The popular physical activity game Beat the Street gets underway in Merton next week

Colleagues from Merton Council and Merton Connected

People of all ages are invited to ditch the car and get active as Beat the Street Merton gets underway in the borough from Wednesday 15March to Wednesday, 26 April.

Beat the Street is a free, interactive game that encourages people of all ages to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives by rewarding teams with points and prizes the further they travel on foot, by bike and by scooter. It forms part of the Actively Merton programme, which supports people to be more physically and socially active, delivered in a way that residents want it.

The prizes for the teams that travel the furthest in the game include vouchers for books and sports equipment. There is a total points leaderboard and an average leaderboard, giving the  opportunity for teams of all sizes to win.

Beat the Street was devised by GP Dr William Bird to make exercise and physical activity fun by introducing a competitive game element. Ithas been played in towns and cities from the north of Scotland, to Eastbourne on the south coast, as well as nearby Islington and Lambeth.

Beeping and flashing sensors called Beat Boxes will be placed on lampposts around Merton for the duration of the six-week game. Primary school pupils will be provided with a player pack containing a map and a card for the child and an accompanying adult. The wider community can pick up a contactless card from a distribution points including libraries and leisure centres across Merton.

Alternatively, players over the age of 13 can download the free Beat the Street app to play the game.

Players can join a school, community, or a workplace team, plus one of two official charity teams – which are this year’s charities of the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Joan Henry – the Dons Local Action Group and the Jimmy Asher Foundation.

Players then travel between the contactless Beat Boxes scoring points with their cards as they go. The further players travel, the more points they score for their community or school team. Each week is themed with different activities to help participants get the most out of their Beat the Street experience.

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.

Councillor Peter McCabe, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We are delighted to bring this innovative and compelling game to Merton, and we can’t wait to see how far everyone is able to walk, run, cycle and scoot during the game. Active Travel is cheap, low carbon, improves air quality and also improves physical and mental health Everyone is welcome to get involved. So, pick up a card or download the mobile app, and join the movement!”

Mark Creelman, Place Executive – Merton and Wandsworth, NHS South West London added: “Beat the Street encourages people to explore their local area on foot which means you often find new parts of the area that you might not have seen before, even if you’ve lived here for years. Not only that, but it provides a great way of encouraging people to make small, but positive lifestyle changes. All you need is a good pair of shoes and you’re ready to get going.”

More information is available at and on social media at @BTSMerton

Notes to editor:

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.