wanstead Business Partnership said; “I’m all for preserving the High Street’s village feel and promoting local, independent shops.

“This scheme will see more local residents shopping in the area and encourage people to cycle rather than drive to the High Street from surrounding areas like Aldersbrook and South Woodford, saving time usually spent in traffic jams and finding parking.”

Congratulations to everyone involved in this exciting new scheme, which we’ll watch with interest.

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