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Active Travel: Why Should I?

You will have noticed that here at DTP we are wheeling down the road of all things active travel, and last week our new active travel blog post examined WHAT exactly is Active Travel? WHY is it important? HOW, WHEN and WHERE should Active Travel be implemented? And finally, WHO does Active Travel impact? You can read that blogpost here:

https://dynamictransportplanning.co.uk/active-travel/

Last week, we started off by taking a deep dive into WHAT active travel was. This week, we are delving into the WHY. So, let’s break down some key reasons why active travel could be a great choice for you going forward.

Health

The number one reason WHY you should consider replacing all of your small/medium journeys and commutes with active travel is for the betterment of your physical and mental health.

Switching to your own two feet (or wheels) on your commute or the 10-minute walk to the shops can make a bigger impact than you think, reaching your daily step goal can provide a mood and energy boost, making you more productive in all aspects of your life!

Walking, wheeling or cycling from A to B can help is great for your body too and can also be linked to better balance and coordination, which in turn can help reduce injury. Building active habits into your daily routine, such as walking journeys under 20-minutes, can help to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiac issues and other health problems.

Active Travel is also great for your mental health, getting out in the fresh air can help clear a busy mind and help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. Being more active can also improve cognitive function, improving concentration and productivity.

Just like the physical benefits, becoming more active, in the long term, can lower the chance of a person developing dementia or similar conditions.

Overall, Active Travel can improve your all-round well-being, where you feel physically better, which in turn can help reduce the mental load you carry around.

Environmental

Increasing rates of Active Travel has a positive impact on the environment, with less vehicles on the road resulting in reduced congestion, with less queuing and engine idling and fewer overall emissions being released from engines, contributing to net zero emissions targets.  

Less emissions results in better air quality, especially in built up areas, meaning everyone can breathe a little easier. Better air quality benefits not only the environment but people’s physical health too, with less pollution entering our lungs. Better air quality goes hand in hand with reduce noise pollution, where less vehicles passing through an area will reduce the level of noise creating healthier, quieter and more enjoyable spaces.

Over time a shift to Active Travel could result in increasing green spaces, as the demand for parking is reduced, un-used areas can be put to better use. The potential to increase green spaces, especially in urban areas could lead to increased biodiversity and benefit the physical and mental health of a population, where people can enjoy cleaner air and open spaces during their daily schemes.

Additionally, increasing demand for Active Travel space may lead to further investment in walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure, with new routes/paths and schemes created in line with need.

Image: pexels.com

Other Benefits

Cost

Let’s face it, running a car is often necessary but very expensive, not just the cost of buying, taxing and insuring the car but the running and maintenance costs and not to mention the price of filling up! Initially, Active Travel may have costs attached to it, whether you need a decent pair of trainers or invest in a new pedal bike or scooter but this one off/infrequent purchase costs significantly less than running a car.

It’s not always possible to give up your car in place of Active Travel and public transport, however, leaving the car at home for short journeys will reduce the amount of fuel you use and minimise the wear and tear on your vehicle, increasing the time between visits to the garage and petrol station, which will certainly save you a few pounds!

Social

If you live near your colleagues or work near your friends, walking, wheeling or cycling together is a great way to make the most of your commute. Active Travel provides a great opportunity to catch up with people friends and family, chat with others using the foot/cycleways or even make new friends with people who use a similar route.

Benefits for Business?

Active Travel doesn’t just benefit individuals, a work force and local population who take part in Active Travel benefits businesses too! Active Travel reduces the number of cars taking part in the daily commute, where the demand for parking spaces will decrease and spaces can be put to better use or less land can be purchased as part of a new development.

High levels of Active Travel in your local area will increase footfall and spending, booting sales and the local economy.

In short, WHY Active Travel?

Healthier, happier, more active people living in cleaner, greener areas with thriving local economies? WHY wouldn’t you want to take part in Active Travel?

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