Connected Places Podcast Episode 24: Active Travel II: Accelerating the UK Market

In episode 16, “Accelerating the UK active travel market” we explored one of the most exciting areas of growth and opportunity within urban mobility, and why it matters so much to the Connected Places Catapult, and the future of healthy, connected and net zero places.

Active travel is about creating options for us to move more. This can have a massive impact on our physical and mental health, the air quality in our overly congested cities by getting more commuters out of cars and onto bikes and footpaths, and the UK’s collective effort of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In this episode we kick off a series of conversations we’ve been having with businesses, place leaders and experts in active travel. We ask what seizing this potentially huge opportunity for economic growth and public health and wellbeing looks like around the country. How do we design our cities for more active travel? How do we ensure that change is led by communities and accessible to all? And where are the opportunities, at home and abroad, for government and industry to get ahead of the curve?

We begin by speaking to Dame Sarah Storey, one of the most decorated British athletes of all time and the Active Travel Commissioner for the Sheffield City Region. We also hear from Will Butler-Adams, CEO of Brompton Bikes, one of Britain’s best known cycling brands and sold all over the world.

Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (

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Show notes

To find out more about the Sheffield City Region’s active travel programme, check out their Active Travel Implementation Plan, as well as the region’s interactive Active Travel Map.

You can click on these links to read the two UK government reports that are referenced in the episode – Gear Change: A Bold Vision for Cycling and Transport, and Decarbonising Transport: Setting The Challenge.

To read and download our Net Zero Places Innovation Brief, which explores a number of new market opportunities in the active travel sector, click here.

On the 23rd June we’re running an event on Connecting Homes for Healthy Ageing as part of our multi-year Homes for Healthy Ageing Programme which is contributing towards the UK Government’s goal of supporting older people to live at home independently for 5+ years longer. We’ll be exploring the barriers and opportunities for leveraging innovation to overcome the existing healthy ageing challenges in the UK. To register for free, click here

On the 1st July we’ll also be launching our UK Cities Climate Investment Commission, in partnership with Core Cities and London Councils. We’ll be presenting some early-stage findings on the estimated Net Zero investment need of the UK’s Cities. It’s a piece of work that we’ve commissioned in the run-up to the COP26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow later this year. To register for free, click here.

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