This article was published in 2018, in Newsletter 138.
The Eddington Number is known amongst some cyclists but not all. With the opening of a new neighbourhood in Cambridge called Eddington, the University of Cambridge is launching a cycling campaign in the city, to promote sustainable travel and healthy living, and an awareness of Eddington: both the Number and Neighbourhood!
The Eddington Number campaign is an initiative devised to build upon the rising number of sustainable journeys already taking place across Cambridge and the surrounding area. A recent survey of transport use across Eddington indicated that 47% of all trips by residents are currently made by walking or cycling.
Your Eddington Number is the largest number of miles you have cycled for a consistent number of individual days. For example, if you have cycled five miles in a day on five separate days (which do not need to be consecutive) you will have an Eddington Number of 5. Sir Arthur Eddington’s own Eddington Number was 84 which means he cycled 84 miles on 84 different days.
The campaign will run from May to September and will aim to get more people cycling in the Cambridge area. All participants will be able to calculate their number and track their progress using the University’s custom-built campaign website (eddingtonnumber.co.uk) and connect with other cyclists using the Strava platform (search Eddington Number Challenge). The website also includes goals for people of all abilities, with suggested target Eddington Numbers for beginners, improvers and enthusiasts. Novice cyclists could start by aiming for an Eddington Number of 2-5, improvers might attempt reaching 6-10 and those trying to push themselves may go for 11-15 or even more!
Heather Topel, Project Director of the North West Cambridge Development (Eddington Number Target: 5), commented: ‘Whilst the focus is on cycling, we hope that walkers will also get involved in the challenge too. With different targets for all abilities there really is something to get everyone involved. Throughout the campaign the University will be updating the website with cycle trails and routes that will not only help people increase the amount they cycle but also encourage them to explore the surrounding area and get to know their neighbours.’
Several initiatives already encourage sustainable travel at Eddington. A cycle loan scheme is on offer to university staff and their families who are residents, with the option at the end of the loan period to purchase a bike. A refresher course for those needing a confidence boost is available and there are also regular cycle clinics. Eddington itself was created with infrastructure designed specifically to encourage healthy commuting, with extensive travel-planning measures taken to assist sustainable journeys, including strategic walking routes and cycle links.
By Eddington Number Challenge