Active Travel in Market Towns

Active Travel in Market Towns
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Active Travel

Active Travel is defined as walking, cycling, scooting or using a mobility aid to make everyday journeys (including going to work and school) rather than motorised transport such as cars and buses. It also includes those who use public transport to get around as it can lead to increased levels of physical activity compared with car users.

Research shows that switching journeys to Active Travel reduces carbon, air and noise pollution, and improves health. It can also contribute to meeting the UK government’s target of cutting 25,000 early deaths each year by 2035.

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Local authorities are key players in the development and delivery of walking, cycling and scooting initiatives. They can influence planning and take a strategic view of their area’s travel infrastructure to ensure that routes to schools, jobs and services are connected for those who want to walk or cycle.

A good starting point is a Local Walking and Cycling Investment Plan (LCWIP). The DfT’s LCWIP guidance helps local authorities develop their own plans and build in commitments to improving conditions for walking and cycling.

Market towns can provide a great opportunity to increase the uptake of Active Travel, but there are unique challenges. For example, many respondents in this study felt that it was not easy to access off-road cycling routes in their town; they worried about holding up traffic; and perceived road safety issues, such as conflict with vehicles when on foot or bicycle. They did, however, appreciate a range of other measures such as physically protected cycle lanes and traffic calming.

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