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Encouraging active travel for short trips to improve health and the local economy (ACTIVE ACCESS)

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ACTIVE ACCESS aims at increasing the use of cycling,especially walking short everyday trips in local areas, in order to benefit people’s health, and health of the local economy. It aims to transfer longer car trips to shorter walking & cycling trips by changing people’s mental maps of their local neighbourhoods so that they realise what is available on their doorstep, rather than in the edge of town retail park. The project objectives are to: • save energy through a modal shift from car to walking & cycling in13 application cities • improve public health & help tackle obesity • strengthen local economies by making key target groups more aware of shopping and leisure opportunities close to their homes • build the capacity of the project partners and followers to implement measures to encourage walking & cycling for short local trips, so that their cities remain accessible and competitive in an era of steeply rising fuel prices • spread the knowledge of ACTIVE ACCESS and its contents in the broadest and most comprehensive way (with particular focus on New Member States) • reduce conflicts/barriers between walking & cycling • raise awareness for walking as a mode of transport.


  • Activities promoting and enabling an increase in walking and cycling in 14 demonstration sites in 10 different countries will be evaluated to provide best practice examples for others to follow.
  • Energy savings in the application cities of the order of 65,568,000 km which is ~6.5 million litres of fuel, a save of ~19,600 tons of CO2
  • A 10% increase in the proportion of adults carrying out the recommended weekly levels of physical activity across application sites.
  • Dissemination material: project website, e-newsletters, folders, postcards, fact sheets, training materials, ppt presentations, a film (with excerpts on Youtube), posters, roll-ups and a final brochure.
  • Capacity building and interactive training, as well as lobbying and stakeholder involvement, to ensure the longevity of the aims of the project.

Lessons learned

  • At the interim phase, the following lessons have been drawn: The importance of involving the media. The media has been extremely valuable in raising awareness of stakeholders and target groups and in the case of one partner, the media itself is one of the companies participating in the Active Access project.
  • The importance of and difficulties in engaging stakeholders on the subject of active travel. As anticipated, there are great differences between the countries in terms of the interest and involvement in local actions, but it has been essential to devote a lot of time meeting with these stakeholders and selling the project. Showing stakeholders that things really work and have positive impacts, rather than just reading about it, has been extremely effective. The stakeholder workshop was a success
  • Through planning their campaigns and evaluation and meeting with stakeholders and target groups, partners have realised that achieving behaviour change takes time and that some of the effects of the Active Access campaigns will not be immediately visible. Therefore they are beginning to think and plan long-term with regards to the objectives of Active Access, beyond the life of the project.

Partners and coordinator

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Napier University
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Prof. Tom Rye
+44 131 455 2951


Key documents

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In brief

01/08/2009 to 31/07/2012
Contract number: 

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