Industries unite to call for Government action on active transport

A collaboration of leading professional bodies in the health, transport, architecture, engineering and environment industries has called on political support to make walking and cycling the go to option for short journeys in the UK.

The Active Transport for Healthy Living collaboration has issued a Case for Action which argues that Britain is facing an ‘inactivity crisis’ costing society an estimated £10 billion a year in associated health costs. (Scroll down for Case to Action document).

With traffic delays incurring urban economies expenses of £11bn every year, the collaboration argues that tens of billions of pounds could be saved if Britain became ‘a nation of walkers and cyclists’.

More than half (55%) of car journeys are less than five miles, but in the UK only 2% of journeys are taken by bike at present, compared to 27% in the Netherlands.

Alastair Chisholm, policy manager at the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, said: “A bold commitment to increasing the uptake of active transport in the UK would cost-effectively contribute to addressing a serious health crisis, create more attractive, cleaner, safer towns and cities with better social integration and thriving local economies.

“These benefits are now very extensively recognised within and outside of Government, as this report demonstrates. Yet there remains insufficient political support for an extensive programme to make active transport the safe and attractive option it should be. This is a sorely wasted opportunity and we urge Ministers to publicly recognise the potential and commit to achieving it.”

Philip Insall, director of health for Sustrans, added: “The sheer scale and breadth of this coalition is impressive. It shows the support of the architecture, engineering, environment, health, planning and transport sectors for real policy and investment in active travel.”

The Case for Action by the Active Transport for Healthy Living can be viewed below. 

Matt Field

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