This benefit relates to the impact of mode choice on transport users’ physical and mental health. This benefit is often framed in relation to physical and mental health benefits associated with uptake of active modes.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises the importance of regular physical activity for physical and mental wellbeing. WHO promotes physical activity as a protective factor against diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers, as well being associated with improved mental health, the delay of the onset of dementia, and improved quality of life and wellbeing.

WHO Global action plan on physical activity, 2018(external link)

There are several overlaps between this benefit and other benefits in the framework.

The physical environment, or townscape, can have an important bearing on decisions to use active modes and be more physically active (11.3 Impact on townscape). Anything that induces demand for vehicle use, such as severance (10.4 Impact on community cohesion), can have a negative impact on people’s physical and mental wellbeing. 

11.3 Impact on townscape

10.4 Impact on community cohesion

There are also significant overlaps between this benefit and 10.2 Impact on mode choice, as the availability of choice is required for this impact to be fully realised. Equally, transport disadvantage that forces people to use modes that they do not prefer may have a negative impact on mental health.

10.2 Impact on mode choice

This benefit is a secondary benefit for user experience (10.1 Impact on user experience of the transport system) due to associations with mental health. Investments and programmes that support the uptake of active modes and public transport (due to a general increase in walking to and from public transport modes) may contribute to this benefit, whether in relation to infrastructure development or improvement, service provision or education programmes.

10.1 Impact on user experience of the transport system

This benefit may also be a co-benefit for investments relating to urban development and mode choice, and a secondary benefit in relation to user experience, such as public transport vehicle and service improvements.

Monetisation methods are focused on the benefits of walking and cycling (both conventional and electric assisted) based on the increased life quality and expectancy, health system cost savings and lost outputs. There is one qualitative measure associated with this benefit.

This benefit can impact all users of the transport system, both positively and negatively, particularly in relation to the transport mode individuals select. 


3.1.1 Physical health benefits from active modes*

Measures marked * are qualitative.

For more information about these measures see Land Transport Benefits Framework measures manual.

Land Transport Benefits Framework measures manual


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