'A Transport Journey To A Healthier Life' Report

KEY FACTS

'A Transport Journey To A Healthier Life' Report

PBA has undertaken a review of the relationship between transport, health (including mental health) and wellbeing policy and practice as a voluntary facilitator to the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport (CIHT), culminating in a research paper prepared by PBA and a summary discussion paper published jointly by PBA and the CIHT. The discussion paper and research was published July 2016.

The review identified the potential benefits for the UK of integrating these three areas more closely, and the barriers to progress that need to be challenged.

Transport and travel schemes have a large part to play in physical and mental health. The links between active travel and physical health are being documented; the links between travel choice and wellbeing are being documented, but there is little cohesive approach to appraisal and policy making for transport and health. Often the aims and goals of health, wellbeing and transport are closely aligned but that this isn’t being maximised through united policy and government cross-working.

The review that PBA undertook highlighted a number of key findings:

  1. There are opportunities to improve links between transport, health and wellbeing, but progress is being hampered by a lack of strategic integration nationally and joint working locally.
  2. The health and wellbeing benefits of transport investment need to be measured in terms of cost and non-monetary values to better influence funding decisions.
  3. The local planning system does not take sufficient account of health and wellbeing in decision-making.
  4. The influence of transport choices on people’s mental health and wellbeing should be emphasised more in policy and practice.
  5. The transport sector is failing to take full account of the health and wellbeing benefits of walking.

It is hoped that the review undertaken and the summary discussion paper engage professionals and decision makers, and allow discussions across all the fields of transport, health and wellbeing to take place, ultimately with an aim of working more closely to realise mutual objectives.