Social prescribing of active travel in deprived communities

Monitoring and evaluation partner for a multi-year pilot project in Leeds


Developing social prescribing pathways into walking and cycling

The Social Prescribing of Active Travel pilot is taking place in areas of Leeds that experience elevated levels of socio-economic deprivation.

The pilot aims to increase accessibility and use of walking and cycling through developing social prescribing pathways into these activities.

A variety of interventions covering awareness raising, infrastructure development, bike loan schemes, and group activities are being put in place. In turn, it is hoped that this will deliver positive environmental, economic, social and health outcomes for the community.

Urban Foresight is the monitoring and evaluation partner for this multi-year pilot project. Our work testing social prescribing of active travel for the Department for Transport and Leeds City Council.

Our remit covers all elements of evaluation. This includes working with the wider pilot project team to co-design a theory of change, and using a variety of data collection tools to review the processes, impacts, and economic costs of the pilot.

Data is collected at regular intervals throughout the pilot. This includes surveys and interviews with service users. We are also hosting community and provider workshops.

Lessons and improvements identified from this research are communicated to the council through lightning reports and meetings. This allows the scheme to continuously improve and deliver greater impact.

At the end of the three-year scheme, we will produce a written report to assess the efficacy of the planning and delivery processes, and summarise the social, economic and environmental impacts achieved.

Recommendations will be provided to guide future work in social prescribing and active travel at the local and national level. This will provide guidance on how to improve health outcomes, particularly in areas that experience higher levels of deprivation.


Image credit: Centre for Ageing Better