How to Encourage Active Travel in Market Towns

Active Travel

If you’re an active traveler, you love to explore. You seek out places that few travellers know about, breathe clean air and enjoy aerobic exercise. It’s a way to connect to nature, boost mental activity and sometimes try something new and challenging. It’s a great opportunity to disconnect from the cacophony of everyday life and refocus your energy into developing your own physical and emotional health.

But for many, Active Travel is hard to achieve. There are barriers in terms of infrastructure and behaviour. And tackling these requires a significant shift in how we live, working with a whole range of partners to change road networks, town layouts and car drivers’ behaviour. The first issue is getting people to want to walk or cycle. The second is helping those who do to make the journeys they’d like to.

Active Travel for Beginners: How to Start Walking and Biking More

Encouraging school pupils to walk, ride or scoot to school is a great way to get everyone involved and increase their active travel. It helps reduce traffic levels and decreases noise, air pollution and climate change emissions. And it’s an excellent opportunity for children to build in physical activity to their daily routine, which improves their concentration at school.

Our study used a novel methodology to explore attitudes towards Active Travel in market towns, using focus groups and go-along journeys. This enabled rich data grounded in the specific issues that support or constrain active travel. The results show that a holistic approach to infrastructure, such as physically protected cycle lanes, redesigned town centres and cycling hubs at train and bus stations, is essential in encouraging residents to choose walking or cycling for short journeys.

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