Biking on the beach

The iConnect (Impact of COnstructing Non-motorised Networks and Evaluating Changes in Travel) study aims to measure and evaluate the changes in travel, physical activity and carbon emissions related to Sustrans' Connect2 programme, which is an ambitious UK-wide project that will transform local travel in 79 communities by creating new crossings and bridges to overcome barriers such as busy roads, rivers and railways, giving people easier and healthier access to their schools, shops, parks and countryside. We are working closely with Sustrans and other partners to achieve this ambitious aim.

The five-year iConnect study involves a broad evaluation of the whole programme coupled with detailed investigations at five specific Connect2 sites: Kenilworth, Southampton, Cardiff, Cheshunt and Glasgow. We hope to determine if the new routes have got more people switching from using their cars to walking or cycling, helping them to get more physically active and reducing their carbon footprint.

iConnect's objectives are:

  1. To develop an evaluation framework and measurement tools for use in assessing the impacts of infrastructural interventions on travel behaviour, physical activity, carbon emissions and energy use (and their inter-relationships) at the individual and population level;
  2. To apply the framework and tools thus developed to quantify the changes in travel behaviour, physical activity and carbon emissions and the changes in putative mediating factors associated with infrastructural interventions at a purposive sample of case-study Connect2 sites and to explore why these interventions are (or are not) effective, in what ways, for whom and in what circumstances;
  3. To determine by means of a randomised controlled trial whether an additional tailored self-help intervention delivered at the level of the household can enhance the effects of an infrastructural intervention; and
  4. To evaluate the Connect2 programme in terms of its economic performance at a broad strategic level.

Our role at Oxford is to lead on carbon measurement and evaluation across the project, lead on the Kenilworth case study specialist modules and lead on dissemination activities and compiling the Final Report.

Output

Major outputs and more information on the project can be accessed via the iConnect project website.

We aim to publish widely in top international journals and disseminate at international conferences as and when. However, the nature of the project as a longitudinal study means the most interesting outputs will only be available later on in the work programme, that is 2012 - 2013.

Further Information

For more information on this research project please contact Dr Christian Brand.