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Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns: a major study

Date: 24/2/2010

For the last two years, TRL has been part of a team of six organisations led by Transport for Quality of Life, working on a major study for the Department for Transport (DfT) investigating the impacts of the Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns programme. This has now been published, alongside the DfT's new Active Travel strategy. The results suggest that there have been significant changes in travel behaviour in all three towns, with reductions in car travel bringing associated environmental, health and social benefits.

Together with other team members*, TRL Senior Research Fellow, Dr Sally Cairns, has been closely involved in the analysis of impacts. Data was collected from a variety of sources and analysed, including household travel surveys; local authority monitoring of walking, cycling and traffic; bus patronage data; and travel plan surveys. This information was compared with special tabulations of data from the National Travel Survey and the National Road Traffic Estimates, to assess how changes in the towns compared with changes elsewhere.

The report also looks at a number of other important issues, such as the cost:benefits of the work, the carbon reductions from the activities, the nature of the programmes in place, and the nature of the behaviour change that has occurred.

A summary of the report can be downloaded here.  The full report can be found here.

A press release announcing the new Active Travel strategy can be found here.

To find out more about TRL's work on Sustainability, click here.


*List of authors

Lynn Sloman, Transport for Quality of Life Ltd
Sally Cairns, TRL & University College London
Carey Newson, Transport for Quality of Life Ltd
Jillian Anable, University of Aberdeen
Alison Pridmore, AEA

Phil Goodwin, University of the West of England

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