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Benefi ts from active travel

One interesting aspect of the use of car clubs is the potential for health benefi ts. These have two sources: from walking to and from pick up points, especially in rural areas, and the reduction in car ownership leading to greater use of walking and cycling in the totality of people’s travel (greater mode mixing). This is linked to the evolution of new ways of accessing travel options, some of which are car based, but some not. Use of apps such as Uber is an example of this “move from ownership to access” which is still at an early stage of development.

It is known, for example, that walking to bus stops and stations can contribute to achieving goals for daily and weekly exercise. The Carplus Annual Survey has data on this which we have examined to make reasonable estimates of increases in active travel. There are two types of benefi t which have been identifi ed and used in appraisal already: reduced risk of mortality from walking and cycling, and beyond this

the specifi c health benefi ts of cycling through reduced absenteeism and reduced cost to the NHS. In the fi rst draft of this report the HEAT tool with UK data was used for mortality, for the productivity benefi ts standard LSTF numbers for reduced absenteeism and NHS costs were used. This enabled a standard estimate for the health benefi ts of moving to a more mixed mode pattern of travel to be applied to the individual schemes.

The DfT have recently set out an approach to mortality benefi ts which is very similar to the basis for HEAT and suggested using this as a cross check. This has been done and the DfT method from WebTAG unit 4.1 produces a slightly higher fi gure for benefi ts than HEAT. The original calculation is therefore used. The productivity gains were recalculated using the current DfT fi gures rather than an earlier LSTF number and again this resulted in a small increase in benefi ts. The latter are also an “at least” fi gure.

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