GET ready to run around the streets of Swindon once again this September as Beat the Street returns.

More than 31,000 schoolchildren, parents and fitness fans clocked up over 313,000 miles by running and cycling between 170 contactless 'beat boxes' set up around town last year.

Swindon as a whole tallied up a bigger total than nearby neighbours Reading during the six-week scheme which is set to start again on September 25 and end on November 6. Pleased parents praised the return of the challenge that aims to combat obesity and encourage people to exercise.

Krysia Bartoszweska said: "Great news. Did it with my Guides last year and hoped it would return as it is such an encouragement to get people moving."

Ieva Purinasa said: "Loved it last year, it got us out of the house and kept us active. Kids are happy to hear it's returning."

Kathryn Inchley said: "My kids are pleased it’s back. They liked the funny sounds the boxes made."

Previously, prizes like cuddly toys and book vouchers were given to schoolchildren who get the highest score.

Playing individually or as part of a school or club team, the aim is to get a high score by tapping your credit card-sized fob on as many of the boxes as possible before your time runs out.

The cards are available from libraries, leisure centres and some supermarkets.

Beat the Street Swindon is being delivered by Intelligent Health and is funded by the National Lottery through Sport England and Swindon Borough Council.

Cabinet member for adults’ services and health councillor Brian Ford said: "It was very successful last year and we want it to be even bigger and better this year.

“We were the most successful town in the country for Beat the Street. I think somebody else has since claimed they did better – but at the time we were on top.

“I’d want the people of Swindon to put us back on top of the pile this year as well. We have slightly reduced our obesity level in the borough – but only slightly.

"We still need people to get off the couch and get out in the streets – and if they do, we’ll have a healthier population.”

Not everyone played fair during last year's competition - some parents missed the point of the scheme and drove between boxes in a bid to boost their score.

A spokesman on the campaign's facebook page said: "We do understand the frustrations that cheating caused last year and we have worked hard in the past year to improve our messaging and the way we identify people who have been cheating."