Equity impacts of cycling investment in England: A natural experimental study using longitudinally linked individual-level Census data.
SSM - Population Health 2023 ; 23: 101438.
PubMed ID : 37304734
PMCID : PMC10251149
Cycling is beneficial for health and the environment but the evidence on the overall and differential impacts of interventions to promote cycling is limited. Here we assess the equity impacts of funding awarded to support cycling in 18 urban areas between 2005 and 2011.
We used longitudinally linked 2001 and 2011 census data from 25,747 individuals in the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study of England and Wales. Logistic regression was used to assess the impacts of funding on commute mode as the interaction between time and area (intervention/comparison) in individual-level difference-in-difference analyses, adjusting for a range of potential confounding factors. Differential impacts were examined by age, gender, education and area-level deprivation, and uptake and maintenance of cycling were examined separately.
Difference-in-difference analyses showed no intervention impact on cycle commuting prevalence in the whole sample (AOR = 1.08; 95% CI 0.92, 1.26) or among men (AOR = 0.91; 95% CI 0.76, 1.10) but found an intervention effect among women (AOR = 1.56; 95% CI 1.16, 2.10). The intervention promoted uptake of cycling commuting in women (AOR = 2.13; 95% CI 1.56, 2.91) but not men (AOR = 1.19; 95% CI 0.93, 1.51). Differences in intervention effects by age, education and area-level deprivation were less consistent and more modest in magnitude.
Living in an intervention area was associated with greater uptake of cycle commuting among women but not men. Potential gender differences in the determinants of transport mode choice should be considered in the design and evaluation of future interventions to promote cycling.
Cycling is not only good for our health but also for the environment. However, we don't know enough about the effects of programs that encourage cycling. This study looked at how efforts to promote cycling in different towns and cities in England impacted people's choices about how they commute to work. They wanted to know if these efforts had different effects on different groups of people.
To do this, the researchers used information from a large study that followed over 25,000 people in England and Wales between 2001 to 2011. They examined how funding for cycling projects affected people's commuting habits. They also looked at whether this differed by age, gender and education.
Funding for cycling projects didn't seem to have the same impacts for everyone. Among women, the funding did seem to encourage more of them to start biking to work. However, this effect wasn't seen as much in men. The study also looked at how age, education, and where people lived played a role, but the differences in effects based on these factors were not always clear.
In conclusion, this study shows that efforts to promote cycling might have different effects on different groups of people. For example, these efforts seem to be better at getting women to start biking to work compared to men. This means that when we plan programs to encourage biking, we should think about these differences between men and women to make sure they work well for everyone.