Evaluating the travel, physical activity and carbon impacts of a 'natural experiment' in the provision of new walking and cycling infrastructure : methods for the core module of the iConnect study

Ogilvie, David, Bull, Fiona, Cooper, Ashley, Rutter, Harry, Adams, Emma, Brand, Christian, Ghali, Karen, Jones, Tim, Mutrie, Nanette, Powell, Jane, Preston, John, Sahlqvist, Shannon and Song, Yena 2012, Evaluating the travel, physical activity and carbon impacts of a 'natural experiment' in the provision of new walking and cycling infrastructure : methods for the core module of the iConnect study, BMJ open, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-14.

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Title Evaluating the travel, physical activity and carbon impacts of a 'natural experiment' in the provision of new walking and cycling infrastructure : methods for the core module of the iConnect study
Author(s) Ogilvie, David
Bull, Fiona
Cooper, Ashley
Rutter, Harry
Adams, Emma
Brand, Christian
Ghali, Karen
Jones, Tim
Mutrie, Nanette
Powell, Jane
Preston, John
Sahlqvist, Shannon
Song, Yena
Journal name BMJ open
Volume number 2
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher BMJ Group
Place of publication London, U. K.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 2044-6055
Keyword(s) article
cycling
environmental factor
human
physical activity
psychosocial environment
questionnaire
travel
walking
Summary Introduction Improving infrastructure to support walking and cycling is often regarded as fundamental to encouraging their widespread uptake. However, there is little evidence that specific provision of this kind has led to a significant increase in walking or cycling in practice, let alone wider impacts such as changes in overall physical activity or carbon emissions. Connect2 is a major new project that aims to promote walking and cycling in the UK by improving local pedestrian and cycle routes. It therefore provides a useful opportunity to contribute new evidence in this field by means of a natural experimental study.

Methods and analysis iConnect is an independent study that aims to integrate the perspectives of public health and transport research on the measurement and evaluation of the travel, physical activity and carbon impacts of the Connect2 programme. In this paper, the authors report the study design and methods for the iConnect core module. This comprised a cohort study of residents living within 5 km of three case study Connect2 projects in Cardiff, Kenilworth and Southampton, supported by a programme of qualitative interviews with key informants about the projects. Participants were asked to complete postal questionnaires, repeated before and after the opening of the new infrastructure, which collected data on demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, travel, car fuel purchasing and physical activity, and potential psychosocial and environmental correlates and mediators of those behaviours. In the absence of suitable no-intervention control groups, the study design drew on heterogeneity in exposure both within and between case study samples to provide for a counterfactual.

Ethics and dissemination The study was approved by the University of Southampton Research Ethics Committee. The findings will be disseminated through academic presentations, peer-reviewed publications and the study website (http://www.iconnect.ac.uk) and by means of a national seminar at the end of the study.
Language eng
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Ogilvie D, Bull F, Cooper A, et al.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30042647

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