Jolly green cyclists up for the challenge

ON YOUR BIKE From left, Owen Devine, Paul Harmer, James Sandy, Shelly Hampshire, Vicky Piper and David MacPherson.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (121675-771)
ON YOUR BIKE From left, Owen Devine, Paul Harmer, James Sandy, Shelly Hampshire, Vicky Piper and David MacPherson. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121675-771)
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IT MIGHT not be jolly cycling weather, but these six bike riders are braving the elements to prove a point.

For the rest of this week they are determined to show that in Portsmouth you don’t need to climb into a car to get to and from work.

The pedalling half-dozen are among dozens of people taking part in the annual Big Green Commuter Challenge.

And this year the event has grown to include Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham and Havant.

Forty-six companies and organisations, a record entry, are competing until Sunday to see who can be the greenest in the contest’s 10th year.

The challenge, which takes place every May, is designed to encourage drivers to try other ways of getting to work, such as walking, cycling, taking public transport, car sharing, working from home, or riding a motorbike or scooter

The six pictured here all work for Portsmouth City Council and are based in the Civic Offices in Guildhall Square.

David MacPherson, 32, part of the authority’s website team, said: ‘I’m going to try to cycle to work from Southsea, as much as possible this week. The weather doesn’t put me off because it’s quicker to get to work and certainly faster getting home, which is the main thing.’

Shelly Hampshire, 22, of Oriel Road, North End, a member of the council’s communications team, said her daily ride was keeping her calm. ‘I enjoy it because it de-stresses me on the way home. I can listen to music as I cycle and don’t get stuck in traffic jams.’

Assistant traffic engineer Terri Crook and building surveyor Debbie Scarrow are keen car-sharers. They take it who take it in turns to drive to the council’s offices.

Terri, from Horndean, said: ‘Petrol is so expensive now. Sharing helps with the cost of commuting.’ And Debbie, from Waterlooville, said: ‘It works well. I share with Terri one day a week and another colleague two days a week. It cuts my costs, and you have some conversation in the car.’

In the last nine years, participants have saved 403,421 car miles. This year the challenge aims to take that past 477,710 miles, the distance to the moon and back.


BAE Broadoak

Gosport Borough Council


Portsmouth City Council

Highbury College

Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Partnership


dstl Portsdown West

Eco Drift Ltd

Havant Borough Council

Portsmouth University

Codestorm plc

Fareham Borough Council

Pall Europe Ltd

Solent Cables

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Colas Limited

Capita Business Services Ltd

The Havant office of Hampshire County Council highways department

dstl Alverstoke

Team Portsmouth

Key Recruitment

RBA Architects

Portsmouth Aviation Limited

Seward Group

Sodexho (Broadoak)

NHS Portsmouth

Groundwork Solent

Gosport Ferry

93.7 Xpress FM

Service Personnel and Veterans’ Agency


Motiv8 South Ltd

Southsea Pilates

Parkwood Community Leisure

Gunwharf Quays Management

IBM North Harbour

Sodexho (Gosport)


David Covers and Sons

Asda Fareham

Tri-Synergy Ltd


Marks & Spencer, Fareham

Coffin Mew LLP

BHS, Fareham