Understanding the Link Between Air Quality and Active Travel: EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class 2024 Retrospective


See Related event

Alison Litherland is Sustrans London Head of Behaviour Change. At EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class 2024 she outlined how Sustrans is working with target groups to provide them with capability, opportunity and motivation to switch to low pollution transport modes:

“Road vehicles are the single biggest cause of London’s air pollution. They produce nearly half of all nitrogen oxides and PM10 found in London Air. Yet, few understand how through switching local journeys to active travel they can not only reduce the amount of air pollution they create but also the amount they are exposed to. Our projects in schools, workplaces and community settings demystify air quality data, enable clean air route planning, and break down barriers to active travel”. 

Following her initial presentation and Q&A, Alison was joined by Sustrans colleagues Joe McDermott, Adam Dransfield and Sabeha Miah for the roundtable sessions.

Presentation highlights:

  • Sustrans – “We make it easier for everyone to walk, wheel and cycle”;
  • Air Pollution Sources – Road Traffic and Construction; Inner London NOx, CO2, PM10 and PM 2.5 data from the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory;
  • Air Pollution Exposure – Highest (car, bus) to lowest (walking, wheeling, cycling) levels of exposure; Traffic Free accessible routes; Data exercise by the Healthy Air Campaign, Kings College London and Camden Council;
  • Changing travel behaviours to improve air quality and reduce exposure to air pollution:
  • Addressing target groups “Capability, Opportunity and Motivation” results in changes to their travel behaviour e.g. through fiscal measures, guidelines, environmental/social planning, communication/marketing, legislation, service provision and regulation;
  • Sustrans’ Approach – Understanding the barrier to active travel, People focused Interventions and Place focused Interventions: Define the issue, Scoping – Gather the evidence, Co-design the intervention, Test interventions, Implement programme of intervention, Handover; Continuous monitoring and evaluation;
  • Knowing when air quality is and isn’t a motivator e.g. Bristol City Council’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) and applicable charges;

  • Planning a Clean Air Route for Schools;
  • Schools Behaviour Change Case Study – Bike It Tower Hamlets travel surveys: 8.9% decrease in number of pupils driven to school, 13.5% increase in number of pupils traveling actively to school; “Bike It is having a major impact on our school. Bike It has helped them to make the link between air pollution, exercise and healthy lifestyles” (School Champion, Culloden Primary School);
  • Community Behaviour Change Case Study – Becontree Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN): The Greening the Fiddlers project ran for two years. The main aim was to increase walking and cycling and decrease car use. The secondary aim was to increase community cohesion in the Fiddlers. 56% of respondents to Sustrans’ post-project survey stated that the activities had made them feel more confident walking/cycling in the Fiddlers area; 40% reported an increase in cycling; 44% reported an increase in walking/wheeling; 58% stated that the activities had made them feel more connected to their neighbourhood;
  • Workplaces Behaviour Change Case Study – NHS Southeast & Barts:
  • Active Travel is only part of the solution – “We need to work together across expertise and industries to find solutions and address barriers to change”

If you satisfy our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us in London on May 1st for the live in-person event at Greencoat Place Conference Centre, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Alison’s presentation).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling, partnering and policy leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers, environmental managers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public and private transport operators/service providers; sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; freight and logistics operators; airports and port operators; vehicle manufacturers; energy providers; potential partners from industry (e.g. retail, construction, manufacturing and waste management sectors) and healthcare; DfT, Defra, EA, BEIS, DHSC, UKHSA and other supporting national agencies; prime contractors; academia etc.

Sign up to Smart Classes Digest to receive the latest thought leadership, innovation insights and event updates straight into your inbox. You can also follow us on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter.

#Emissions&AirQuality  #SmartCities 


EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Classes show key buyer side stakeholders how they can deploy the latest digital technology-enabled solutions, data-driven strategies, policies and best practices to improve urban air quality and drive down emissions and air pollution in our cities and regions. EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class 2024 will be hosted in London on May 1st.


   London, UK

Sponsored by
Marston Holdings
Vortex IoT

Smart Classes Digest #18

Check out the new edition of Smart Classes Digest, our quarterly e-digest for the Smart Classes and Smart City-Region stakeholder communities! Issue #18 “Insights”: The rise […]

Read More

Stay in touch

Sign up to Smart Classes Digest to receive the latest thought leadership, innovation insights and event updates straight into your inbox.

We offer great opportunities for our sponsors, and would love to hear from potential speakers, contributors or new partners.