The outcomes of this research are important because they contribute directly to the national agenda for improving wellbeing and healthy ageing and for creating a more sustainable and inclusive transport system.
The research is of importance to policy makers across government departments:
- Department for Communities and Local Government in designing homes and neighbourhoods better suited to an ageing population
- Department for Transport in developing a more sustainable low carbon transport system and electric ‘vehicle’ strategy
- Department of Health in developing a public health strategy to support healthy ageing.
The research also benefits the UK cycle industry as it seeks to design products suited to the growing market of older people.
The outcomes of the study fit within Research Council themes:
- Living with Environmental Change (Built Environment and Transport Operations) – by providing knowledge of how infrastructure needs to evolve over the next 20-50 years to support an ageing population
- Energy – through knowledge on how a transition to low carbon transport can be encouraged/maintained among an older population
- Healthcare Technologies – and the role of assistive technologies (e.g. electric bicycles) in retaining mobility and independence and implications for built environment/technological design.
Evidence was provided of the effects of the design of the built environment and technologies on cycling mobility and how this affects wellbeing.
The innovative approaches used demonstrated novel ways of understanding and measuring the links between ageing, mobility and wellbeing.
The study also demonstrated how multiple data sources can be integrated in a more holistic way – drawing on the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative approaches.