Walking, wheeling or cycling… Sustrans have all the data

Active travel charity Sustrans have launched a new tool that allows access to the public’s behaviours and attitudes towards walking and cycling.

The Walking and Cycling Index Data Tool will provide policymakers in local and national government, campaigners and researchers with unrivaled insight into the publics’ relationship with active travel.

man in brown jacket and gray pants walking on sidewalk during daytime

In 2015, Sustrans began publishing the ‘Bike Life’ report, an assessment of cycling in urban area in the UK. It has now been retitled The Walking and Cycling Index to reflect it’s expanded remit. In it, 18 UK cities report on the progress made towards making walking, wheeling and cycling more attractive, everyday ways to travel.

Now, thanks a partnership with software design agency B Team, they have developed a tool through which data from 2019 and 2021 can be easily compared, segmented and analysed, for use in research, policy and planning.

Tim Burns, Head of Policy at Sustrans, said: ‘The Sustrans Index Data Tool will provide vital data to policymakers across the UK and Ireland. It will help to inform developments in walking and cycling to spark economic and social opportunities that boost public health and our net zero hopes.

‘At a time when it’s more important than ever to make the case for alternative and sustainable forms of transport, the Sustrans Index Data Tool will clarify for everyone that the opportunity to walk, wheel and cycle remains highly in demand across the UK.’

The Sustrans Walking and Cycling Index consists of two separate dashboards, one providing data on public behaviours, the other on attitudes towards walking and cycling. Or as it says on the dashboards themselves, ‘what people do’ and ‘what people say’.

Sustrans believe such information will prove invaluable in underpinning transport strategy and plans, supporting investment and in defining and measuring impacts and outcomes.

Multiple demographic filters can be applied, allowing data to be segmented and compared by age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic group, socio-economic group, city and member authorities.

For example, in 2019, women from minority ethnic groups who describe themselves as semi-skilled or unskilled (of which there are 368) think that having more parks and green spaces close to home would be the single most useful factor in encouraging them to walk more, followed closely by places to stop and rest.

The data will be continually updated and regularly broadened in scope. Later this year Sustrans will be including city data such as cycle infrastructure and whether people live within walking distance of everyday services.


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