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In September 2017, the South Essex Active Travel team attended freshers’ fairs at South Essex College campuses in Thurrock and Southend.
We shared advice with students on public transport, cycling and walking. The students were between 16-18 years old. It was great to see so many interested in the health benefits of continuing to use active travel and many were interested in seeing the calorie counter on the personalised travel plan app.
There were also driving schools present at the fairs and we found it very useful to talk about car sharing as an attractive option to the students. Many were keen to learn to drive but did not understand the costs involved, issues with parking or congestion among other things. As a result, we reiterated the numerous physical and mental benefits of travelling differently, such as on a bike or by foot.
To incentivise the students to talk to us we were able to offer a selection of food products. We engaged in conversation with upwards of 300 students, with 102 completing Personal Travel Plans.
At the fairs, we met and connected with other service providers as well as students. Given the success, we are returning to both colleges for future fairs.