How transport policy and procedure can contribute to physical and mental health
Alongside the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, we undertook a review of the relationship between transport, health, and wellbeing. This was prompted by the observation that new national transport schemes in the UK are based on a narrow view of the economic costs and benefits—they fail to factor in the full range of health and wellbeing benefits and savings. This raised the question: What are the challenges preventing health and wellbeing being embedded better in the overall assessment and justification for transport projects, and how can these be overcome?
Our review revealed that there are opportunities to improve links between transport, health and wellbeing, but progress is being hampered by a lack of strategic integration. It highlighted that the health and wellbeing benefits of transport investment need to be measured in terms of cost and non-monetary values to better influence funding decisions. We concluded that the influence of transport choices on people’s mental health and wellbeing should be emphasised more in policy and practice.
The result? The benefits of considering mental and physical health will now be assessed and built into our appraisal, development, and delivery of a range of projects around the United Kingdom.
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