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Mechanisms underpinning use of new walking and cycling infrastructure in different contexts: mixed-method analysis

Sahlqvist, Shannon, Goodman, Anna, Jones, Tim, Powell, Jane, Song, Yena and Ogilvie, David 2015, Mechanisms underpinning use of new walking and cycling infrastructure in different contexts: mixed-method analysis, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 12, no. 24, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.1186/s12966-015-0185-5.

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Title Mechanisms underpinning use of new walking and cycling infrastructure in different contexts: mixed-method analysis
Author(s) Sahlqvist, ShannonORCID iD for Sahlqvist, Shannon orcid.org/0000-0002-3714-9533
Goodman, Anna
Jones, Tim
Powell, Jane
Song, Yena
Ogilvie, David
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 12
Issue number 24
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1479-5868
Keyword(s) Built environment
Context
Cycling
Evaluation
Infrastructure
Intervention
Mechanism
Mixed-method
Qualitative
Walking
Summary BACKGROUND: Few studies have evaluated the effects of infrastructural improvements to promote walking and cycling. Even fewer have explored how the context and mechanisms of such interventions may interact to produce their outcomes. METHODS: This mixed-method analysis forms part of the UK iConnect study, which aims to evaluate new walking and cycling routes at three sites - Cardiff, Kenilworth and Southampton. Applying a complementary follow-up approach, we first identified differences in awareness and patterns of use of the infrastructure in survey data from a cohort of adult residents at baseline in spring 2010 (n = 3516) and again one (n = 1849) and two (n = 1510) years later following completion of the infrastructural projects (Analysis 1). We subsequently analysed data from 17 semi-structured interviews with key informants to understand how the new schemes might influence walking and cycling (Analysis 2a). In parallel, we analysed cohort survey data on environmental perceptions (Analysis 2b). We integrated these two datasets to interpret differences across the sites consistent with a theoretical framework that hypothesised that the schemes would improve connectivity and the social environment. RESULTS: After two years, 52% of Cardiff respondents reported using the infrastructure compared with 37% in Kenilworth and 22% in Southampton. Patterns of use did not vary substantially between sites. 17% reported using the new infrastructure for transport, compared with 39% for recreation. Environmental perceptions at baseline were generally unfavourable, with the greatest improvements in Cardiff. Qualitative data revealed that all schemes had a recreational focus to varying extents, that the visibility of schemes to local people might be an important mechanism driving use and that the scale and design of the schemes and the contrast they presented with existing infrastructure may have influenced their use. CONCLUSIONS: The dominance of recreational uses may have reflected the specific local goals of some of the projects and the discontinuity of the new infrastructure from a satisfactory network of feeder routes. Greater use in Cardiff may have been driven by the mechanisms of greater visibility and superior design features within the context of an existing environment that was conducive neither to walking or cycling nor to car travel.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12966-015-0185-5
Field of Research 110601 Biomechanics
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, BioMed Central
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30077114

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.