Remember Wacky Races, the ’60s cartoon series where a dozen different drivers competed to win the title? Swindon commuters restaged the event on 10th September – but this time, each with a different form of transport.
The challenge was to be the fastest from the Asda superstore on Thamesdown Drive to the town centre railway station. There were five participants: local taxi driver Sarah Day, Sustrans’ Amy Martin on her bike, car driver Chris Pailor, runner (and local newspaper scribe) Darran Reynolds, and Ellie Corcoran on a bus.
The result was nail-bitingly close, with taxi-driver Sarah pipping cyclist Amy to the line by one second – which Amy attributed to the time taken locking up her bike. But as Claire Fleming from Swindon Borough Council pointed out, it’s not just about the time:
“Yes, the taxi was quickest, but it would be the most expensive way of commuting, whereas the cyclist arrived a second later and travelled for free. Even the bus user, who took the longest to reach the finish line, had the most productive commute, taking advantage of the free wifi to catch up with news sites on her mobile.”