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Walking and cycling

The health, wellbeing and social benefits of walking and cycling in our towns and cities are clear. Our active travel team helps clients navigate the complex decisions these schemes seek to solve, to deliver lasting benefits to their communities.

The health, wellbeing and social benefits of walking and cycling in our towns and cities are clear. Our active travel team helps clients navigate the complex decisions these schemes seek to solve, to deliver lasting benefits to their communities.

Time for change

There has never been a greater public appetite for new ways to travel across and enjoy towns and cities. Active travel programmes complement a wider urban improvement and resilience agenda, and can help produce healthier, more resilient and enjoyable places to live and work.

Active travel infrastructure must be safe, well-designed and well-connected. Many regional governments are promoting active travel through the retrofit of existing urban landscapes and the development of new walking and cycling routes.

We develop active travel policies and strategies, design cycle and walking infrastructure, analyse accessibility and inclusivity, advise on cycle and pedestrian planning, behavioural change, bike sharing, wayfinding and public realm design.

We can help you in a number of ways.

Advice and support

Successful active travel schemes combine a number of elements, from transport, public health and wellbeing to town and city planning, climate change and the environment. We bring together expertise from each of those domains and experience from active travel schemes the world over. At a senior level, we often act as a sounding board for cities and authorities as they formulate their plans.

Bicycles in a row at a docking station. Bicycles in a row at a docking station.

We have been working with the National Transport Authority in Ireland since 2012 to advance the Regional Cities Bike Share Scheme in Galway, Limerick and Cork. We are currently managing the implementation of a new scheme in Waterford City, bringing the total number of bicycles to more than 1,000 at over 100 stations across the four cities.

Analyse and model

We combine active travel principles with data analytics and modelling to measure and guide active travel initiatives and streetscape changes. In Hong Kong, we used the first integrated simulation model to combine interactions between pedestrian and vehicular traffic to mitigate congestion and improve pedestrian accessibility. We also use our own people movement expertise, and MassMotion tool to simulate pedestrian behaviour in different scenarios. By factoring in the purpose of individual trips, we can plan for different scenarios and more accurately forecast travel demand.

Design and plan

We work with local and regional governments to design and plan strategies that promote, facilitate and enable active travel at local and city-wide levels. In Cardiff, UK, we worked with Cardiff Council to develop proposals for a network of cycleways that connect major destinations and communities across the city. As trusted advisors, we partner developers, architects and planners of significant masterplans and developments to deliver exemplar schemes.

The scheme will comprise of 600km of walking and cycling routes, with the design tailored to the needs of the local communities covered by the new network.

In South East Scotland, for example, we collaborated with eight local authorities to plan a 600km active travel network. This project could deliver £1.4bn in benefits to the region as a whole, and help to reduce carbon emissions by 7,000 tonnes per year.

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Engage and consult

Active travel schemes work best when you engage with the community right from the start. We have co-designed schemes working closely with local communities. Across Greater Manchester, we have connected with thousands of local residents to co-design 10 Active Neighbourhood schemes through workshops, drop-in events, surveys and an interactive online engagement hub.

As well as physical engagement and consultation, we use virtual reality technologies to turn proposed schemes into engaging, sensory experiences that build support, improving the quality and detail of community feedback. We also create virtual reality ‘exhibitions’ that allow stakeholders to access information, view maps and drawings, watch scheme fly-throughs and share feedback from any location at any time. In Australia, we produced a range of digital outputs to create a truly immersive experience for a proposed active travel Riverwalk.

Brisbane River Botanic Gardens Riverwalk Brisbane River Botanic Gardens Riverwalk

Brisbane’s new Riverwalk made for active transport

The new Riverwalk on Brisbane River, from the City Reach Boardwalk to Bunya Walk in the Botanic Gardens, is an accessible thoroughfare that enhances the journey for commuters, helping resolve a traditional conflict point that could not cater for people walking and cycling.

The two-way separated thoroughfare enables commuters, recreational users, and visitors to enjoy the Brisbane River during peak times. The Riverwalk design, including wayfinding signage and landscaped paths, accommodates pedestrians of all ages and abilities and gives cyclists designated lanes.

Monitor and evaluate

To test the ongoing effectiveness of active travel schemes, and ensure they complement the wider transport network, you have to measure and monitor. To do this, we have developed the industry’s leading spatial design network analysis tool in partnership with the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography. This tool uses industry-standard network representations to analyse accessibility and predict flows of people walking and cycling.

Deliver and implement

We can deliver active travel strategies and help build walking and cycling networks and capabilities. We can also implement street enhancements, such as widening footways, ‘parklets’ and protected routes. We played a leading role in delivering Belfast’s Connswater Community Greenway creating green spaces alongside pedestrian and cycle routes to improve connectivity.

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Talk to our experts

You can access our active travel expertise through regional consultants around the world.