SWOV Catalogus

330629

Exchanging car trips by cycling in the Netherlands : a first estimation of the health benefits.
20101621 ST [electronic version only]
Kempen, E.E.M.M. Swart, W. Wendel-Vos, G.C.W. Steinberger, P.E. Knol, A.B. Stipdonk, H.L. & Reurings, M.C.B.
Bilthoven, RIVM, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, 2010, 72 p., 111 ref.; RIVM Report 630053001/2010

Samenvatting As commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the authors assessed the possible health benefits of the substitution of short-distance car trips with short-distance cycling trips. To this end they used existing methods for Health Impact Assessment and evaluated the availability and quality of data, models and tools that were needed. In this assessment not only the classic environmental pollutants noise and air pollution were taken into account, but also the effects on road safety and physical activity. Application shows that the disease burden related to physical activity reduces at a maximum of 1.3% after one year. As expected, the health benefits due to reduction in road traffic noise levels and traffic-related air pollution are relatively small. Furthermore, it appears that an exchange of short-distance car trips by cycling is only beneficial for young male drivers. Since a lot of information was unavailable and/or unknown and because a lot of choices and assumptions were made, the results have to be seen as a first estimate of what can be expected of interventions that cause an exchange between short-distance car trips with cycling. This study is a follow-up on earlier exemplary assessments of transport interventions.The reliability of this assessment can be improved if we can obtain better information on population exposure distributions of noise and air pollution; it is also important to validate the modelled decrease in traffic noise, air pollution and changes in behaviour by means of measurements. (Author/publisher)
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