This week, 7,000 students will arrive in St Andrews to find themselves immediately whisked off their feet. Free pedicabs will be transporting students to and from the Student Union during Freshers’ Week.
As part of a national competition run by the UK energy company Npower, a group of four 3rd and 4th year students have organized a free pedicab service to encourage students to consider the environmental impact of their travel choices, promote sustainability in a fun way, and reduce the student-body’s carbon footprint.
The third and fourth year students Mark Preston, Catriona Furlong, Myles Cook and Anna Steinmann started their project last March in response to the increasing number of students choosing to take taxis at night, especially during Freshers’ Week.
Catriona Furlong recognized both the environmental and safety benefits of the project. She said: “We saw an opportunity to encourage a sustainable, fun way of getting students home at the end of the night that was particularly convenient in a town as compact as St Andrews.”
The team has been shortlisted, along with eight other UK-University teams, for a once in a lifetime dog sledding expedition to the Arctic Circle with Npower in Spring 2013 where they hope to experience the impacts of climate change first hand.
In June 2012, they were invited by Npower to participate in an orienteering weekend in Dartmoor in order to prepare for the Arctic expedition and develop their team building skills.
The scheme has been helped by their experience studying Sustainable Development, connections with the University Cycling club and has had the backing of one of the UK’s largest pedicab companies, B-Spokes.
The service will also support the cancer fund MacMillan through fundraisers and donation boxes in the pedicabs. The free pedicab service will run between the Union and various halls of residence through the second half of Freshers’ Week so be sure to hail a cab and catch a free ride!