This page contains some key resources on walking and cycling, including an archive of the documents produced by the Australian Bicycle Council.

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Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP) Mode Specific Guidance: M4 Active Travel
Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP)

At a glance:

  • This document (ATAP Part M4) provides specialist Mode Specific Guidance on active travel. It is supported by a Background Report (M4-BR) in the ATAP Technical Support Library covering detailed and technical material.
  • The defining characteristic of active travel is that it is ‘human powered mobility’. In this guidance, we interpret active travel as comprising primarily walking and cycling, but can also include use of e-bikes, skateboards, roller skates, roller blades and non-electric scooters. While e-scooters and e-skateboards are not ‘human-powered’, they are also considered here because they share some of the facilities provided for active travel, and hence experience associated benefits. The term micro-mobility is increasingly used to refer to all of these modes of transport.
  • Evidence-based assessment of problems and opportunities is the starting point for considering active travel improvements. Problems include: poor weather; lack of infrastructure or appropriate facilities; poor access and connectivity; physical safety concerns; lack of security; inadequate ancillary infrastructure; and poor knowledge and awareness of available facilities and benefits. Opportunities include: reducing health, environmental and road congestion problems by shifting trips from car to active travel; improving accessibility; and reducing inequity for those too young or old to drive, and other people facing transport access difficulties.
  • A wide range of options for addressing a problem or opportunity should be generated and assessed. A full range of options are outlined here. Active travel network design principles are presented: cohesion, directness, safety, comfort, and attractiveness. These assist in the identification of suitable improvement options. A network, and individual improvements, designed with such principles maximises the size of potential mode shifts to active travel.
  • Active travel improvement options are assessed using the same approach used elsewhere in the Guidelines, namely: strategic alignment; and appraisal using cost-benefit analysis of monetised benefits and costs, complemented by non-monetised benefits and costs.
  • Similar to the assessment of other transport modes, benefits consist of:
    • User benefits to active travellers (safety, travel time, private health benefits from physical activity, walking environment amenity benefits)
    • Any resource cost corrections required for unperceived user costs, and
    • External benefits from reductions in external cost to third parties (road decongestion, reduced emissions and improved air pollution, reduced health system costs).
  • The guidance provides explanations of individual benefits, and steps, methodologies and parameter values for their estimation. Appropriate application of the rule-of-a-half to perceived user costs for new active travel trips (diverted from other modes, and newly generated) is also explained.
  • The currently available approaches to active travel demand estimation are summarised: a) simpler estimation approaches (comparison studies, sketch planning, aggregate behaviour studies); b) demand elasticities and diversion rates; c) modelling. Also discussed are: influencing factors, active travel data, tools and other considerations. Active travel demand estimation is a fairly under-developed area, and would benefit significantly from further research and development.
  • Indicative unit costs are provided for various active transport infrastructure elements.
  • Measurement and monitoring of performance of the active travel system is an important final step in the planning and assessment process. It considers whether policies, plans and initiatives are successful in meeting transport system objectives. Performance indicators are required to enable ex-post evaluation and benefit management. The type and timing of monitoring are discussed.
  • The guidance concludes with suggestions of areas requiring further active travel research.
13/11/2023 View
Bike-friendly business
Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland

Bike riders are customers who choose to arrive by bike. There’s a big opportunity for businesses to achieve growth by becoming bike-friendly.

More than ever, bike riders want to go from A to Business. There’s growing demand to stop, shop and spend at bike-friendly businesses of all different types, from local cafes right through to tourism destinations.

Being bike-friendly can be a point of difference for a business. It means the business can offer more customers more choice and freedom.

06/04/2023 View
CWANZ Fact Sheet: Economic Benefits of Walking & Cycling

We can save millions of dollars in reduced health and congestion costs by increasing the number of people that walk or ride a bike for every day trips and reducing the number of people that drive.

19/04/2022 View
CWANZ Fact Sheet: Benefits of Lower Speed Limits

 Benefits of lower speed limits in high activity areas and local access streets. What happens when vehicles travel more slowly in areas with lots of pedestrians and bike riders?

19/04/2022 View
CWANZ Fact Sheet: Health Benefits of Active Transport

Physical inactivity is one of the top 10 risk factors contributing to disease in Australia, contributing to 2.5% of the total burden of disease and is the 5th highest behavioural risk factor, behind tobacco use, diet, alcohol and illicit drug use.

19/04/2022 View
Research Report 359 Valuing the health benefits of active modes
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

This report seeks to provide a per-kilometre value for the health benefits of active transport modes (such as walking and cycling) that is compatible with the Land Transport New Zealand Economic Evaluation Manual Volume 2 (EEM2). The first two sections of the report begin by explaining the scope of the project and the background. Section 3 investigates the evidence of the connection between physical activity and health outcomes. Section 4 clarifies the role of active transport modes as physical activity, and reports the New Zealand-specific data about active transport mode engagement. Section 5 gives a brief comparative summary of the literature review of cost-benefit analyses and valuation techniques used overseas to value the health benefits of active modes. This report uses population attributable fractions (PAF) to estimate the annual burden of mortality and morbidity costs per inactive adult. Annual estimates of the costs of inactivity are applied to the New Zealand adult population using a weighted sum to establish a per-kilometre value for each mode. The valuation presented in this report is limited by a poverty of data, but the final values are considered to be a reasonable estimate of the health benefits of active modes. While further research is recommended to obtain more precise estimates of the costs of inactivity in New Zealand, it is considered that the values presented in this report are a sound interim estimate for inclusion in the EEM2.

07/04/2022 View