New research has found that people who ride bikes, walk or take public transport spend 40 per more each month in local shops than people who drive.
The research from University College London’s Bartlett School of Planning was conducted in areas of London that had recently benefited from Transport for London’s ‘Healthy Streets Approach’ which included the addition of separate cycleways.
The research has been published as part of a new online hub demonstrating the economic benefits of designing streets for people that are easy to access by foot or bike.
One example is in Bromley, where following a number of streetscape improvements, the number of people walking in the streets increased by 93 per cent. People also spent more time in the street, with a 216 per cent increase in activity such as going into shops or cafes.
As a result of the increased – and improved – footfall, retail rental values increased by 7.5% and there was a 17% decline in retail vacancies.
The research helps build the economic business case for investing in cycling and walking infrastructure by showing an important link between creating accessible and enjoyable spaces where people want to spend time and money.
By making it easier and more appealing for more people to walk and ride, the whole community benefits by creating vibrant and thriving streets with not only more shoppers but more shops.
London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman said: “With businesses across London really struggling to survive, we have to do everything we can to support them.
“Adapting our streets to enable more people to walk and cycle makes them cleaner, healthier and more welcoming, which encourages more people to shop locally.”
Closer to home, the research adds further weight to arguments for main street makeovers to revitalise the shopping precincts of Sydney Road and Chapel Street in Melbourne.