Sustrans: on the value for money of active travel investments

Pictured above: cycle routes recently constructed at the Leeds Ring Road at Moortown/Alwoodley roundabout

A few relevant snippets from Sustrans on the value for money of active travel investments 

  • There are published ex post evaluations of active travel schemes that show better value for money than road schemes. Road projects produce returns of £3 to £5 for every £1 spent. Walking and cycling schemes produce returns of £4 to £19 for every £1 spent.
  • High specification cycling schemes cost £1.3 million per kilometre on average. Road schemes cost around £50 million per kilometre. The HS2 rail scheme is predicted to cost £77 million per kilometre. As well as relatively low capital outlay compared to other types of transport investment, cycling and walking schemes have high benefit to cost ratios making them better value for money
  • It is a myth that removing car parking spaces will harm the local economy. Retailers overestimate how many of their customers travel by car by a factor of 100%. Per square metre, cycle parking delivers five-times higher retail spend than the same area of car parking. Converting car parking spaces to seating and planting to improve ‘place’ impact can contribute to regeneration and improvement in retail performance. Removal of car parking spaces from a shopping street in Seattle was followed by a 400% increase in retail sales.