‘Toolbox’ highlights economic benefits of active travel

A ‘toolbox’ for councils seeking to build the business case for cycling and walking schemes has been launched by Sustrans in partnership with Living Streets and the TAS Partnership.

The free pack – which includes guides, resources, tools and case studies – comes in three specific areas: making the economic case for active travel; linking active travel and public transport to housing growth and planning; and highlighting the role of active travel in improving health.

The partners said that evidence shows walking and cycling can contribute to economic performance by reducing congestion, supporting local businesses and high streets, and helping to underpin leisure and tourism sectors. Making it easier for families and communities to walk and cycle can also improve health and air quality.

The pack includes three tools that which can be used for forecasting the impact of planned interventions:
• Infrastructure Impact Tool – estimates the impact of investments in specific types of cycling infrastructure.
• Recreational Expenditure Model – estimates the economic benefit of recreational cycling in terms of expenditure in the local economy.
• Strategic Investment Tool – aids understanding around the impact and cost of multi-intervention investment.

The toolbox brings together information and resources for local government to develop a business case for walking and cycling, plan and deliver active travel schemes in their area and link walking and cycling schemes to planning and public health, the partners said.
England policy director at Sustrans, Jason Torrance, said: “There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates investment in walking and cycling has many economic, social, health and environmental benefits and so it must be prioritised.

“Governments have begun to recognise this, recently with the publication of England’s first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. The challenge now is to deliver change locally.

“This toolbox brings together existing evidence and supporting case studies from across the UK and beyond to help local authorities and their partners make the case for and deliver walking and cycling solutions on the ground.”

Tompion Platt, head of policy and communications at Living Streets, said: “We welcomed the government’s recent commitment to get more people walking. Now it’s essential that local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships get to work to reduce car use and enable more people to walk and cycle.”


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