Peter Slater's Journey

Peter Slater

Peter Slater

Data Analyst, Transport Strategy
Our walker from Walker(ville)!

How it all began …..

I used to catch the Metro to work, but I began to walk to work when the line was closed for modernisation for 3 weeks in 2011. Rather than catching the replacement bus service, I decided to try walking to work instead. Now, unless the weather is horrible (which is thankfully very infrequently!), I walk to and from work every day, mainly for the health and financial benefits. I walk from Walkerville (East Newcastle) to Gateshead Civic Centre, which is just over three miles.

Now I frequently walk to meetings in Newcastle at the Civic Centre and University (again, weather permitting), and always walk the last mile from the bus stop to quarterly meetings that I have at Northumberland Fire and Rescue HQ in Cramlington.

The pro’s – and the con’s ……..

Walking to work has made it much easier to maintain my fitness level, as well as saving me a considerable amount of money each month.

Walking is also a very relaxing way to both start and end the day.

It’s a very reliable form of transport – I know within a minute or so exactly how long the journey will take every time, so I am not delayed by problems on the Metro or traffic jams.

The only real downside is that it takes slightly longer than getting the Metro – I can usually get from door to door using the Metro in 25 minutes (by car it is 30 minutes), but walking takes me around 50 minutes.

Tips for would-be walkers …..

  • Use the extra time to relax and enjoy yourself rather than getting stressed by other road users.  I listen to a lot of podcasts, music and audiobooks, and as well as enjoying them, I find that I actually learn things as well – for example, I listened to the Tour de France podcast to keep up with the race. However, if you do use an iPod or mp3 player, make sure that you also pay good attention to traffic when crossing roads!
  • Consider investing in some comfortable walking shoes – this will keep work shoes cleaner for attending meetings.
  • Choose the most pleasant walking journey. I drop down to cross the river at the Millennium Bridge, rather than maintaining my elevation and crossing at the Tyne Bridge. Whilst this results in a rather steep climb up to Gateshead, it further adds to my level of fitness, and means that I get good views of the river, supplemented by the opportunity to take some amazing photos of sunrises over the Tyne and sunsets over the bridges from the Millennium Bridge.
  • Generally, my advice would be to just give it a go, but if you start in the winter months, remember that it’s much more pleasant walking to work in the lighter, warmer mornings. So – keep walking!