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New report: The main impacts of London road transport on health

25 June 2014

The Greater London Authority's (GLA) new Transport & Health research report  "TRANSPORT AND HEALTH IN LONDON - The main impacts of London road transport on health" was launched on June 6th at the Hackney Cycling Conference.

The report gives an overview of the key findings of a research on travel impacts on health, and answers to questions such as which are the greatest hazards to our health, the health implications of our policies or whether the benefits of ‘active travel’ outweigh the risks.

Currently around 25% of Londoners meet their minimum physical activity needs (150 minutes per week) through walking and cycling for transport alone. This is a significant contribution to overall activity levels in London.

The increased cycling expected by 2031 in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy could deliver health benefits of between 3,800 and 6,800 years of healthy life for the population of London. This is equivalent to nearly £250 million in monetary terms.

Looking further into the future, this research concludes that over 60% of travel time could theoretically be spent walking or cycling. Currently only 28% of travel time is, less than half of this theoretical potential. If, in the longer term, this theoretical potential could be fulfilled it would deliver over 61,500 years of health benefit each year. It would also mean that around 60% of Londoners could meet their physical activity needs through transport alone. This would deliver an economic benefit of nearly £2.2billion.

The report can be downloaded here.

The presentation by Ms. Lucy Saunders (Public Health Specialist at the Greater London Authority for the London Health Improvement Board) can be viewed here.