Department for Transport cycle projects using HEAT tool to predict health gains

Rebecca Gibbs's picture

By using the World Health Organisation’s Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for walking and cycling, DfT have predicted the impact on physical fitness to account for over 60% of the overall projected benefit of the capital projects. A strong health case for cycling investment indeed!

The HEAT tool for walking and cycling enables those designing transport interventions to conduct a cost-benefit analyses and establish the economic value of reducing early mortality through increased active travel. It is available online and easy to use. In their value for money assessment DfT also attempt to capture something of the entire wellbeing-value of the cycling experience by measuring ‘journey ambience’ – approximately 17% of the overall benefit. So there we have it, economic justification for the attempts many of us make to find that nicer route.

The next task in maximizing the economic benefits of reducing early mortality from cycle projects will be to ensure that those at greatest risk of ill health have the best access to the new cycle infrastructure.

Health Economic Assessment Tool for walking and cycling: http://www.euro.who.int/HEAT and http://www.heatwalkingcycling.org

Value for Money Assessment for Cycling Grants: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/348943/vfm-assessment-of-cycling-grants.pdf

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