UWE Bristol Travel Challenge - which journey was the quickest?

Issue date: 19 October 2012


In the second annual UWE Bristol Travel Challenge, cycles were narrowly pipped to the finishing line by the motorcycle as the quickest way to commute to Frenchay Campus.

A group of nine staff and students from UWE Bristol took part in the race this week to find out what mode of transport is the fastest and the most satisfying for the daily commute to work.

The Travel Challenge organised by the Centre for Transport and Society and UWESU, saw nine competitors each choose a different mode of transport - car, motorcycle, cycle, bus and walking boots.

The motorcycle was first to arrive at UWE in 16 minutes, closely followed just two minutes later by the cycle (18 mins). Car (38 mins) and Bus (40 mins) were next to arrive, followed by the walker in 58 mins.

The commuters all started from the same point on Gloucester Road, approximately 3.2 kms from the main Frenchay Campus.

Cyclists, third year Conservation Biology student, Hannah Owen, and fellow student, Joe Hewlings took 18 and 20 mins respectively to complete their ride.

Keen cyclist, Hannah was surprised by how close her finishing time came to that of winning motorcyclist's, Jay Millington. She said, “It was good to finish so close to Jay on the motorbike, it was a surprise. I thought he might be a bit ahead on the motorbike, as there's the option of filtering through the traffic. All in all, it was an enjoyable experience, the weather was good for cycling and there were no disruptions. I got involved in the travel challenge to promote the benefits of cycling. Cycling is my main form of transport; it's great for getting around quickly, cheaply and for my general fitness.”

Winners, motorcyclist Jay Millington (Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering), with Rachel Mylrea (Human Resources) on pillion, were pleased to have won the challenge. Jay said, “It was an enjoyable experience. I usually cycle to work, but I was curious about the challenge to see how motorcycling/cycling would compare. We took very different routes but I was able to filter through the traffic; I thought it might be fairly close and there was very little difference at all.”

In lighter traffic this year, Billy Clayton (Faculty of Environment and Technology) who alternates cycling with driving to work shaved 15 minutes off last year's time to drive the 4.13 mile journey in 38 minutes. He said, “The traffic was surprisingly light this year, which made my car journey much quicker. I enjoyed the competitive element too, we had a Twitter feed this year so my passenger could track the progress of the others, we were neck and neck with the bus all the way. “

Anja Dalton, from the Centre for Transport and Society was the last to arrive at Frenchay Campus, walking the journey in 58 minutes. Anja who usually cycles to UWE, took the back routes and traffic free paths to get to campus, noting that her only disruption was at the pedestrian traffic lights that took some time to change. She enjoyed this new experience adding, “It was a lovely sunny morning to walk in to work, I felt no need to rush and found that the extra time allowed me to mentally prepare my workload for the day. I enjoyed listening to my music and having walked the three miles, I felt that I'd already done all my exercise for the day.”

The Travel Challenge is part of a week of activities the University has been running this week to celebrate Sustainability Week . Sustainability Week organiser, Vicki Harris said, “Thanks to all our competitors who took on the UWE Bristol Travel Challenge, it really highlights the quick, easy and healthier travel alternatives to the car, to get to Frenchay Campus.”

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