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More people more activeHow two million people were engaged in beingmore physically active in just four yearsA consortium of leading walking, cycling and health charities


More people more activeWelcomeIt has been over four years since we at the NationalInstitute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)published our guidance on ‘Promoting and creatingbuilt or natural environments that encourage andsupport physical activity’.But guidance is only as good as the practice it brings about. It’s encouraging to seesome effort now by national governments and local authorities to invest in creatingthe safer public space that our guidance identifies as being key to increasing levels ofphysical activity, such as walking and cycling.“This report, inthe meantime,clearly showsthe effectivenessof initiatives thatinspire people towalk and cyclefor their everydayjourneys”We’ll have to wait for the evidence, but I suspect ring-fenced investment of the sortavailable in England through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund will be crucial tomaintaining this in the medium to long-term as local authority budgets have evergreater demands placed on them.And it’s also good to see ground-breaking collaborations, such as in Liverpool wherethe Primary Care Trust is partnering with the city council to fund the implementation of20mph speed limits city wide – a classic public health initiative.This report, in the meantime, clearly shows the effectiveness of initiatives that inspirepeople to walk and cycle for their everyday journeys. And they change lives forthe better. As a result of the work of Travel Actively, two million people have beenencouraged to increase their levels of physical activity in just four years.This is a huge achievement, and the leading walking, cycling and health organisationsinvolved are testament to the extremely effective role the third sector plays in turningguidance into reality.At NICE we are now developing guidance on increasing levels of walking and cycling.We’ll certainly be looking closely at all that can be learned from Travel Actively,because this consortium has brought closer the day when the majority of us will beable to choose to leave the car behind, and walk or cycle instead.Professor Mike KellyDirector of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE02


More people more activeForewordI am delighted to see that, over the last fouryears with very little fanfare but a great deal ofhard work, a consortium of leading walking,cycling and health organisations has combinedto encourage over two million people to be morephysically active in their everyday lives.“We particularlylook forward tocollaborating withthe Travel Activelypartners to enablepeople of all agesand all abilitiesto be morephysically activethrough walkingand cycling in theyears to come”It is very clear from the results achieved that this hands-on approach to tacklingthe physical activity deficit is very effective. The obesity crisis is estimated to costthe UK £20 billion in lost productivity annually, and it is vital for the public’s healththat government policy should be based on evidence of what works. Expertgroups like those involved in Travel Actively provide that evidence, and are wellplaced to help governments understand how to use it best.Hand-in-hand with the effective, professional behaviour change work of thesevoluntary sector bodies, governments at all levels should switch transportinvestments towards making public space more walking and cycling friendly.Sometimes this means taking bold decisions. For example the impact of theban on smoking in public spaces has shown clearly the benefits of firm andfocused government action. The Faculty of Public Health has for years supportedthe wide introduction of 20mph speed limits as one of the many ways to makewalking and cycling a realistic choice for far more people.Public health is all about that stitch in time that saves nine. Investment in enablingpeople to be physically active in their everyday lives – and when it comes toactive travel this means wiser use of public money, not more - will save muchlarger sums in the longer term.The new delivery system for public health presents challenges, but also theopportunity for all of us involved to have greater influence over the majordeterminants of health, among which transport and the built environment arepre-eminent. We particularly look forward to collaborating with the Travel Activelypartners to enable people of all ages and all abilities to be more physically activethrough walking and cycling in the years to come.Professor Lindsey M Davies, CBE, FFPH, FRCPPresident of the Faculty of Public Health03


More people more activeMore people more activeTravel Actively has given two million people the practical support andencouragement they need to walk and cycle as part of their everyday lives.As a result more than 450,000 people became physically active enough to benefit their health and well-being.With a grant from the Big Lottery Fund, and funding from many local authorities and other partners, the charities involved inTravel Actively were able to increase levels of physical activity at a cost of less than £70 per person*, which compares wellto other public health interventions.Sustrans – swapping a car trip for anactive tripSustrans’ work in Exeter and Exminster resulted in big increases in levels ofwalking, cycling and public transport use.2people have been giventhe support to be morephysically active• 18% relative increase in walking, 33% increase in cycling and 13%increase in public transport use• 19% relative increase in the time people spent walking and cycling a year• 15% reduction in car distances travelled.Case study: In Exeter, Richard Gosney has started using a bike instead of thecar for more of his local journeys.“It was just really good timing… it brought all the other possibilities to theforefront of my mind. If this hadn’t happened I don’t think I would be going tomy evening computer course by bike.”Richard has also noticed a significant improvement in his health, “I suffer fromasthma and when I took part in sports - and even when I started out cycling –I found there was too much strain on my lungs, but the weight’s come off asI’ve done more cycling and breathing has become very easy – it’s been great!”Living Streets – pledging to be activeLiving Streets has been working with businesses across the UK to improve thehealth and well-being of their employees through its Walking Works project.• 35% of people who made a Walking Works pledge before Living Streetsbegan work were achieving the recommended levels of physical activity.After working with Living Streets, this increased significantly to 49%• When asked how they felt after taking part 54% of people surveyed said“I feel fitter” and 50% said “I feel more healthy”.Case study: Before taking part in Walk to Work Week, Andrew travelled his2.5 mile commute by public transport or drove. He did no regular exercise anddescribed himself as overweight. Andrew admits that the idea of the programmeunleashed his “competitive nature” and he walked to and from work every day,and went for walks at lunchtimes.Walking became part of his day-to-day life, and as a result his lifestyle and levelsof physical activity have changed dramatically.“Since I took part in Walk to Work Week, I’ve lost three stone and feel greatabout myself. I will definitely do Walk to Work Week again, it has made such adifference to my life that I will always promote walking.”04*Total cost of project delivery over four years (£29.5m) divided by 450,000 more active people.


More people more activeWalk England – promoting walking online• Over one million people have used the site since 2009• Over 150,000 miles have been walked by users so far, and 35,000walks have been added• 334 walking groups have been set up across England• The Walk4Life app has been downloaded 5,000 times since March 2012Case study: Walk4life.info has enabled Sunderland City Council to grow thebenefits of their walking programmes and get Sunderland moving.Laura Bartlett is the council’s Physical Activity Development Officer and hasbeen using the website as a tool to promote and analyse walking levels inthe Sunderland area. She says, “The website is really easy for people touse, track their walking and log their progress.“Our volunteer walk leaders have been encouraged to log their Walk4Lifemiles and preferred routes, so that others in the area can use them.“Walk England have been able to give us information about how manypeople are using the local routes too.”Sunderland City Council plans to continue use of the website as part of anew walking programme. Laura says, “We hope to use the website to helpplan our 2012 challenge events. People will be able to use the website totake part.”Walk4life.info has reached overone million people05


More people more activeImproving mental healthTravel Actively has worked with 485,000 people who have commonmental health conditions. Over 98,000 have become morephysically active.Projects tackled issues of social isolation and loneliness, encouraged learning and enabled people to make activetravel choices and reach healthy levels of physical activity. All of these positive factors have improved the mentalhealth and well-being of thousands of people.Ramblers – making walking a part ofeveryday lifeThis work has been recognised by the World Health Organisation andNHS Scotland as a leading example of physical activity promotion.Case study: Chris attends a mental health rehab centre and joined a GetWalking Keep Walking programme following a talk at the centre.Estimated number of peoplewith common mental healthconditions that TravelActively has helped towalk and cycle moreBefore taking part in the programme, Chris did no regular exercise and wouldoften miss appointments at the rehab centre.He went on to complete the 12 week programme and now enjoys goingto the centre more regularly, which he puts down to the “lift” he gets fromwalking. He is keen to lead a regular walking group himself so that the centrecan keep the activity going.“This is the first time that I have volunteered for anything. The whole thinghas had a really big impact on me, it’s built my confidence and I feel betterphysically. I’m also feeling a bit more relaxed and am sleeping better.”88% of people said their mental healthimproved after taking partCTC – Community Cycle Champions13 Community Cycling Champions schemes were delivered by CTCacross England. Several of these worked alongside health organisations tosuccessfully engage people with mental health problems.Case study: The CTC worked in Sheffield, supported by OccupationalTherapists, with patients attending a local NHS hospital.One of the group’s members, ‘L’, has complex mental health problems andwas referred to the project last year. She has benefited enormously and hasnever missed a session since starting the programme.“Although some people may say cycling round the park is hardly somethingto get excited about, for me it has truly opened a window of my life. Theenjoyment of cycling in the park is made complete with the companionship ofothers who are also helped by these bike rides.”“Truly I am grateful to those who provide this service… Thank you for thiswonderful opportunity.”06


More people more activeSustrans - neighbourhoodcycling and walking groups• Sustrans has enabled 80,561 people to become morephysically active through walking and cycling• Using the World Health Organisation’s tool formeasuring health benefits, the value of these increasedlevels of cycling is £10.8 million over 10 years, and£13.6 million for walking• Of the people Sustrans engaged with, an estimated20,242 said they had common mental healthconditions. 4,622 are now more active as a result ofSustrans’ work.Case study: Doreen Langstaff used to spend most daysat home on her own, lonely and isolated, following thedeath of her husband, and suffered from depression.Her GP referred her to an NHS mental health drop-incentre where Doreen found out about Sustrans’ work inAshington.Doreen joined Sustrans’ weekly cycle rides and is nowone of the group’s most enthusiastic members. She saysthat the group’s camaraderie has given her back a senseof friendship.“Everyone is so friendly. When we’re out on the bike ridesI’m usually at the back of the group. But people at thefront are always coming back to check that I’m doing OK.I know people are looking out for me... I’m no longer satinside looking at four walls. I’ve got a reason to get out ofbed in the morning again.”Doreen now uses a bike every day and is volunteering atbike maintenance sessions, which are open to the widerpublic, giving her a weekly routine and the chance tomeet new people.£704,000 – savings over thecourse of the project, if the physicalactivity of the participants wereprescribed as an alternative treatmentfor common mental health problems.07


More people more activeBuilding better communitiesTravel Actively has worked in hundreds of communities acrossEngland to empower local people to help build happier and healthierneighbourhoods where more people walk and cycle.Projects have equipped local people with the tools they need to overcome the barriers that prevent them from walkingand cycling, and have brought people from all ages and backgrounds together.London Cycling Campaign – cycling forall abilities• 3,697 people benefited overall, of whom 60% became morephysically active• Worked with communities in London to tackle a range of social issues.“When people walk, theytalk. It breaks down thebarriers... so manypeople have madenew friends.”Case study: LCC worked with The Camden Society in North London tosupply a range of adapted bikes for their All-Ability Bike Club. As a resultpeople with learning difficulties in Camden and Southwark experiencedcycling for the first time, and met fellow bike enthusiasts in their community.Three members went on to compete in the Virgin Active London Triathlonrelay race. Andrew, Simon and Lucy competed as a team doing a leg each.Simon, who cycled 20km on a tricycle, said “I am happy I have done it” andLucy, who swam 750m in the docklands, said “the triathlon for me was abig achievement.”Camden Society staff member, Nathalie Brossard was thrilled that theyhad the chance to take part. She said, “It was great to see our athletescompeting alongside everyone else.”Living Streets – reclaiming streetsfor walkingLiving Streets’ Fitter for Walking project has helped communities toimprove their local environments and get more people out walking.• Enabled 150 communities to reclaim their streets for walking• Over £400,000 worth of street improvements were negotiated.Case study: In Thimblemill Brook, in the West Midlands, agroup of residents worked together to redesign their street asan attractive and welcoming place for neighbours to walk, chat,meet and greet.Local resident Julie McKirdy, is thrilled with the changes.“Living Streets has improved the qualityof life in our community… they’ve helpedus make the Brook a place where peopleenjoying walking.”08


More people more activeSustrans – cycling the school run• Before working with Sustrans, 70% of children nevercycled to school. Now 44% are cycling to school atleast once a week• A quarter of family members now cycle compared tojust a fifth who did before• 50% of parents say their children now cycle for play moreoften since working with Sustrans.Case study: Sustrans ran a wide range of activities with thePippins School in Birmingham to engage hundreds of childrenand encourage cycling to school, and to improve attendance.As headteacher Lucy Barnes, says, “We have used incentivessuch as Bike Breakfasts, Bling my Bike days and Virtual BikeRides to act as incentives to improve attendance of somemembers of the school community.“Special events such as the stunt bike demonstration wereorganised for days of the week when attendance wastypically lower.”“I would definitely recommend Sustrans’work to other headteachers.”Living Streets – walking to school and beyond• 335,000 secondary school students from 355 schools across England took partin a walking challenge• The challenge achieved an average 5% increase in walking, although someschools saw an amazing 25% increase.As a teacher in a participating school in South Tyneside says:“The results were very impressive. The initiative was very well organised andeasy to follow. I would definitely do it again. We get literally dozens of offers to docertain things on a weekly basis but this is by far and away the best one.”09


More people more activeCaroline WaughA road accident in 1988 left Caroline Waugh with asevere brain injury affecting her mobility and eyesight.She became overly reliant on others. “I was wrappedup in cotton wool. My ex husband used to collect thechildren from school, do the shopping and run meeverywhere in the car. I was very dependent on him.”After she and her husband separated, Caroline startedusing a mobility scooter but she was desperate for analternative.“I consider myself to be quite young at heart but there Iwas riding a silver mobility scooter. It was making me puton more weight but I couldn’t get to the gym because itwas too far away and the battery would go flat. I lookedon the internet at the cheapest tricycle but I just wantedto borrow one, to see if I could do it in the first place.”A local disability support group put Caroline in touch witha Travel Actively project run by the CTC. She completedthe project’s 12 week programme and learnt how to ridea recumbent trike.“It introduced me to such fantastic and enthusiasticpeople. It was so friendly, inclusive and motivational.”Caroline went on to purchase her own trike and nowuses it every day. She has seen a dramatic change in herhealth, well-being and levels of independence.“I used to go to the doctors once a month. After twoyears of cycling they sent for me because I hadn’t been atall. I dropped three dress sizes when I first started. WhenI’ve run out of milk at home I can go and fetch it myselfwhich is so empowering for me.”Caroline is now a Community Health Champion andregular volunteer for the CTC. She works tirelessly toencourage and support other people with disabilities tocycle their way to a happier, healthier lifestyle and gainindependent mobility. She says, “I love seeing the goodthat happens when you manage to get other disabledpeople cycling.”In recognition of her achievements, Caroline attended theQueen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. She wasalso a regional winner of ITV’s Feel Good Factor awardwhich recognises people who inspire others into moreactive, healthier lifestyles.In 2012 Caroline joined 4,000 other inspirational peoplein carrying the Olympic Flame as a Torch Bearer for theLondon 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. Nominated for hercommunity work, Caroline feels that grassroots projectsare improving people’s health and well-being.“Mine is a true story and something people can relate to.Now I’m going out and reaching out to other people…projects like this make a difference.”10


A lasting legacyTravel Actively has left a lasting legacy in communities across England. By inspiringand motivating two million people to walk and cycle, projects have brought lastingchange to the 450,000 people who have become more physically active.Thanks to the Big Lottery Fund work is ongoing in several communities, and Walk England will continue to offer walking information andsupport online, to ensure a truly lasting legacy.In addition 4,000 people volunteered to support projects in the portfolio, and hundreds have gone on to champion everyday walkingand cycling in their local community. They are helping to build a future where more people choose to walk and cycle for the benefit oftheir health and well-being and are ensuring that the legacy of this work continues for generations to come.1. CTCCTC’s work has given over 66,500 people the opportunityto experience the benefits of cycling. Ensuring that this vital workcontinues is a network of dedicated CTC volunteers. Many of thesevolunteers benefited from the projects themselves before taking thechallenge to become volunteers and local ride leaders.Steven became a volunteer after joining the CTC’s project in EastHampshire. He says, “this experience has given me the confidenceto work as a leader to inspire others to cycle”.If you would like to work with CTC, contact info@CTC.org.uk2. RamblersIt is estimated that in total over 28,000 hours have been given by volunteers to theRamblers’ Get Walking Keep Walking project.Volunteers have established new Ramblers groups, developed local walking routes,and become walk leaders in their communities. In Manchester, a Ramblers groupdeveloped a 40 mile “Green Corridor” around the City of Manchester for the City Council.In April 2012, Ramblers were chosen as the new host of the national centre of England’shealth walks network, Walking for Health. Many participants and volunteers are nowinvolved, ensuring a lasting legacy for this work.NorthEnglandMidlands4. Living StreetsMore people more activeIn neighbourhoods where Living Streets works, communities benefit from a lasting legacyof higher levels of physical activity and increased social cohesion.86% of Living Streets’ Fitter for Walking projects resulted in more pedestrians walkingin the area. 78% of individuals who signed up reported an increase in their day-to-daywalking levels with 64% of these people still reporting an increase in walking six monthslater, demonstrating long-term impact.Living Streets’ work brings communities together and empowers local residents totransform their streets into safer, more enjoyable places. Mark Flannery, a PoliceCommunity Support Officer working in Hall i’th’ Wood in Bolton says, “The area haschanged a lot as a result of the projects like this, they really work.”If you would like to work with Living Streets, contact jack.skillen@livingstreets.org.uk5. Walk EnglandWalk England has redefined the way in which people can accessfree, online information about walking.The Walk4Life website proactively targets people who aredisengaged with other walking programmes. The success of thisis demonstrated by evidence that 25% of registered users reportthat they have a disability that affects their mobility for everydayactivities, well above the national average of 18%.This work has so far reached one million people and has inspiredthousands to walk more regularly. At least 5,000 new walks areadded to the site each month. Currently the website has over15,000 registered users and these numbers are growing daily.If you are interested in working with Walk England contactinfo@walkengland.org.ukIf you would like to work with Ramblers, contact info@ramblers.org.uk3. SustransSustrans’ work with children in schools gives them the skills and confidence totravel under their own steam and their parents andteachers the peace of mind to let them.By linking cycling to the school curriculum and providing training for teachers andparents so they can continue to champion cycling activities themselves, healthy,active travel becomes embedded in the school’s culture. This is supported bySustrans’ School Mark that continues to inspire schools to encourage cycling longafter our officer has left.Local authorities agree. Savio DeCruz, Slough Borough Council’s Team Leaderfor Safety and Integrated Transport, says, “I was at first sceptical that anyimprovements could be made but schools who have committed to Sustrans’programme have seen an increase in levels of cycling even after officers have left.”If you would like to work with Sustrans, contact info@sustrans.org.uk3South WestEngland51projects delivered by the consortium up to 2012projects that continue to be delivered by the consortium246South EastEnglandEastEngland6. London Cycling CampaignLCC works to successfully administrate grants and providethousands of hours of free guidance to support communitygroups across London, helping people to experience thebenefits of cycling.The in-house training that many projects have benefittedfrom ensures a lasting legacy by enabling organisations tocontinue to provide cycling and cycling activities beyond thefunding period and pass their skills on to other people in thefuture.If you are interested in working with London CyclingCampaign, contact grants@LCC.org.uk12


Led by Sustrans, theconsortium includes:Thanks from us all in the Active TravelConsortium to the many local authorities,London Boroughs, the Primary CareTrusts, public transport operators,Transport for London and the Departmentof Health who partnered with us to makeall that we achieved possible.volunteers have giventheir time to TravelActively projects


Contact usTravel Actively, 2 Cathedral Square,College Green, Bristol, BS1 5DDWeb: www.sustrans.org.ukPhoto creditsCover and Back:J Bewley / Sustrans StaffDave Charnley PhotographyLondon Cycling Campaignp. 8: Julia Baynep.10: Andy Brown for the SheffieldWell-being ConsortiumAll other photos:J Bewley / Sustrans Staff©2012 Active Travel Consortium

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