Quality statement 2: Active travel routes

Quality statement

Local authorities prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and people who use public transport when developing and maintaining connected travel routes.

Rationale

Transport systems and the wider built environment can influence people's ability to be active. Pedestrians, cyclists and users of public transport should be given the highest priority over motorised transport (cars, motorbikes and mopeds, for example) when developing and maintaining active travel routes.

The attractiveness of active travel is affected by air quality, distance, the nature and quality of a route and how accessible and safe it is. Improved travel route design that is accessible and maintained to a high standard will provide the greatest opportunity for people to move more in their day-to-day lives. It is important to encourage sustainable, safe, convenient active travel that is accessible for everyone, including older people and people with limited mobility.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence that local authorities prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and people who use public transport when developing and maintaining connected travel routes.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, review of local authority travel route plans, local cycling and walking infrastructure plans, Local Plans, Joint strategic needs assessments and Health and Wellbeing Board Strategy.

b) Evidence that local authorities reallocate road space to support physically active modes of transport such as walking and cycling.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, review of local cycling and walking infrastructure plans, Local Plans, local authority travel route and transport plans.

c) Evidence that local authorities implement plans to make it as easy as possible for people with limited mobility, such as older people and people with disabilities (including sensory, visual or learning disabilities), to move around their local area.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, review of Local Plans, local authority travel route plans, equality impact assessments and public meeting minutes with relevant third sector organisations.

Outcomes

a) Percentage of people cycling for travel.

Data source: National and local data on adult and children and young people's sport and physical activity is available from Sport England's Active Lives Adult survey and Children and Young People survey. Public Health England's physical activity tool indicator – Percentage of adults cycling for travel at least 3 days a week.

b) Percentage of people walking for travel.

Data source: National and local data on adult and children and young people's sport and physical activity is available from Sport England's Active Lives Adult Survey and Children and Young People Survey. Public Health England's physical activity tool indicator – Percentage of adults walking for travel at least 3 days a week.

c) Number of pedestrians and cyclists reported killed or seriously injured on the roads.

Data source: National data on road safety by road-user type, gender and age in Great Britain is available from Department for Transport's Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report 2014.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Local authorities (local transport, local planning and public health teams) develop policies and initiatives to ensure that safe, convenient, inclusive access for pedestrians, cyclists, and people who use public transport is maximised and is prioritised over motorised transport (such as cars, motorbikes and mopeds). Improvements should be made by local authorities when existing routes are refurbished and new routes are being planned. Local authorities should also work with relevant third sector organisations to make it as easy as possible for people with limited mobility to move around their local area. For example, this could be ensuring there is accessible public transport and a barrier-free pedestrian and cycling environment.

Transport planners and public health practitioners work together to ensure that travel route planning supports safe, convenient, inclusive access for pedestrians, cyclists, and people who use public transport, and that it is maximised and prioritised over motorised transport (such as cars, motorbikes and mopeds). This may include reallocating road space to support walking and cycling, restricting motor vehicle access, and introducing road-user charging and traffic-calming schemes. Foot and cycle networks should also pay particular attention to integrating with public transport networks. It is also important to make it as easy as possible for people with limited mobility to move around their local area. This could be done, for example, by providing seating at regular intervals along footways that are key walking routes.

Pedestrians, cyclists and people who walk, cycle or use public transport should find it easier to actively travel due to local authorities developing and maintaining connected travel routes. Their views and the views of people who do not walk or cycle based on the current infrastructure and people with limited mobility need to be considered when existing routes are being refurbished and new routes are being planned. This is because there may be conflict when space is shared by people using different types of travel.

Source guidance

Physical activity and the environment (2018) NICE guideline NG90, recommendations 1.2.4, 1.2.5, 1.2.6 and 1.2.7

Definition of terms used in this quality statement

Connected travel routes

The extent to which routes connect with other routes and destinations to allow an unbroken journey. It includes streets, roads, footways, footpaths, and bus and cycle routes.

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on physical activity and the environment, glossary]

Equality and diversity considerations

It is important to encourage sustainable, safe, convenient active travel that is equally accessible for everyone. The views and needs of all ages and all abilities should be addressed. Particular consideration should be given to the least active, such as older people and people with disabilities (including sensory, visual or learning disabilities) who may be adversely affected by connected travel routes. When changes to existing or new travel routes are being considered local authorities should carry out equality impact assessments to address these needs.

In particular, people with limited mobility may find it easier to move around their local area if, for example, footways include features such as tactile paving and even surfaces. Non-reflective, anti-glare paving surfaces can make it easier for people with visual impairments to interpret their surroundings.