Transport and travel

Walking, cycling, or using some other form of physical activity for all or part of a journey, is good for population health and the environment.

Transport and travel

Active and sustainable travel describes all types of journeys which can be undertaken by active or physical means (walking, cycling, scootering, skating) in combination with public transport.

Transport systems that prioritise individual motorised vehicles (primarily cars) can have a number of harmful effects on population health. These can be direct effects such as cardiac and respiratory disease caused by exposure to pollution and injury or death from road traffic accidents. More indirect effects are those caused by transport systems and the users they prioritise and encourage, influencing rates of physical inactivity, obesity and related health problems.

Busy roads, especially when combined with poor active travel links, can exert a negative influence on our experience of living in communities, such as reducing opportunity for social connections which can increase rates of loneliness and isolation. A further population health concern is the contribution vehicle carbon emissions make to climate change.

Our work looks at current trends in transport and travel and explores ways to increase the number of people that travel actively. We have outlined strong health, social inclusion and environmental arguments for reducing car use and increasing travel by other means including active travel and high quality, affordable public transport.

View and download all the infographics on this topic (PDF).