Policy Scan

Sustrans Policy Scan is a regular summary of key policy thinking, reports, announcements and consultations:

Sustrans says
Sustrans press comments, reports and campaigns relating to policy

Key developments
Relevant government and other organisations’ policy/reports/campaigns

Consultations and inquiries
Sustrans' responses and upcoming consultations

Latest Policy Scan - June 2016 (pdf)

Sustrans says

Traffic disruption of cycling projects is short-lived: the benefits long-lasting (15/06/16) There is a series of blogs on our website following the launch of Quietway 1 last week, including this one from Josh Learner discussing the long-term benefits of new cycling infrastructure in London including the Cycle Super Highways, backstreet Quietways and Mini-Holland projects. And another from Isabelle Clement on Inclusive Quietway design so that everyone can enjoy cycling.

Over 150 cycling and walking projects to be funded across Scotland (26/05/16) Over £40 million will be invested in cycling and walking projects in Scotland. Infrastructure improvements to help people of all ages and abilities to make more journeys by foot and bike are to be designed and constructed as part of our Community Links programme. The measures will be delivered thanks to funding from the Scottish Government and will involve a partnership of Local Authorities, public and third sector organisations.

Research shows kids play outside half as much as parents did (13/06/16) A new survey by Sustrans for Bike Week shows on average children only spend 1 hour and 20 minutes playing sport and playing outside after school, whilst their parents reported spent 2 hours and 15 minutes doing similar activities.  

European funding will put Belfast at the forefront of bike commuter revolution (24/05/16) Sustrans has won a major grant through Interreg North-West Europe for a project worth a total of €720,000 focusing on the Comber Greenway in east Belfast to make cycling a more attractive option for commuters. The CHIPS project (Cycle Highways Innovation for smarter People Transport and Spatial Planning) will see Belfast collaborate with leading cycling nations in a €4.4 million pan-Europe programme.

Half of Scottish pupils travel actively to school (26/05/16) Established in 2008 the Hands Up Survey is the largest national dataset to look at travel to school across Scotland. The survey is funded by Transport Scotland and delivered by Sustrans and Scottish local authorities. The survey in 2015 found 49.7% of all school pupils (excluding nursery) travel to school using active travel modes. 

One Path Initiative to share the greenways (03/06/16) As dedicated off road paths become increasingly popular the potential for conflicts can increase between users. This pilot project in Northern Ireland aims to encourage users to share the path and respect each other.

Cyclists need a new Thames bridge to Canary Wharf and you can help fund it (17/06/16) Matt Winfield, Sustrans London Director shares our campaign for a new bike and pedestrian bridge in East London with City AM.


Key developments

New strategy to tackle inactivity (19/05/16) Sport England is to triple the amount of money it invests in tackling inactivity. In a new strategy Sport England commits to spending £250 million over four years to combat inactivity focusing on the 28% of people who do less than 30 minutes of exercise per week. There will be a shift in emphasis towards the least active groups, typically women, the disabled, and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.  It will also dedicate funding to children from the age of five.

Stuck in first gear – the Government’s cycling revolution (08/06/16) The All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) calls for more investment and more ambitious cycling targets. The report, based on an evidence session that included Sustrans, calls for 10% of all journeys in Britain to be by bike by 2025 and a minimum investment of £10 per person per year, rising to £20 per person per year. The report supports many of the calls Sustrans has been making including stronger ambition, greater investment, robust measures to gauge progress, and improved quality of cycle infrastructure design.

Can air pollution negate the health benefits of cycling and walking? (12/05/16) Dr Adrian Davis of TravelWest reviews a recent study that demonstrates the benefits from active travel almost always outweigh health risks from air pollution.

Governments call on WHO and partners to support achievement of global road safety targets (26/04/16) The World Health Organisation reports that the UN General Assembly and its Member States adopted a resolution to improve global road safety. The resolution, which was tabled by the Government of the Russian Federation, was co-sponsored by 55 governments.

Early years physical activity factsheets (06/06/16) The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health has produced a series of factsheets exploring physical activity in the early years. They are designed for early years’ practitioners, summarising the evidence relating to physical activity for children under five.

Call for staff to reclaim their lunch break (30/05/16) The National Charity Partnership, a collaboration between the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and Tesco, found that pressure at work is stopping almost three in five employees from regularly leaving the office for a lunchtime walk. The survey found that workers blamed a heavy workload, workplace culture and stress for not getting away from their desks. As a result, the partnership is calling for workers to reclaim their lunch break and get walking to help protect their wellbeing.

The number of people in England who regularly take part in sport is rising (09/06/16) The Active People survey by Sport England shows that during the year to April 2016 15.8 million people aged 16 years and over in England played sport at least once a week, an increase of 1.75 million since 2005/6 – the first year of the survey.

Does school-based health promotion affect physical activity at weekends? And, does it reach those students most in need of health promotion? (21/10/15) A study in PLOS One (US Public Library of Science) suggests that school-based health promotion is effective in reducing inequalities in physical activity levels outside school hours. Investments in school-based health promotion lead to behaviour modification beyond the school environment.

Country profiles on road safety published (23/05/16) The World Health Organisation, European Region, has published a comparison of road safety data which reveals an eight-fold difference in the likelihood of dying on the roads. Of the 53 countries in the Region 52 took part in a survey for the Global status report on road safety 2015.

Taking steps towards a more walkable city (09/06/16) The City of Sydney’s new footpath lighting, tactile signs, maps and clear walking routes will give residents and visitors new and easier ways to explore the city on foot.

Barcelona’s ‘superblock’ plan to return dedicated car space to the public (19/06/16) Barcelona is dramatically rethinking its urban fabric to address issues around urban mobility and climate change through a series of changes including the Superblocks Model.

Consultations and inquiries

Sustrans responses

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Upcoming consultations and inquiries


Health and wellbeing


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