Big Green Commuter Challenge

A record number of local companies are competing this week in a challenge to see who can be the greenest.

The Big Green Commuter Challenge is an annual event that encourages drivers to try other ways of getting to work.

This year 46 workplaces across Havant, Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham are encouraging staff to try walking, cycling, public transport or car-sharing, instead of driving alone to work. 

This is a massive increase on last year, when 38 workplaces took part.

This is the 10th year of the challenge.  In the nine years of the event so far, organisations have saved 403,421 car miles. This year the challenge aims to boost that total past 477,710 miles, the distance to the moon and back.

The challenge is run by Portsmouth, Havant, Gosport and Fareham councils, with environmental charity Groundwork Solent.

Organiser Amanda Morris, of Portsmouth City Council, said: "It's brilliant that so many local employers are keen to do something for the environment and have a bit of fun in the process. They enjoy competing to see who can save the most miles.  

"The idea is that once employees have tried a new way of getting to work, they'll carry on.  These days companies are very conscious of their role in helping people to live more sustainably. Many of them have parking problems too, which they need to solve. And it's been proved that employees who get more exercise take fewer days off sick."

People taking part in the challenge can get discounts on buses, trains and cycle kit. Winners can get prizes including iPods.

The challenge runs from 14 to 20 May.