ITF countries should build on commitments to walking and cycling says new report supported by FIA Foundation
International Transport Forum (ITF) member countries are increasing their commitment to walking and cycling policies and strategies but more needs to be done to link climate, health and equity agendas, says a new report by the Partnership for Active Travel and Health (PATH), supported by the FIA Foundation.
More than four-fifths of ITF countries boast walking policies and 41% have a related strategy, while 45% have a cycling policy but just one in five have a cycling strategy in place says the report ‘National Policies for Walking and Cycling in ITF Countries.’ The report is the first ever to combine analysis of walking and cycling policies in the 64 ITF member countries.
Almost all walking and cycling policies include commitments to the five key PATH calls to action to improve infrastructure, integrate with public transport, improve land use planning, coordinate campaigns, and commit to capacity building. The report highlights that translating policy into meaningful action requires dedicated staff, funding and evaluation. More than twice as many countries have committed funding to the delivery of cycling policy (76%) than walking (28%).
In a post-covid context, the cross-cutting benefits of active mobility have become more prominent. While transport ministers lead more than half of walking and cycling policies, 21% of walking and 24% of cycling policies are cross-departmental to identify the cross-cutting benefits for health, climate, and equity. While road safety is the most common objective cited in 70% of walking policies and 83% of cycling policies, at least half also include an objective to increase participation, and climate change mitigation in 52% of walking and 76% of cycling policies.
“PATH partners seek to unlock walking and cycling’s potential to accelerate the achievement of climate goals and other benefits, through greater prioritisation and investment including through national strategies and other policy instruments. Therefore it seemed fitting on the occasion of the ITF Summit to prepare a national policy analysis for walking and cycling in ITF countries,” said Walk21 CEO Bronwen Thornton. “We found that the majority of ITF member countries are actively supporting the PATH call to create integrated and coherent strategies, including plans, funding and concrete actions for walking and cycling, though there are wide variations between countries and room for more action.”
Jill Warren, CEO of the European Cyclists’ Federation, said: “This report serves as a useful baseline for active mobility in ITF countries and a valuable resource for policy and decision-makers and advocates alike. PATH partners hope it will catalyse further action by countries in favour of walking and cycling.”
Sheila Watson, Deputy Director of the FIA Foundation, said: “A truly sustainable mobility paradigm must include sound policies, concrete actions and a much larger share of investment in walking and cycling. This is why the FIA Foundation is proud to support the activities of PATH and the creation and launch of this report, which will help inform countries’ further commitments to enable more people to walk and cycle safely.”