Active Travel Economic Impact Assessment
Working with Rise Associates and Thrive Economics, we have delivered an Economic Impact Assessment of Southampton City Council’s plans to reduce traffic and promote more walking and cycling in Portswood District Centre.It’s a hugely ambitious project. Almost £20million of funding will be poured into a corridor scheme to create a safer, greener and cleaner environment with bus only areas, wider pavements and improved public realm. While the National Audit Office recently warned that more than half of local authorities have low capability and ambition to deliver active travel projects, Southampton Council has shown real commitment on this front. There are still some challenges that need to be overcome to make it work for businesses in the area – and we have made clear recommendations to accommodate key stakeholders – but it has the potential to be genuinely transformational. Analysis by Thrive Economics shows that it could generate £32.7million in GVA contributions for Southampton’s economy over 10-years, improved footfall, increased dwell time and a range of social benefits including safer streets, improved air quality and better social cohesion among communities. We calculate that every £1 of investment will generate £8 in long term returns to the local economy and finally begin to unlock the potential of a community that has received little investment for years.
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