Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum by the Health Development Agency (WTC 34A)

A FEW EXAMPLES OF INTEGRATED PRACTICE TO PROMOTE WALKING BETWEEN HEALTH AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES

  Stockport Health Authority and Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC) have employed a cycling and walking officer, who is jointly funded and works across the two organisations. The postholder is based in the Centre for Health Promotion within Stockport Healthcare NHS Trust.

  Stockport MBC has also established a Healthy Transport Alliance between the Council, NHS, various joint health planning teams, the Partnership for Urban Regeneration and other sectors. Joint action on walking has included walk to school initiatives; joint work on improving air quality; pedestrian training; traffic signal controlled pedestrian crossings and pedestrian phases built into traffic lights at junctions.

  Merseyside Health Action Zone is a partnership between the NHS, local government, business, voluntary sector and others. It has set a target to increase the proportion of short journeys (under three miles) made by walking and cycling to 40 per cent by 2005 as part of its work to reduce health inequalities and regeneration.

  Liverpool Health Authority's Health Improvement programme and the Merseyside Transport Strategy have common objectives to promote cycling and walking, particularly through the development of transport plans in schools, hospitals and businesses.

  Cambridge Health Improvement Programme and Local Transport Plan both include joint work to promote walking and cycling. This includes a range of measures to improve facilities for pedestrians, safer routes and integrated provision with public transport.

  York City Council has introduced a road hierarchy that puts pedestrians and vulnerable road users as first priority when introducing new transport measures. Work to increase pedestrianised areas, safer walking routes and reduce pedestrian accidents has been underpinned by a focus on health, and links with the health sector. For example, York's Speed Management Plan sets a target that every one of the city's 72 schools should be surrounded by a 20 miles per hour zone within six years.

  Oxford City Council has a European project when brings together health, transport and environmental planners to assess the impacts of transport planning on health and the environment. This includes monitoring key indicators such as walking and cycling levels, respiratory symptoms and traffic accident rates.

  Gloucester has focused its efforts on reducing traffic accidents through partnership work between the health and local authority, including work to improve the environment for walking.

  Bristol City Council was the first city to hold a Car-Free day in the UK and has taken a range of measures to improve the environment for walking—as part of a partnership with various organisations including the NHS. Work has also focused on transport plans for local businesses to encourage walking to work.

  Nottingham City Council have set out a clear vision to integrate their land use planning and transport planning; travel education and awareness; infrastructure and revenue support and travel demand management. Improving conditions for walking and promoting walking for health are key aspects of this vision through the idea of "civilised streets" which give priority to pedestrians.

  There are joint projects across the country to promote safer walking to school as part of the Safe Routes to School programmes. These combine measures to improve the environment around the school and supervision for children walking to school. For example, Hertfordshire and Hampshire County Council have developed extensive programmes in this area.

  Further examples can be found in:

    —  Making T.H.E. Links: Transport, Health and Environmental policies; A Guide for local authorities and health authorities Health Education Authority 1999.

    —  A Good Practice Guide for the development of Local Transport Plans DETR 2000.

Lucy Hamer

February 2001


 
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