Beat the Street is coming to Merton

A popular interactive game that encourages people to walk, cycle and wheel is set to launch in Merton. The game is free and open to anyone who lives, works or studies in Merton and will take place across the borough from Wednesday 15 March to Wednesday 26 April. 

Beat the Street was created by GP Dr William Bird to encourage people to explore their local areas and to make exercise fun. It is part of the Actively Merton programme, which supports people to be more physically and socially active, delivered in a way that residents want it.

More than 1.5 million people have played Beat the Street so far, in more than 120 locations across the UK, including Glasgow, Llanelli, Sheffield and Torbay.  It has been designed to get communities to become more active and to make small lifestyle changes, such as walking or cycling to school or work more often.

Beat the Street has a significant impact on increasing levels of physical activity among adults and children. It also helps reduce congestion, improving air quality, and helps families spend time together, exploring local green spaces. 

To play, children use a special tap card and paper map, which will be distributed by participating primary schools. Adults can pick up their free card from one of Merton’s libraries or leisure centres. Players over the age of 13 can download the free Beat the Street app to play the game by tapping their phone.

Players can join a school, community, their families and friends or a workplace team. There are also teams for the two official charities of the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Joan Henry – Dons Local Action Group and Jimmy Asher Foundation. There will be prizes for the teams that travel the furthest, with vouchers for books and sports equipment on offer. Beat the Street leader boards allow players and teams to compare their progress and compete – in the healthiest way possible. There will be also opportunities for teams of all sizes to win prizes

Once the game is underway, players find their nearest of 200 Beat Boxes, which are contactless card readers positioned on lampposts around the borough. Beat Boxes record each player’s points tally and can be found near schools, leisure centres and green spaces. Participants can record their activity and add points by hovering their card over the reader.

Councillor Peter McCabe, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We’re delighted to bring Beat the Street to Merton. It’s free to take part in Beat the Street and it’s open to everyone regardless of age, ability or background.  This inclusive and compelling game encourages you to exercise in a fun way with your friends and family, plus explore your local area.”

Mark Creelman, Place Executive – Merton and Wandsworth, NHS South West London said: “Beat the Street is a new and different way of helping people be more active, which is also great fun. It’s perfect for boosting mental health and bringing people together too. We can’t wait to see how many active travel miles Merton’s communities clock up.”

Beat the Street Merton has been commissioned by Merton Council and NHS South West London with support from the National Lottery via Sport England. It is being delivered by Intelligent Health.

More information will be available at and on social media at @BTSMerton

Beat the Street Merton has been commissioned by Merton Council and NHS South West London with support from the National Lottery via Sport England. It is being delivered by Intelligent Health.

How to play

To play, you can use a card or our Beat the Street App (Age 13+). 

 1.       Create your Beat the Street account on our website at or by downloading our Beat the Street App via Google Play or the App Store.

 2.       Add family members, and register a card to player profiles. Set up a team or join an existing one.

 3.       Start your journey. Find your nearest Beat Box using a paper or digital map and hover your card at the contactless Beat Box until it beeps and flashes. If playing with the app, tap the Beat Box icon on your phone and swipe to collect points.

 4.       Visit two Beat Boxes within an hour and collect 10 points for each Beat Box – this is 20 points for the journey.

 5.       Carry on your journey. Score 10 points for each extra Beat Box you visit.

 By playing with the Beat the Street App, you get access to exclusive features! Collect gems, choose an avatar to represent you in-game and raise the competition in your team leaderboards.