Rushden Lakes shoppers treated to bubble-style fun as active travel partnership gets under way
Brightwayz helps organisations across the UK develop safe, active, sustainable travel plans,
A Kettering sustainable travel guru has partnered with Northamptonshire's out-of-town shopping destination to research how to encourage guests to travel there using other means than gas-guzzling cars.
Launched with a family-friendly foam party, giant bubbles greeted Saturday shoppers at Rushden Lakes – with a team from social enterprise Brightwayz entertaining families while gathering information about their travel choices.
Brightwayz helps organisations across the UK develop safe, active, sustainable travel plans and treated children to bubble-style entertainment, while asking parents and carers for their thoughts on travel and transport.
The afternoon of foamy fun marked phase one of a new partnership between Brightwayz and Rushden Lakes, with the survey designed to find out how people travel to the outdoor shopping centre and just how aware they are of the current sustainable travel facilities.
Donna French, centre manager at Rushden Lakes, said: ‘We accept that Rushden Lakes is a somewhat out-of-town destination to those who are not in our direct vicinity, but we want to share with visitors the great walking and cycling routes available from nearby towns, especially the Greenway from Rushden.
“For those who are further afield it is great to see the support that we are seeing from Stagecoach by way of improved bus travel which we can share with both our visitors and the staff working here at Rushden Lakes."
“The work that Brightwayz is undertaking is invaluable to us to give us a broader understanding of what additional information is required to support a more sustainable way to visit Rushden Lakes.”
Brightwayz provides information and resources such as signage and incentives to support workplace and community active travel campaigns for adults.
Founder of Brightwayz, Alison Holland, said: “What better way to gather feedback and do a survey than to lay on entertainment for the kids? While the little ones popped, played with and chased the bubbles, adults happily took a pause from their shopping to complete our travel survey. We even had some pet friendly bubbles, ones with a peanut scent, which went down a treat with dog walkers.”
The Brightwayz team will be carrying out more surveys over the coming weeks and working closely with Rushden Lakes to both promote their current sustainable travel facilities and explore opportunities for more.
Alison, who set up Brightwayz 17 years ago, added: “This is not about asking everyone to leave their cars at home, which would be unrealistic as the majority of people travel to Rushden Lakes by car. This is about exploring alternatives and creating an active travel plan so that visitors and staff have options for alternative modes of travel and the facilities needed to make these choices.”