Local Authority Toolkit for Active Travel
This month the DfT published guidance for local authorities in the form of a tookit for active travel. It is divided into three sections:
- what active travel means
- the benefits of active travel, and
- actions for local authorities
What Active Travel Means
The guidance points out that active travel isn’t just walking and cycling, but also trips by wheelchair, mobility scooter, adapted cycles, e-cycles, scooters, and bike share bikes.
The Benefits of Active Travel
The benefits of active travel include:
- reducing carbon emissions and air pollution
- improving physical health: inactivity costs the NHS £1 billion per year, and there are further indirect costs of £8.2 billion; commuting reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease
- economic benefits, including reducing congestion that costs somewhere between £10 and £22 billion per year
Actions for Local Authorities
Measures by local authorities to grow cycle use are most effective when implemented as part of a comprehensive active travel plan integrated with wider transport, climate and housing strategies.
There are four main actions for local authorities to take.
1) Develop a Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)
An LCWIP includes a walking and cycling network map, and a prioritised programme of improvements.
2) Develop a Travel Demand Management Plan (TDM)
The aim of a TDM is to manage pressure on the local transport network.
3) Plan for Active Travel
Planning for active travel includes implementing:
- Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
- 20 minute neighbourhoods
4) Develop a Behaviour Change Programme for Active Travel
Among the recommended measures are cycle and e-cycle hire schemes, cycling skills courses, promoting active travel to work, and school-focused initiatives.
Tools and Funding
Tools identified by the guidance include:
- Active Travel Portal
- Healthy Streets Design Check
- Propensity to Cycle
- Cycling Infrastructure Prioritisation Toolkit
- Place-Based Carbon Calculator
- Active Travel Toolbox
- Active Mode Appraisal Toolkit
The Active Travel Portal has a guide to the funding options available to local authorities.
Revenue funding from the Capability Fund has been allocated to local authorities outside London, to enable more walking and cycling. This will be followed by allocations from a Capital Grants Fund based on the quality of the plans developed.