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Promoting walking and cycling
New perspectives on sustainable travel

Colin G Pooley, Tim Jones, Miles Tight, Dave Horton, Griet Scheldeman, Caroline Mullen, Ann Jopson, Emanuele Strano
Paperback, 320 pages, 240 x 172 mm
Other formats available
21 Aug 2013


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North America customers can order this book here from the University of Chicago Press.

“This pioneering book is much needed, as it calls for a new understanding of travel and a real engagement with people and policy makers so that effective actions can be taken that will transform the quality of the urban environment.” Professor David Banister, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford, UK
“This book addresses one of the major lifestyle challenges of our age - how to embed sustained and sustainable mobility within community and society. The learning assembled will be essential to the effective design and implementation of policies and interventions.” Dr Andy Cope, Research and Monitoring Unit, Sustrans

About This Book

Promoting walking and cycling proposes solutions to one of the most pressing problems in contemporary British transport planning. The need to develop more sustainable urban mobility lies at the heart of energy and environmental policies and has major implications for the planning of cities and for the structure of economy and society. However, most people feel either unable or unwilling to incorporate travel on foot or by bike into their everyday journeys. This book uses innovative quantitative and qualitative research methods to examine in depth, and in an international and historical context, why so many people fail to travel in ways that are deemed by most to be desirable. It proposes evidence-based policy solutions that could increase levels of walking and cycling substantially. This book is essential reading for planners and policy makers who are developing and implementing transport policies at both national and local levels, plus researchers and students in the fields of mobility, transport, sustainability and urban planning.

Author Biography

Colin Pooley is Professor of Social and Historical Geography in The Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK. His research focuses on the social geography of Britain and continental Europe since the 1800s, with recent projects focused on residential migration, travel to work and other aspects of everyday mobility including walking and cycling. He has published 12 books and over 100 journal articles and book chapters on these topics.


Section I: Context
Setting the scene and defining the problem?
Where have we come from?: The historical context
The global context: How is Britain different from other places?
Section II: The research Researching walking and cycling
How does the built environment influence walking and cycling?
What do people think about everyday travel in urban areas?
The place of walking in the urban environment
The role of cycling in the urban environment
Section III: Policy solutions The future of walking and cycling in British urban areas
Conclusion: issues of society, economy and sustainability.


ReviewsOwn it? Review it!

Promoting walking and cycling
This monograph is based on extensive quantitative and qualitative research in four English towns and cities, and aims to identify policies at the local or national level that could increase the number of people willing to walk or cycle when making short urban journeys. The quantity of research is impressive, and the authors' arguments are well structured and persuasive. The research yields a number of intriguing insights: for example, the authors demonstrate that, even in areas of England where ';utility cycling' is relatively common, most cyclists still perceive themselves to be part of a marginalised group; this compares starkly with studies in Europe that have revealed the extent to which cyclists believe they are conforming to a societal norm. The authors are under no illusions regarding the size of the challenge that addressing such perceptual issues in the UK represents.,I was surprised by the extent to which the authors consider walking and cycling largely in isolation from other forms of 'sustainable' transport, although they recognise that integrating all such forms of transport is essential. They also acknowledge that not only are walking and cycling not necessarily a natural pairing, they are actually fundamentally different modes of travel, and at times the authors' focus on these two modes at the expense of, for example, tram and suburban-train networks comes across as somewhat detached from the realities of urban transport planning.,,The authors make a number of policy proposals they believe are essential if real change is to occur. They recognise that while it should be possible to achieve some of these in the short to medium term, some, for example the provision of cycle storage in most homes, would require a number of agencies to undertake a huge amount of work in order to be implemented. The authors develop their conclusions to a certain point, but arguably they are in fact setting out an agenda for further research: any reader interested in how, for example, the 'provision of fully segregated cycle routes on all arterial and other busy roads' could be achieved in their home town will not find an implementation plan here. Nonetheless, the book is so rich with research findings and constructive ideas that I am sure policy makers, academics and those interested in transport planning generally will all find reading the book highly worthwhile.
Reviewed by Tim Ryder

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