Sustrans’ Walking and Cycling index has demonstrated the ongoing economic benefits of active travel to the UK economy, calculating walking, wheeling and cycling to be worth £36.5 billion.
The Walking and Cycling Index is the largest survey of active travel, undertaken across 18 urban areas in the UK and Ireland. The latest assessment of 17 of those areas tallies the benefit to the UK economy to be £6.5 billion in those places alone and extrapolates the findings to reach the larger nationwide estimate.
The positive externalities judged are things such as bringing down the cost of traffic congestion and running a car, improved health and reduced burden on the NHS, and fewer sick days at work. Physically active people take 27% fewer sick days each year than their colleagues, it was found.
National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Martin McTague, said: “To make the country healthier, reduce the reliance on energy and fuel and move towards Net Zero, new Ministers must look across the board at active travel. This should include infrastructure improvements and reforming schemes like Cycle To Work, so they operate as well for small employers and the self-employed as they do for larger firms.”
Added to these indirect benefits of active travel, it has been found that people who walk to the high street spend up to 40% more than those who drive in large part down to spending longer in town centres.
Prior reports from the Department of Transport , among other sources have reached similar conclusions […]