The effectiveness and benefits of measures to increase walking and cycling

Department for Transport
Start date:
May 2016
April 2017

Commissioned by DfT in support of the new national Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy, this study comprised a rapid evidence assessment into the effectiveness and benefits of investment into walking and cycling.

Guided by six research questions, the assessment identified more than 300 sources from around the world.  Of these, 55 passed stringent quality criteria and were reviewed in depth.

The study established that, overall, the evidence base is characterised by a number of important gaps.  Whilst there is widespread agreement in the literature that the most effective mechanisms for boosting cycling and walking comprise integrated and complementary packages of intervention - including both 'hard' and 'soft' measures - detailed evidence on optimal interventions, and optimal mixes of interventions, is largely lacking.

The study highlights, in particular, what is known about the health impacts of cycling and walking investment and offers insights on how investment can best be targeted to ensure maximum health benefits.

The study was published alongside the new national Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy in April 2017.

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