Healthy streets make for healthy businesses – new data hub launched

Healthy streets make for healthy businesses – new data hub launched

A new Transport for London 'data hub' reveals the scale of benefits for the local economy of schemes that improve conditions for walking and cycling.

Far from harming local businesses,  ‘healthy streets’ schemes help increase the number of visitors and passers-by on foot and on bike; encourage people to stay in the area and shop or stop off at a café; and help reduce the number of vacant shops and offices.

The data hub provides a wealth of statistics including the results of a University  College study which found that  in improved local streets (compared to un-improved ones) :

  • Footfall increased – the number of people standing, waiting and sitting nearly doubled and people walking in the streets increased by 93 per cent
  • People spent more time in the street, with a 216 per cent increase in activity such as going into a shop, stopping at a café or sitting on a bench
  • More retail space was filled by businesses, as there was a 17 per cent decline in retail vacancy·        

Other statitiscs recorded in the hub include:

  • Walking and cycling improvements can increase retail spend by up to 30%
  • Cycle parking delivers five times the retail spend per square metre than the same area of car parking
  • Over a month, people who walk to the high street spend up to 40% more than people who drive to the high street
  • Businesses using cycle freight save between 39 and 64% on delivery costs
  • 81% of Londoners say they can cycle including 3 in 4 of those over 65 and 76% of disabled people

Forward thinking business leaders welcome both the outocmes of healthy street schemes and the useful data provided in the hub:  Kay Buxton, Chief Executive of Marble Arch business improvement district said, “Our members tell us that their staff, customers, guests, students and pupils need safer spaces in which to operate. It not only helps the trading environment locally but it boosts health and wellbeing and fosters a greater sense of community.”

TfL says it will keep updating the data hub as new research becomes available.