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Walkers and cyclists to be rewarded
An incentive scheme has been launched to reward people for walking and cycling in London in a bid to reduce congestion and pollution and boost fitness in the capital.
Under the new programme, people can download a mobile app to collect points for journeys they make by bike or on foot, which can be redeemed against offers and discounts from a range of companies including Marks & Spencer, Planet Organic and Champneys.
It is hoped the "re:route" scheme will also make it easier for people to find alternative ways of crossing London during the Olympics, when public transport is expected to be very busy.
The scheme is run by Recyclebank, the company which provides a rewards system for residents who recycle their rubbish, and backed by Transport for London (TfL) to try to reduce car use in the capital and encourage the public to swap short journeys by public transport for walking or cycling, including on "Boris" bikes.
More than 100 short journeys on the Tube are thought to be faster on foot.
Under the scheme, users can enter their journey into re:route and see the different options before being rewarded with five Recyclebank points on arriving at their destination if they have walked or cycled.
The app will tell people how many calories they have burnt on their journey and the amount of carbon dioxide they have saved by switching to green transport methods, to try to encourage more sustainable lifestyles by Londoners.
It also allows people to check the number of bikes at Barclays Cycle Hire docking stations, see what the weather is like and save regular journeys, making it easy for people who commute by bike or walking to rack up points every working day.
Ben Plowden, director of planning for TfL surface transport, said: "More people cycling and walking will help to reduce congestion on our roads and on our busy public transport network. An initiative like re:route is a great way to help TfL achieve these goals.
"We're particularly excited about the potential for this app to motivate people to cycle and walk during the London 2012 Games, when London's roads and public transport network will be at their busiest."