Sustainable urban transport - the role of walking and cycling

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Walking and cycling are both underutilised transport modes in most UK urban areas. Among other benefits, they do not directly produce pollutants at point of use, they generate limited noise and they require less space than motor vehicles. Walking and cycling importantly provide a good source of regular exercise. The link between active travel and health has been studied extensively and is generally accepted. However, most research focuses on walking and cycling for private transport, either for leisure or for more functional reasons. The use of walking and cycling as a means of freight transport appears vastly underresearched, and the potential is unclear. This overview paper argues that it is possible to put in place packages of measures that can significantly improve both levels of walking and cycling. This may mean fundamentally changing the existing power relationships that exist between different transport modes, provision of a greater proportion of funds towards active modes of transport and consideration of novel ways of financing to encourage change.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-91
Journal Institution of Civil Engineers. Proceedings. Engineering Sustainability
Issue number3
Early online date6 May 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2016


  • town & city planning, transport planning