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Effects of new motorway infrastructure on active travel in the local population: a retrospective repeat cross-sectional study in Glasgow, Scotland

Olsen, Jonathan R., Mitchell, Richard, Ogilvie, David and Sahlqvist, Shannon 2016, Effects of new motorway infrastructure on active travel in the local population: a retrospective repeat cross-sectional study in Glasgow, Scotland, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 13, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1186/s12966-016-0403-9.

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Title Effects of new motorway infrastructure on active travel in the local population: a retrospective repeat cross-sectional study in Glasgow, Scotland
Author(s) Olsen, Jonathan R.
Mitchell, Richard
Ogilvie, David
Sahlqvist, ShannonORCID iD for Sahlqvist, Shannon orcid.org/0000-0002-3714-9533
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 13
Article ID 77
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-07-07
ISSN 1479-5868
Keyword(s) natural experiment
active travel
physical activity
evaluation
Summary Background
Promoting active travel is an important part of increasing population physical activity, which has both physical and mental health benefits. A key benefit described by the then Scottish Government of the five-mile M74 motorway extension, which opened during June 2011 in the south of Glasgow, was that the forecast reduction in motor traffic on local streets would make these streets safer for walking and cycling, thus increasing active travel by the local population. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of new motorway infrastructure on the proportion of journey stages made actively (cycling or on foot) by individuals travelling in and out of the local area.

Methods

Data for the periods 2009–10 and 2012–13 were extracted from the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) travel diaries, which record each journey stage made during the previous day by a representative sample of the Scottish population aged 16 and over. Each individual journey stage was assigned to one of the following study areas surrounding existing and new transport infrastructure: (1) an area surrounding the new M74 motorway extension (n = 435 (2009–10), 543 (2012–13)), (2) a comparator area surrounding an existing motorway (n = 477 (2009–10), 560 (2012–13)), and (3) a control area containing no comparable motorway infrastructure (n = 541 (2009–10), 593 (2012–13)). Multivariable, multi-level regression analysis was performed to determine any between-area differences in change in active travel over time, which might indicate an intervention effect. Reference populations were defined using two alternative definitions, (1) Glasgow City and (2) Glasgow and surrounding local authorities.

Results

The results showed an increase in the proportion of journey stages using active travel in all study areas compared to both reference populations. However, there were no significant between-area differences to suggest an effect attributable the M74 motorway extension.

Conclusions

There was no clear evidence that the M74 motorway extension either increased or decreased active travel in the local area. The anticipation by policy makers that reduced motorised traffic on local streets might increase journeys walked or cycled appears to have been unfounded.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12966-016-0403-9
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
11 Medical And Health Sciences
13 Education
Socio Economic Objective 0 Not Applicable
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30098806

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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.