The economy could be almost £50bn better off if the UK had better infrastructure to support walking and cycling, according to new research.
The Active Transport and Healthy Living (ATHL) coalition, which represents a group of trade bodies including the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Royal Institute of British Architects, reports that every year:
- The health impact of inactivity costs society an estimated £10bn;
- Poor air quality, caused by traffic pollution, costs £19bn;
- Traffic accidents cost £9bn;
- Traffic delays cause urban economies expenses of £11bn
Alastair Chisholm, policy manager at the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, another member of ATHL, said: “A bold commitment to increasing the uptake of active transport in the UK would cost-effectively contribute to addressing a serious health crisis, create more attractive, cleaner, safer towns and cities with better social integration and thriving local economies.
“These benefits are now very extensively recognised within and outside of government, as this report demonstrates. Yet there remains insufficient political support for an extensive programme to make active transport the safe and attractive option it should be.”
The full report from ATHL, The Case for Action, can be viewed here.