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RESIDENTS in Basildon, Thurrock and Southend could win £250 by taking part in a new challenge to promote public transport.
The ‘Festive Travel Challenge’ asks members of the public to take just one journey by bus or train that they would normally have done in a car.
They can then alert organisers by social media or email, to be entered into a draw for the cash prize.
Organisers have even organised for experts to help residents plan the fastest route by public transport.
The contest, which runs until the end of December, is the brainchild of South Essex Active Travel (SEAT), a group set up by Essex, Southend and Thurrock councils. Their work is funded by the Department for Transport.
SEAT promotes walking, cycling and public transport, to cut down on damaging emissions from cars.
It was set up to tackle rising pollution levels in south Essex, caused by increasing numbers of cars on the road.
In recent years, Basildon and Rochford councils have been ordered by Government to tackle illegal levels of toxic pollution along stretches of the A127, with ministers threatening to impose a congestion charge if the dangerous gases are not brought under control.
The Festive Travel Challenge will be advertised on buses throughout Essex.
SEAT spokesman Simon La Roche said: “We’re encouraging people to take part in our travel challenge throughout December, so that they can experience some of the many benefits which public transport can bring.
“If you find the festive period is busy and stressful, then taking the bus or train to work or college can give you the perfect opportunity to take some time for yourself and indulge in a film or listen to some of your favourite music.
“If you’re keen to save money, then swapping a car for public transport could cost you a fraction of the price. And not forgetting, taking part in our challenge will mean you’re in with a chance of winning a £250 prize.”
To be in with a chance of winning, participants should share a post about their journey on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #FestiveTravel.
Alternatively, they should email [email protected].
To consult one of ForwardMotion’s travel advisers, call 01702 212727.