Promoting walking to work

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Location of intervention 10 local and combined authorities across England
Contractor/delivery partner Living Streets on behalf of Blackpool Council (lead authority) and councils in Buckinghamshire, NECA (Durham), Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Leicester, Stoke-on-Trent, North Lincolnshire and West Sussex
Scheme implementation dates April 2017 – March 2020
Cost of scheme £7,498,000
Funding source Department for Transport
BCR 6.4:1

Why we did it

Increasing walking to work positively impacts the health and wellbeing of employees by encouraging them to be more physically active. It benefits all employees by reducing congestion and carbon emissions around the workplace whilst the employer and local economy benefit from raised productivity (for example, by reduced absence).

How we did it

Walk To is part of the Access Fund and works with 3 key audiences – workplaces, schools and post primary education settings. Living Streets, as the lead delivery partner, is working with all 3 audiences to increase walking rates, tackle barriers to walking and reduce congestion.

Part of the project is an awareness-raising and behaviour change programme in workplaces. Alongside this, public realm improvements will help create walking-friendly routes.

What we did

To date, Living Streets has supported 95 unique workplaces across a range of settings including council offices, universities, hospitals and private sector companies such as NEXT in Leicester.

The interventions delivered have reached an average of 1,300 employees per year and include promotional campaigns, walking pledge events, led walks, walk leader training sessions and one-to-one walking advice sessions.

Living Streets has also developed new approaches to better engage employees, and support employers in embedding a walking culture in their workplace. This has led to the launch of the new Walking Works package in February 2019.

What impact did it have

Participant surveys carried out in April 2019 indicate that 59% of respondents meet their walking pledge regularly. Furthermore, 72% of respondents said they now walk a lot (19%) or a bit (53%) more than they used to. On average, those who walked more attributed about half of the change to Living Streets activities.

Key figures

  • the interventions delivered have reached an average of 1,300 employees per year
  • Living Streets has supported 95 unique workplaces
  • 59% of respondents meet their walking pledge regularly

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