Poll: Council spends £60k on electronic tags on Norwich lampposts to get people walking and cycling - is it money well spent?

A new scheme will see technology installed on lamp-posts in parts of Norwich so people can log how far they have walked or cycled. A new scheme will see technology installed on lamp-posts in parts of Norwich so people can log how far they have walked or cycled.

Monday, January 6, 2014
11:28 AM

Electronic tags are to be fitted to Norwich lampposts so people can log how far they are walking or cycling - as part of a £228,000 attempt to get people to get out of their cars.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The unusual tactic to encourage fitness has been funded through money Norwich City Council got from the Department of Health.

Some 15,000 people are expected to take part in the interactive challenge, competing against each other to win prizes for walking or cycling the most.

Special cards will be made available at GP surgeries and in libraries. Every time somebody with a card passes one of 35 devices installed on lampposts in Crome and Heartsease, information will be logged.

City council leaders, who have enlisted IT company Intelligent Health to run the challenge this summer, hope schools and businesses will check online to see who can walk the furthest and most regularly.

Prizes are likely to be given to those who walk and cycle the furthest, but details of how that would work have yet to be decided.

The idea is that it will show people that they do not need to use cars to get about and convince them to swap the steering wheel to pounding the pavements or taking to two wheels on bicycles.

Intelligent Health has already run similar schemes elsewhere, including at Caversham in Berkshire, where a primary school won £6,000 in library books for its pupils topping the table.

The scheme is part of the city council’s Walk To project. City Hall was one of five authorities to make successful bids for a share of a £1.2m government pot.

In November, it was announced that the council had secured £228,000 from the Department of Health and the interactive walking challenge will use up £60,000 of that grant.

Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “This is yet another example of how the council, with its partners, has managed to unlock extra funding to invest in the health and wellbeing of Norwich citizens.”

The rest of the money will be used for a number of other projects to run over the next two years.

The other projects include:
• Active Norfolk putting on a programme of health walks targeted at the most inactive people in the city.

The aim is to get 500 people out and about by walking through the city’s parks and open spaces as a safe and

pleasant environment to encourage walking.

• Liftshare working with local businesses so staff are aware of alternative transport through ‘personal travel plans’. Companies will be provided with options for using buses, cycles and walking, with factors such as calories used, cost and emissions highlighted. The target is to reach 2,400 people.

• A project co-ordinator will be given a budget to make sure the city benefits from national walking initiatives while championing the financial and environmental benefits of walking.

The Department for Transport announced last summer that a Cycle City Ambition grant would be awarded to Norwich City Council.

The cash, made up of £3.7m from government and £1.8m of local money, will be used to upgrade cycling routes across Norwich, including an eight-mile route through the city centre, known as the pink pedalway, which will connect Heartsease with the University of East Anglia

Ms Arthur said of the Walk To scheme: “This project will sit alongside our cycling project to help reduce health inequalities, encourage people to shift to sustainable forms of transport and so reduce carbon emissions, traffic noise and congestion and make sure that our new cycling infrastructure is not to the detriment of pedestrians.”

55 comments

  • what a complete waste of money !! there are totally free apps available for your mobile to do just this. For gods sake Norwich council think again and sack the idiot or thought up the idea

    Report this comment

    mike

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • this is typical from a labour council . Take a look at the recent post about derby labour council who are axing hundreds of councils jobs because of lack of money . At the same time they have given 180 thousand pounds of public money to help immigrants gain employment in the derby area . More proof that labour hasnt changed or learnt by its mistakes

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

  • We will get this money to make us, councillors, look good and stuff what the citizens of this county want. Lets all remember this when they next come crawling for our votes

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I wonder if the use of these tags are in the terms of the grant? Perhaps someone might let us know? As surely no one, not even members of NCC are capable of wasting that amount of money on something that is so plainly ridiculous.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Well said Daisy. I agree, how long before they are vandalised by some mindless idiot. Money could be better spent fixing the large potholes on the Acle Straight!!!!

    Report this comment

    Neil

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Another excuse for cyclists to use the pavements - as if they need one!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Nail on head Daisy - crass , short-term , gimmicky , appeal to the 'want to swim with dolphins' , 'lottery card scratching' , 'I'd like to lose weight but they don't have a weightwatchers near me' mentality. Another hopeless waste of money heralded by an ineffective & inept council leader.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Typical of the Greeniot lunacy we are seeing more and more. BTW, how's the £140,000,000 debt coming along????

    Report this comment

    windup

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Daisy Roots :: "....No Larson it is not..." . My apologies to you all , it now seems that the decision of the Tory run Department of Health to spend this money in the way it has under the direction of the Tory government is actually the fault of the Labour Party. Ye gods ! These lefties are so cunning !

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Another gimic, another waste of money. This will be forgotten in a years time.

    Report this comment

    Crazy

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • 'No Larson it is not'. With the greatest of respect Daisy, your argument somewhat shoots itself in the foot. If indeed, the Labour government was to blame for setting up the departments that you refer to, then the Tory government, with its obsession of saving money, would surely be looking to disband such rabbles, unless of course they consider such organisations to be smokescreens to the real shaf*ing that we're on the end of, whereby the financial institutions are allowed to cream off the milk, and people like George Osbourne can hide their wealth in places like the Cayman Islands

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • what is stopping me getting in my car and going to all of these lampposts to win the prizes I think the money could be spend on other things like stop dog owners leaving dog mess ie - dog wardens 60k = 4 dog wardens this is a serious problem in heartsease.

    Report this comment

    DAVE

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • No Larson it is not This is an example of the projects that government department employees contrive to keep themselves in work and to make sure they keep getting their cut of the funding We all know this profligacy started with Labour, all the quangos etc over a decade of it, and we know that the Tories have not yet got around to pruning such wastefulness-no matter what left wingers like to claim. The Enviroment Agency-Defra-English Nature are another good example of little empire builders wasting money on pet projects instead of it being ear marked for important stuff.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • A lunatic waste of public money.

    Report this comment

    Disgusted of Norwich South

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • There I am believing we are short of money. Proves the point that it's easy to spend someone else's money . WHAT A TOTAL WASTE

    Report this comment

    canaryken

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Don't the doh have anything else to spend taxpayers money on and when are the council going to realise cars are not going to go away ? The people using this ridiculous scheme are those who would bike or walk anyway .i loathe cycling but walk miles with a Labrador. I certainly don't want the council spying on my movements.

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • The problem with free apps on your smartphone is that they don't funnel tax payers money into the pockets of the sort of people who run schemes like these.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • When I first read this I thought Spring had come early. I thought it must be April the 1st. Who are these people that are able to make such daft decisions on our behalf.

    Report this comment

    patbowls

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I doubt if this will get drivers out of their cars, as if you want to walk or cycle, that's what you will do anyway. More cycle lanes would help.

    Report this comment

    Mr J

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • What a superb idea! Nothing but a ploy to drum up trade for the shoe industry. Oh sorry I didn't know we don't have any now. Never mind then use it as a survey to report damaged pavements needing repair.

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Nice to know they've got plenty of money to waste on stupid schemes like this.

    Report this comment

    Michael Clintergate

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • OK Ingo and Larson, we all know of old how " right on" or maybe I should say liberal on , you both are from years of co posting Maybe I should rephrase what I said-this wastefulness is symptomatic of the creeping wet hen-ness and silliness which gradually pervaded local and national government during Labour's years in office and became a joke. Only when it wastes the taxes hard strapped working people it is not a joke. It may be this government trotting out the cash and maybe it is all part of a Thick of It style PR. All I can say that while the county is in desperate need of anything resembling a proper cycle path network this is an infuriatingly gimmicky waste of money. If people with type 2 diabetes need this sort of incentive to exercise they are hardly likely to have the will power to get their noses out of the trough anyway.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • What a complete waste of money!! I agree with Daisy above......

    Report this comment

    Christine Bell

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Typical of the Greeniot lunacy we are seeing more and more. BTW, how's the £140,000,000 debt coming along????

    Report this comment

    windup

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Spend the money on repairing the pavements and replacing the light bulbs in the street lamps.

    Report this comment

    bazzaboy

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • ....... meanwhile cuts are being made on essential services to the old and vulnerable.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Norwich City Council continues to be a pioneering authority and leads the way on this and many other issues.If only one person does not develop type 2 diabetes as a result of obesity as a result of this initiative,the £60,000 will be recouped and more for the NHS.Sometimes you have to spend to save and prevention is better than cure.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Thanks Archant , it only took you 10 hours to publish my comment from 7.00 am.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • What a complete waste of money!! I agree with Daisy above......

    Report this comment

    Christine Bell

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Is there a department within the hallowed walls of the city chambers where a committee called" How to waste money" . It isn't April yet ,so that cannot be the reason for this caper.

    Report this comment

    stormy

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • As a cyclist, I resent this effort to make cycling a political issue. People like me who want to cycle will; those who don't, won't. Why are my taxes being wasted on these stupid schemes? You can guarantee most of the idiots preaching about the benefits of cycling spend about ten minutes at most on their overly expensive fashion-statement bikes a week (always when the cameras are running of course). The rest of the time, they're driving. Why doesn't that 60k go toward clearing up the constant glass on the roads along Dereham Road, and into the City,, so cyclists like me don't have to fix punctures every few weeks? No? Didn't think so.

    Report this comment

    dan

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • This is typical of the stupid infantile Guardianista way this country has been run and continues to be run by the sort of adults who buy other adults birthday cards depicting teddy bears. Somewhere along the line this country lost almost every grain of common sense we ever had. Money is short-here we are in Norfolk expecting sixth formers and FE students to pay their own transport costs, we have roads like cart tracks and pavements the same , scarcely any cycle paths any where in the county, yet there is silly money available from a silly government fund to pay for a silly scheme which will encourage only the sort of people who do stuff like geocaching to ride a bike once in a while. Wonder what sort of birthday cards Brenda Arthur buys.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • So this is how the Special Grant the City has received is to be spent ! and mostly in Council Estates....

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • As a cyclist, I'd far rather see the money invested in road repairs -- and not just in the City, either. There are plenty of "cyclist-killer" potholes in the countryside around Reepham, where I live. As other commenters have noted, cyclists and walkers who wish to record this kind of performance data can do so using mobile apps or inexpensive on-bike computers.

    Report this comment

    Trevor Ashwin

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I bet the edp couldnt believe their luck when they got wind of this story... "just think of all the nutters posting comments on this one!".... and they are right.

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Brilliant idea why don't they adapt them to count how many dogs urinate against said lamp posts too. Really who comes up with this rubbish

    Report this comment

    julius pepperwood

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I am a cyclist and on a daily basis have to negotiate countless potholes and road surfaces that are eroded. It is not that the council does not periodically fill-in the potholes or re-surface roads but that having had work done almost immediately the potholes reappear and road surfaces begin to fail. Why not pay to have the work done properly to the benefit of cyclists and motorists rather than waste money on this nonsense.

    Report this comment

    Joyce

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • "Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “This is yet another example of how the council, with its partners, has managed to unlock extra funding to invest in the health and wellbeing of Norwich citizens.” " ....... er, no, Brenda - this is yet another example of how the council, with its partners, has managed to waste £60k of taxpayers money on a totally ridiculous and pointless folly!

    Report this comment

    Citizen of EUSSR

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • The year of hard truths indeed Mr Osbourne, and this is harder to take than many. I cannot seem to shake the words money and sense from my head.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Just who thought up this stupid waste on money?

    Report this comment

    D. ROSS

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • ".....typical of the stupid infantile Guardianista way this country ...." Er.....what's this got to do with The Guardian newspaper ? It's from the Tory government . The Cameronistas.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Totally agree with the majority of the comments - an absolute waste of public money. Thank God that the socialists at City Hall weren't able to extend their empire into a wider unitary area.

    Report this comment

    Birdman

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I agree with Mike. For walkers, there are free apps to download to your smart phone - I use Pacer - that will do all this for you wherever you are. There are similar apps for cyclists too. No need for out of date technology on lamposts that's vulnerable to vandalism and no doubt will require maintenance. Better to spend the money on repairs to potholes and pavements and street cleaning and graffiti removal to make the roads and pathways safer.

    Report this comment

    Rich Hartt

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Thing is, what's the point running this story or a poll. Even if every single person in Norwich voted against it and wrote a comment here Brenda and her little band of cronies will still just go ahead with it as they don't care what anyone thinks other than themselves.

    Report this comment

    norfolkdumpling

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Furthermore, how very Orwellian. Anyone state loving sheeple who plays along with this might as well have a microchip put in their brain and be done with it.

    Report this comment

    dan

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • two posts from Daisy making out that this is all a leftwing ploy when the truth is starring us in the face, its party politics and local Government that needs accounting for, regardless of party. Can we not have a councillor's attendance app, please, or an officers self preservation counter.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • why should cyclist want to know how many miles they cycled? This is not a waste of money but misappropriation of money, a proposal to spent money on self grandising records. This will not get people on to bikes but raiose the question whether local council are fit to spent allocated money for the purposes allocated.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • It would appear from the very close poll run by the paper and the unanimous postings on here that this is something the world and his dog have been yearning for. Would this not have been a better idea to have been wheeled out on April the first! Whoa, hang on a mo, could this be a Candid Camera take on?

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • While I fully agree with the shear stupidity of this waste of money, I simply must correct one point. Quangos first were set up in the UK under the Thatcher Government in the 1980s. From their peak in the 90s, they have been steadily falling since 1997 - Even they the Blair Government was following the same monetarist policies of Thatcher. However, I think you are right about the teddy bear birthday cards...

    Report this comment

    Demo Crass

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • So where is the data recorded? Do you get a record kept on your tag? Or does Big Brother keep a record of where and when everyone has been? Are you taking enough exercise? "Smith! 6079 Smith W.! Yes you! .... you're not trying...."

    Report this comment

    Geoff

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • It must be sommat in the water supply at City Hall for this is a really bonkers idea, even for them.

    Report this comment

    Gina

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I'm going to go round on my moped that was heavily subsidised to help me get back to work and swipe all of the posts, I'll win some beer and pizza money for sure.

    Report this comment

    Skoalbandit

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Last summer myself and thousands of other people walked further around Norwich than they have in many years. Go Gorilla not only paid for itself it also raised thousands for charity and got people walking. Why do we need the council to spend £60k on this? Why can't they learn from what they saw last year, copy it and spend this money in more effective ways? I would rather go find a gorilla than a lamp post any day!

    Report this comment

    Shirley Banester

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Agreeing with all the comments here, this is a total waste of money. Now the EDP runs a poll and a story, plus gather all these comments, mostly against this stupid idea. Wouldn't it be nice to see the EDP actually "DO" something with the poll and comments and then run a story to say the idea had been overturned because of the public comments. Could even be worth a few browny points....

    Report this comment

    Mr T

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • So all the obese couch potatoes whose main exercise is opening another packet of crisps will suddenly spring up and say "WOW, now that I can go out and swipe a card on every lamppost to measure how far I've walked, I'll get up off my big fat a.. and get some exercise!". What a complete and utter waste of money

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Monday, January 6, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Homes24
Jobs24
Drive24
LocalSearch24
MyDate24
MyPhotos24
FamilyNotices24
Weddingsite

loading...

Classifieds, browse or search them online now

The Canary magazine
Order your copy of The Canary magazine

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT