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Encouraging active travel for short trips to improve health and the local economy

European Union
Geo-spatial type
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,
Deployment planning/Financing/Market roll-out,
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

Every day across Europe many short trips are made by car that could easily be made on foot or by bike instead – in the UK, for example, over 55% of trips between 1.5 and 3 km are made by car. Not only does this increase CO2 emissions, but it also contributes to
congestion and health problems caused by a lack of exercise. At the same time it has a negative impact on local economies as people turn away from their local businesses in favour of travelling by car to out of town retail parks. The ACTIVE ACCESS Project worked with changing the behaviour of travelers for these kind of short trips towards walking and cycling, instead of them using their cars.


The key aims of the project were to:

Reduce energy consumption by 10-20% in the activities carried out as part of the project;

Save energy in the order of 6.5 million litres of fuel;

Improve health and tackle obesity by increasing those taking regulat exercise in target populations by 10%;

Strenghten local economies by making residents aware of the facilities.


conducted by 11 project partners across 10 EU Countries. All these activities were centred around one or more of four approaches: walking and cycling to school, walking and cycling to work, walking and cycling to shops, walking and cycling for leisure.

Further, all the project partners took part in the following core activities:

1. They conducted walking audits with local stakeholders in each implementation area.

2. They collected and shared best practice examples in the field of walking and cycling to school, to work, to shops and for leisure.

3. They exchanged experiences first-hand between themselves in a process called "shadowing".

4. They took part in training and stakeholder involvement.

5. They disseminated activities and results through customised marketing materials and engagement of local and national press.


Parent Programmes
Type of funding
Public (EU)


The key achievements of the Active Access project can be summarised as follows:

  • 58 customised local campaigns and initiatives to promote walking and cycling were carried out by 11 application partners – see implementations section for details.
  • Over 62000 citizens took part in local campaigns and of those asked, over 80% were satisfied with the campaign/measure.
  • 6 lobby groups for walking and cycling were established.
  • Over 1000 stakeholders were reached with messages about the benefits of investing in active travel.
  • Campaigns in schools/kindergartens saw an increase of up 55% more children walking or cycling to school.
  • Links between transport and health were made in Graz in a collaboration between Active Access and WeightWatchers and the exercise prescriptions distributed by doctors, in Tartu within their Walking for Health campaign, in Murska Sobota where health checks have been carried out during bicycle action days and in the establishing of Health Paths in Koprivnica where walking and cycling routes were designed, signposted and promoted in collaboration with medical professionals and health clubs.
  • Support for local economies was strengthened through liaising with local businesses in walking & cycling to shops campaigns in Murska Sobota, Koprivnica, Annecy, l’Alcudia, Aveiro and Budapest. With some local neighbourhoods seeing an increase of up to 20% of shoppers arriving by bike or by foot.
  • Through all Active Access activities for which data is available, it is estimated that apx 3.5 million litres of fuel has been saved with a reduction of 8575 tons of CO2 emissions, resulting in improvements to the environment and people’s health.
  • The capacity of Active Access partners to implement and promote measures to encourage walking and cycling has been increased through training sessions in project meetings, sharing of 343 examples of best practice and participation in shadowing
  • Overall 100% of partners said that their participation in the Active Acces project had been effective or very effective at transferring new ideas about and building political support for, walking and cycling.
  • In total, Active Access featured in 162 news articles, 74 press releases, press conferences and TV or radio broadcasts and was presented at 69 conferences.

Strategy targets

Contributed toward the promotion of more sustainable development.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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