Walking and cycling (PH41)

  • Public health guidance PH41
  • Issued: November 2012
    • Walking and cycling: local measures to promote walking and cycling as forms of travel or recreation

      This guidance partially updates and replaces NICE public health guidance 2 (published in March 2006)

      This guidance sets out how people can be encouraged to increase the amount they walk or cycle for travel or recreation purposes. This will help meet public health and other goals (for instance, to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions).

      The guidance is for commissioners, managers and practitioners involved in physical activity promotion or who work in the environment, parks and leisure or transport planning sectors. They could be working in local authorities, the NHS and other organisations in the public, private, voluntary and community sectors.

      In addition, it will be of interest to people who promote walking and cycling in an unpaid capacity and other members of the public.

      In the context of this guidance, walking and cycling includes the use of adapted cycles (such as trikes, tandems and handcycles), wheelchairs and similar mobility aids.

      Encouraging and enabling people to walk or cycle requires action on many fronts – and by many different sectors. A range of issues have to be addressed, including environmental, social, financial and personal factors.

      The recommendations cover:

      • local programmes
      • policy and planning
      • schools, workplaces and the NHS.

      In addition to the recommendations made in this (and related) NICE guidance, other measures are needed to tackle the wider influences on walking or cycling. This includes measures to reduce road dangers and to reallocate road space to create a more supportive environment.

      This page was last updated: 19 February 2014

    • Guidance formats


Implementation tools and resources

See this guidance in practice


The summary of the key recommendations in the guidance written for patients, carers and those with little medical knowledge and may be used in local patient information leaflets.

Quick Reference Guide

The quick reference guide presents recommendations for health professionals

NICE Guidance

The published NICE clinical guidance, contains the recommendations for health professionals and NHS bodies.

Full Guidance

The published full clinical guidance for specialists with background, evidence, recommendations and methods used.