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Analysis of active travel routes to schools

2 November 2020

Cardiff and Leeds Universities have been jointly commissioned, in a bid led by Sustrans the sustainable transport charity, to pilot new approaches to modelling walking and cycling routes to schools.

Regular physical activity is important from an early age to promote good physical and mental health and the school journey is an important opportunity to establish this behaviour. However, the proportion of children walking and cycling to school is declining year on year.

A new project funded by Monmouthshire Council is aiming to encourage more children to travel actively to school – particularly through improved infrastructure in and around Chepstow and Abergavenny in south Wales.

Working with Sustrans and Leeds University Institute for Transport Studies, researchers at the Sustainable Places Research Institute will combine state-of-the-art approaches from each institution to plan new cycle networks in the area.

  • The sDNA spatial network analysis software, developed at the Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff, and used by consultants to design numerous walking and cycling networks worldwide
  • The Propensity to Cycle Tool, developed by Dr Robin Lovelace at the University of Leeds Institute for Transport Studies, commissioned and recommended by the UK Department for Transport to identify opportunities for increasing active travel

The resulting models will be open source and accessible online to the general public, with Sustrans providing an audits of routes and producing recommendations.

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