A selection of research documents, news items and other articles giving background to how taking action on active travel can contribute to the achievement of Worcestershire County Council’s key priorities.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Reduces traffic congestion
Around the globe congestion is choking our cities and seeing annual pollution targets breached just days into the year. Costing over €100 billion annually, congestion sets European cities back to the equivalent of 1% of the entire EU GDP.
- Congestion costing cities over 1% of EU GDP, ECF study shows (Cycling Industry News, May 2016).
- In New York the addition of bike lanes have actually sped up traffic and reduced pedestrian and cycling injuries (pdf) (New York City Department of Transportation, ‘Protected Bicycles Lanes in NYC’ illustrated document, 2014)
- Sustrans’ Bike Life study found that people cycling in the seven cities take up to 111,564 cars off roads each day. If these cars were lined up, this would equate to a 333 mile tailback – a distance greater than from Cardiff to Newcastle. (Cycling Industry News, November 2017)
Healthier workforce improves productivity
- Walking and Cycling: the economic benefits (pdf) (TfL)
- You’ll arrive at work less stressed and be more productive (Cycling Industry News, June 2017)
- U.S. Distributor QBP decreased health care costs by 4.4% in the first two years of offering cycling to work incentives, saving the business $200,000. (Cycling Industry News, October 2017)
Increases sales for local businesses
- The economic benefits of walking and cycling (Department for Transport November 2014, ‘Claiming the Health Dividend’ document)
- Return on investment can be as high as 35:1, though averages between 5:1 and 19:1. That firmly makes it the best transport investment you can make, says this Department for Transport study. (Cycling Industry News, March 2016/ DfT ‘The Value of Cycling’ document)
- Cycle tourism on the roads alone is said to be worth £106 million a year in economic benefit to Scotland (Cycling Industry News, August 2017)
- Investing in Cycling and Walking: The Economic Case for Action (pdf) (DfT 2015)
- The Value of Cycling (pdf) (DfT, University of Birmingham)
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
Improves academic attainment
- How can active travel enhance educational attainment in school children? (pdf) (Bristol City Council/Dr Darshana Bhattacharjee, Registrar in Paediatrics and Public Health, Briefing Paper)
- 5 Reasons Your Kids Should Walk to School (published by Verywell Family)
Reduces transport poverty
- Transport poverty hits 1.5 million people (Poverty and Social Exclusion research project article about Sustrans report, 2012)
Increases disposable incomes
- How a bike will save you money (and you don’t even have to give up your car) (Strong Towns, 2016)
Reduces carbon emissions
- 7% more cycle path equals 2% less greenhouse gases, calculates study (Cycling Industry News, July 2016)
- Switching From Cars to Bikes Cuts Commuting Emissions by 67% (Bloomberg Green, March 2021)
Improves air quality
Car use is, whether naturally or otherwise, largely declining in dense urban environments. In Paris car use is down 30% since 2001, while cycling’s modal share rose by eight percent between 2013 to 2014. The result when cars are banned, as evidenced by a 2015 day ban, offer a 40% drop in pollution in the city centre.
- Cycling and urban air quality (pdf) (European Cyclists’ Federation document, 2015). Web link no longer working, Nov. 2021.
Improves the public realm
- How Amsterdam ditched motor dependency to became the bicycle capital of the world (The Guardian, May 2015)
- 71% of people support the addition of safe cycle paths on UK roads, says YouGov poll. (British Cycling, 2015)
- The enormous pollution cut and economic potential of infrastructure supported bike share schemes (Cycling Industry News, July 2016)
- A third of London’s cyclists took to two wheels since safe infrastructure began to appear. (Cycling Industry News, July 2016)
- The United Nations Environment has called for 20% of transport budgets to go to active travel to begin to reverse climate and health damage to motor-dependent nations. (Cycling Industry News, October 2016)
- As a solution to cleaning up the air the Transport Research Laboratory recommends a modal share shift and electric bike adoption (Cycling Industry News, June 2017)
HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
Improves physical and mental health
- Ramblers Walking for Health (Public Health England article, January 2020)
- Living near busy road can stunt children’s lung growth, study says (BBC News, November 2019)
- Health Matters: There’s never been a better time to promote active travel (Public Health England’s official blog, August 2016)
- Health briefing from Walk Wheel Cycle Vote (2021)
Reduces road casualties
- Cycling lanes reduce fatalities for all road users, study shows (Science Daily/University of Colorado Denver, May 2019 – updated link to University article)
- More cyclists means fewer accidents, says report (The Guardian, May 2009)
- Urban road safety and active travel (pdf) (Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning/Civitas Satellite/European Commission document, 2019)
Improves social cohesion
- The science behind why cycling makes us happier (oopsmark article, 2013)
- Five reasons why investing in cycling is good for society (Brussels Observer article, April 2015)
- Five Ways Cycling Makes You Happier, Smarter, and Sexier (Bicycling magazine, 2014)
INFOGRAPHICS and more
Physical Activity Guidelines from Department of Heath and Social Care Infographics explaining the physical activity needed for general health benefits for all age groups, disabled adults, pregnant women and women after childbirth. (2019)
The British Cycling Economy – ‘ Gross Cycling Product’ report (pdf) from London School of Economics/British Cycling/Sky, 2012. See infographic on page 5.
Local Transport Note 1/20, July 2020 (pdf): Department for Transport Cycle Infrastructure Design guide. Essential reading for anyone who wants to enable more active travel in England. (Wales has is own Active Travel Act guidance.) Plus their Active travel: local authority toolkit and Transport in rural areas: local authority toolkit (both April 2022).
activetravel.org.uk is from the support programme to guide
Active Travel Info is there to support expenditure on cycling and walking infrastructure, in particular guiding local authorities in producing Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.
Check the material available from Dutch Cycling Embassy.
Walkipedia has a Scottish focus but has wider active travel facts and figures too.
The Walkbook: Recipes for walking & wellbeing, a free e-book to inspire, delight & support creative walks.