Residents encouraged to download health and travel app

Local residents are being invited to download a new app which encourages taking healthy actions to benefit both their wellbeing and the environment. In return, users gain rewards that can be spent with retailers.

The ‘Innovation Valley’ app, which launched this week, is available for free across Berkshire. It will help councils plan improvements to:

  • air quality
  • public health
  • roads 
  • energy infrastructure

App users will be encouraged to log when they are taking positive, healthy actions, such as walking, running or cycling, to earn reward points. Points can then be used to gain discounts from a range of national and local shopping brands.

Councils across Berkshire are working together on the ADEPT Live Labs project to make changes to infrastructure and travel thanks to a £4.95m investment in technology trials. The funding is allowing a range of activities in addition to the app, to trial technical advancements around potholes, traffic congestion, air quality, energy and health to help shape the future.

Bracknell Forest Council is working alongside other the Berkshire local authorities on the project: Reading, Wokingham, Slough, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire.

Initiatives already under way in Berkshire include:

  • specialist cameras being installed in waste collection vehicles across Berkshire to identify potholes and predict future road surface deterioration
     
  • air quality sensors being installed across Berkshire to:
    • provide better local knowledge around air pollution
    • trial traffic signal and traveller information strategies to improve air quality
    with the University of Reading evaluating the data and benefits alongside Stantec
     
  • energy management systems have been installed in some council buildings across the county, monitoring and managing power to help councils move towards their environmental targets and keep bills as low as possible for taxpayers
     
  • a county-wide electric vehicle future demand study, looking at the infrastructure that will be needed to accommodate electric vehicles going forward
     
  • a county-wide health and transport study to look at obesity in adults and children, and respiratory illness

Cllr Chris Turrell, Executive Member for Planning and Transport, said:

“We are really excited to be collaborating with other local authorities on this brilliant project which will enable us to make plans that will benefit residents across the whole county.

“This project could have a tremendous impact on the services we provide, and by sharing our resources and information we are able to observe the future of traffic and transport. This will lead to informed and considered decision-making, producing positive outcomes for our residents.”

Giles Perkins, Live Labs Programme Director said:

“We are pleased to see this exciting development in the Thames Valley Live Lab, engaging local communities with the transport network to deliver improved outcomes for all. Understanding the impacts we all have upon our environment will become an imperative as we navigate climate change and we’re pleased to see Thames Valley embrace such thinking as part of the Live Lab.”

The app has been created through the Thames Valley Berkshire Live Lab, part of the national £22.9m ADEPT Smart Places programme funded by the Department for Transport.

How to get the app

To download the app for free, go to your mobile app store and search for ‘Innovation Valley’.

About ADEPT

ADEPT represents local authority, county, unitary and metropolitan Directors. The ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme is also supported by project partners SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, O2, Ringway and WSP. Nine local authorities are working on projects to introduce digital innovation across SMART mobility, transport, highways, maintenance, data, energy and communications. Live Labs is part of ADEPT’s SMART Places programme to support the use of digital technology in place-based services.

The range of trials are being run in conjunction with partners O2, Siemens, Smarter Grid Solutions, Stantec, Shoothill and the University of Reading.