Transport has an impact on health through transport-related accidents, active travel, public transport, air quality and access to a range of services. 

Transport can affect people by giving access to employment opportunities, education, leisure, healthcare and diverse food supplies. The development of an efficient transport network and vehicles has the potential to benefit health.

Increasing levels of motorised traffic have contributed to air pollution, noise, vibration, danger from vehicles and an increased fear of traffic. These issues particularly affect the most deprived and most vulnerable people in communities.

The rise in personal car use has meant liberation for people who are young and more affluent. More deprived, elderly and disabled people can become trapped in ‘residential islands’ surrounded by dense traffic, or without the means to access more distant facilities and services in out-of-town developments. This also applies to people in rural areas faced with dwindling local facilities and longer travel times.

Road traffic casualties are still one of the main public health challenges in the UK particularly for children and young adults.

The rise in personal car ownership levels has contributed to people being less active. This is a significant contributor to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

This topic has links to the following JSNA topics:

Last updated: 2013-10-04 14:14:51
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1. What are the key issues?

Road safety

In 2013, there were 197 collisions in Redcar & Cleveland, resulting in 271 casualties. There was 1 fatality (child pedestrian), 33 serious casualties and 237 slight casualties.

Car occupants were the largest casualty group, contributing to 62% of all casualties (although approximately 94% of these car occupant casualties are slight injuries).   

Of the 271 casualties, 31% of them were ‘vulnerable’ road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists). Of the 34 killed and seriously injured casualties (KSI), 65% of them were ‘vulnerable’ road users.    

Active travel

The 2011 Census states that only 6.7% of the working population travel actively to work.

In Redcar & Cleveland, an estimated 55.7% of people are active.

In Redcar & Cleveland, an estimated 27.5% of adults are classed as obese.

In Redcar & Cleveland, more than one in five children aged 11 years old are obese.

Last updated: 16/06/15

2. What commissioning priorities are recommended?


Facilitate and create increased opportunities for people of all ages to use ‘active travel’ in their daily routine for accessing education, employment or services.


Promote greater understanding of the health benefits of active travel and use events and programmes to introduce people to walking and cycling.


Increase the capacity of voluntary sector groups to deliver active travel programmes to sustain higher numbers of beneficiaries.


Improve detailed understanding of local access issues by improving the walking and cycling network information.


Consider health impact assessments for transport projects which have the potential to influence physical activity or such things as air quality and accessibility.


Commission programmes of education, training and publicity targeted towards reductions in road traffic accidents involving vulnerable road users.

Last updated: 16/06/15

3. Who is at risk and why?

Various factors influence the demand for transport as shown below.

Factors that affect transport demand (Litman, 2012):


Older (over 65-year-olds) and younger (18 to 20-year-olds) drivers are at particular risk of serious and fatal injuries on the roads.

Children are becoming less physically fit as they age. 


A higher percentage of boys than girls (aged 2-15 years) meet the Government’s recommendations for physical activity.

There is no current evidence suggesting gender plays a significant role in determining the prevalence of obesity in adults.  However, the NCMP shows that boys are significantly more likely to be obese than girls.

Socioeconomic status

Children in the 10% most deprived wards in England are more than three times as likely to be pedestrian casualties as those in the 10% most affluent wards.

Although the most deprived areas produce the lowest levels of pollution, they are actually exposed to the highest levels of air pollution.

More people are active in households with higher income. 

The distribution of overweight and obesity has a significant social gradient, with prevalence among people who are socially and economically deprived.


Disabled people are most likely to suffer an injury due to a trip or fall and therefore, will require longer periods of medical care than other groups. 

Children and young people with a disability take part in physical activity and sport less frequently and their experiences are less positive than their non-disabled peers (Sport Scotland, 2006).


Injury rates are higher in black children when compared to their white and Asian peers.

People from minority ethnic groups tend to be less active compared to their white peers (The Information Centre, 2006).


People living within close proximity of motorised traffic can be affected as traffic vibration and noise cause stress, while congestion, traffic speeds and inconsiderate driving are a source of annoyance and fear for many.

Nationally in 2011, the majority (61%) of road collision related fatalities occurred on rural roads (40% on rural A roads and 21% on other rural roads).

While the evidence is varied, studies tend to show that cyclists and pedestrians are exposed to lower fine particulate matter and carbon dioxide concentrations when compared to those inside vehicles. The proximity to the pollution source(s) has a significant impact on the level of exposure levels experienced.


Nationally, whilst deaths peaked during the evening rush hour (and potentially dark nights), with a peak of 173 between 18:00 and 19:00 there were fatalities throughout the whole day.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday accounts for 50% of all deaths. Saturday and Sunday show evening peaks related to the periods following likely pub drinking and parties. On Sunday there are peaks following likely lunchtime drinking.

Last updated: 16/06/15

4. What is the level of need in the population?

The Tees Valley Transport Monitoring Report ( provides a wealth of statistical data for all modes of transport and monitors trends and changes over recent years. Several examples of tables within this document are shown below:

Traffic-related casualties

Tees Valley casualties by severity

Tees Valley casualties by age

Tees Valley casualties by road user group

Average vehicle speed

Tees Valley bus patronage


Last updated: 02/05/14

5. What services are currently provided?

Service delivered

By whom

Future issues

Capital Infrastructure improvements – Road Safety and sustainable transport initiatives

Local Authority/LEP

Reduction in funding reduces the opportunity to address maintenance, and infrastructure improvements for the future

Bikeability Cycle Training – Offered to all Y6 pupils

Local Authority

DfT have committed funding until March 2016

Redcar & Cleveland Mobile Active Travel Hub

3rd Sector/Local Authority

Operating in 2015/16. Future funding sources remain un confirmed

Delivery of road safety education, training and publicity initiatives to schools.

Cleveland Fire Brigade commissioned by local authority

Reducing budgets and competing with other agencies for training time in particular schools.

School Crossing Patrol Service

Local Authority

Local Authority budgetary pressures to reduce service further.

Independent Travel Training, working with identified individuals with disabilities to use sustainable transport modes

Local Authority

External funding is only confirmed until 2016.

Subsidised Bus Services

Local Authority

Potential budget reductions could result in cessation of services


Last updated: 18/01/17

6. What is the projected level of need?

Increasing car ownership in the North East will lead to increased levels of traffic and therefore a likelihood of increased risk.

An aging population will increase the level of risk in drivers who are over 65 years old.

Sedentary lifestyles brought about by increasing car ownership and decreasing amounts of daily activity may lead to increases in clinical obesity levels.

Last updated: 16/06/15

7. What needs might be unmet?

Casualty reduction

The current economic climate has placed severe pressures upon levels of investment in transport infrastructure. Traditional traffic engineering interventions on the road network are capital intensive and becoming increasingly difficult to fund.

Major reductions in the capital budget mean that fewer schemes can be delivered.

Most accidents recorded in Redcar & Cleveland are as a result of human error, so investing within a programme aimed at addressing this is critical.

Active travel

There are missing links in the Redcar & Cleveland cycle route infrastructure. There also remain some significant barriers which separate communities and restrict active travel.

Cyclist training for year 5 and year 6 is covered by the Council’s training provision, and funded by the Department for Transport’s allocation for Bikeability levels 1 & 2. Turning young, basic-level cyclists into capable and regular commuters does however require further investment and there is currently a shortfall in provision for on-road training at Y7-11 (ages 11-16) for Bikeability Level 3. DfT funding for this is now becoming available but it requires local match funding to gain access to a DfT Bikeability grant.

The Government’s local transport white Paper, Cutting Carbon, Creating Growth: Making Sustainable Local Transport Happen DfT 2011 sets out the Government’s vision for a sustainable local transport system that supports the economy and reduces carbon emissions. The principal focus for action will be at local level. The key points in the paper are reducing the number of grant-making schemes and decentralising decision-making powers to local authorities, local economic partnerships (LEPs) and voluntary community and social enterprises (VCSEs). The Tees Valley has been successful in securing Local Sustainable Transport Funding in 2015/16 from the DfT for a range of measures to promote sustainable transport and increase residents levels of activity and access to services and employment. However, the main concern is that the Local Sustainable Transport Fund is unlikely to meet the reductions in local authority budgets and is not guaranteed in the long-term.

Last updated: 16/06/15

8. What evidence is there for effective intervention?

A wide range of evidence on the scale of impact on health in Redcar & Cleveland and the effectiveness of interventions are available:

Benefits of Investing in Cycling – British Cycling (2014)

Statement of Transport Ambition – Tees Valley Unlimited (2011)

Tees Valley Monitoring Report – Tees Valley Unlimited (2013)

NICE - Walking and cycling: local measures to promote walking and cycling as forms of travel or recreation

NICE – Promoting Physical Activity for Children and Young People

Last updated: 16/06/15

9. What do people say?

Transport and accessibility are issues that are raised in consultations on all Council services and the activities of our partners. Some examples in recent years have been the previous Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, The Children and Young People’s Plan and the Older People’s Strategy.

Key issues are raised about the lack of availability and the cost of public transport and safety of cycling. The Council is seeking to address these issues as far as possible within current funding limits.


The DfT commissioned a research study which has evaluated the impact and perceptions of cycle training, with a specific focus on Bikeability, and found positive results.  The research, undertaken by Ipsos MORI, has now been made public. It shows that Bikeability schemes enjoy a very high degree of customer satisfaction.

  • 98% of parents surveyed said they were satisfied with the Bikeability scheme;
  • 76% of these were very satisfied;
  • 93% of parents feel that it has had a positive impact on their child’s safety when cycling on the road;
  • 93% of children feel more confident about riding their bike generally; and
  • 86% of children feel more confident about riding their bike on the road.

When the children were asked what the main thing that they learnt from taking part in Bikeability:

  • 68% said ‘to ride my bike more safely’;
  • 53% said ‘to ride my bike safely on the road’; and
  • 36% said ‘to ride my bike with confidence’.
Last updated: 16/06/15

10. What additional needs assessment is required?

Additional assessments required include:

  • Identify barriers to adopting sustainable and active travel lifestyles;
  • Identify preferred methods of travel to schools, work and for leisure purposes;
  • Whether incentivising take up of active travel has any impact on residents;
  • What are the projects that will bring about the greatest community, environmental and health benefits when engaging with safe and active travel;
  • Identify those areas where safe and active travel promotion can be used as an intervention and provide GPs/health care professionals with a remedy which contributes to recovery; and
  • Identify the links (and barriers) between leisure and commuter cycling, i.e. how to turn more weekend cyclists into people who cycle to work, school and on similar short-range journeys.
Last updated: 16/06/15

Key contact

Name: Tony Gordon

Job title: Strategic Transport Team Leader


Phone number: 01287 612545



Local strategies and plans

Redcar & Cleveland Local Transport Plan 2011-21 (March 2011)


National strategies and plans




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