COMMUTERS are being inspired to take the first step towards a healthier, happier lifestyle, by swapping the car for something healthier – and getting the chance to win some fabulous prizes!

The Let’s Go Tees Valley Commuter Challenge encourages drivers to leave the car at home and travel to work by walking, cycling, car-sharing, or using public transport.

The scheme will return from Monday, September 16 to Sunday, September 22. Organisers hope that more commuters will be persuaded that this behaviour is better for their health, the environment and their bank balance.

For every green commute they do during the week, commuters will be entered into a draw to win a new Boardman bike package, complete with helmet and lights, worth £750.

Everyone who takes part will also be in with a chance to win prizes every day, including afternoon tea at Wynyard Hall, a FitBit Versa, and a workplace breakfast for themselves and their colleagues.

Alex Kay, Transport Planning Officer said: “Many of us are looking for easy ways to get fitter, save money and reduce our environmental impact. At the same time, employers want to boost staff wellbeing and reduce absenteeism.

“Choosing more active ways to commute, including walking to the bus stop or train station, as well as cycling, all contribute to achieving those outcomes. We’d like more Tees Valley commuters to stop and think before hopping in the car for local journeys.

“Nearly half of all car journeys are under two miles, and these short trips have a huge impact on congestion and pollution in and around our towns. We know that people often don’t consider the car-free alternatives, and this is a great opportunity for them to try out new ways to travel.”

Businesses throughout Tees Valley will be taking part, including town councils, Cummins, University Hospital of North Tees, James Cook University Hospital, Darlington Memorial Hospital, and EE, among others.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, has praised the scheme for its benefits to the local area and is urging more commuters to take part.

He said: “We’re investing heavily to make cycling, walking, train and bus journeys as smooth, enjoyable and as fast as possible. Just last month I signed off advanced funding to kick-start a number of transport projects worth £45million, including cash to improve cycling and walking infrastructure.

“The Let’s Go Tees Valley Commuter Challenge is a great opportunity for people living and working in the region to explore using healthier and more sustainable forms of transport for their daily commute and enjoy the health benefits of being more active.”

To take part in the Commuter Challenge, visit to sign up, or for more information.