What are the health and greenhouse gas implications of travel patterns in different European settings?

Publication: ResearchConference abstract for conference – Annual report year: 2012

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Modelling studies have indicated the potential for substitution of car use with walking and cycling to achieve both large health benefits and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. There is considerable variation in walking, cycling, car and public transport use between different European settings. However, there has been limited rigorous investigation of the impact of these differences on health and greenhouse gas emissions.
In this paper we present modelled results on what would be the health and greenhouse gas implications if a setting with high levels of car use and low levels of cycling (urban population in England and Wales outside London) had the same travel patterns as people in other more active European locations. These comparator locations were the Netherlands and Denmark (noted for their high cycling), Switzerland (high walking and public transport use) and London (much higher public transport and low car use than in the rest of the UK).
Travel patterns by age group and gender were estimated using national travel surveys and the London travel demand survey. The analysis was differentiated by gender and age. Health (physical activity, air pollution and road traffic injuries) and greenhouse gas modelling were conducted using ITHIM (Integrated Transport and Health Impact Modelling tool).
The analysis suggests that differences in travel patterns are making an important contribution to population health but that lower transport related greenhouse gas emissions do not always coincide with greater active travel. Policies should be carefully designed and evaluated to try and achieve both health and climate goals.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
StatePublished - 2012
EventRGS-IBG Annual International Conference - Edinburgh, United Kingdom


ConferenceRGS-IBG Annual International Conference
LocationUniversity of Edinburgh
CountryUnited Kingdom
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ID: 10018532