1 December 2013
To assess the predictors of uptake and maintenance of walking and cycling, and of switching to the car as the usual mode of travel, for commuting.
655 commuters in Cambridge, UK reported all commuting trips using a seven-day recall instrument in 2009 and 2010. Individual and household characteristics, psychological measures relating to car use and environmental conditions on the route to work were self-reported in 2009. Objective environmental characteristics were assessed using Geographical Information Systems. Associations between uptake and maintenance of commuting behaviours and potential predictors were modelled using multivariable logistic regression.
Mean within-participant changes in commuting were relatively small (walking: + 3.0 min/week, s.d. = 66.7; cycling: − 5.3 min/week, s.d. = 74.7). Self-reported and objectively-assessed convenience of public transport predicted uptake of walking and cycling respectively, while convenient cycle routes predicted uptake of cycling and a pleasant route predicted maintenance of walking. A lack of free workplace parking predicted uptake of walking and alternatives to the car. Less favourable attitudes towards car use predicted continued use of alternatives to the car.
Few studies have examined predictors of uptake and maintenance of active commuting.
Convenient public transport and lack of parking at work predicted uptake of walking.
Convenient cycle routes predicted uptake of cycling.
Having a pleasant route for walking predicted maintenance of walking.
Interventions to address these factors may help promote active commuting.