ADD365 Analysis of ‘walkability’ of London’s streets

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD365
Date signed: 
08 December 2015
Decision by: 
Amanda Coyle, Assistant Director, Health and Communities

Executive summary

There are health and transport benefits of increasing the amount that Londoners walk short distances as part of their daily routine.  
The Mayor has committed, via the London Health Commission, to promote walking in the transport network.  
Analysis is needed to identify where the greatest potential lies for public realm improvements, changes in transport policy, investment and promotion that will boost walking.
The only tool capable of this analysis has been developed by Dr Dhanani at University College London.  It is proposed that he provides a map for each London borough using multiple data-layers to identify the key locations for boosting walking and reducing health inequalities. This analysis would begin in November 2015 and would be delivered over 4 months with all final reports produced by March 2016.
The outputs would be disseminated by the Health Team’s public health specialist embedded in TfL.  
The specification for this research has been developed with input from the GLA transport team and the following TfL teams: Walking, Borough Projects & Planning Team, Policy Analysis, Strategic Planning and Road Space Management.  The outputs would be distributed to boroughs and a wider audience within TfL through this broad network.

 

Decision

The Assistant Director approves:
•    Expenditure of up to £17,500 for the production of a portfolio of maps and accompanying interpretation & methodology report.
•    An exemption from the requirement in the GLA Contracts and Funding code to seek a call-off from a suitable framework or undertake a formal tender process as the tool required for conducting this piece of work is the intellectual property of Ashley Dhanani who is the only person with access to the tool and the ability to run the tool, and therefore has the exclusive rights and intellectual property rights to the tool.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The Mayor of London, via the Healthy London Partnership, has committed to promoting more walking as part of public transport trips and to contributing towards 70% of Londoners achieving 150 minutes of physical activity per week by 2020.  However it is not clear where in London investment is needed to boost walking and which policy options would be effective in which locations.

1.2    In addition there is a need to identify where and how to target policy interventions to tackle health inequalities under the Mayor’s statutory duties to reduce health inequalities.  This analysis uses what we know about existing inequalities arising from London’s street environments (road danger, air pollution, noise, severance etc) to identify how policies can be directed to reduce health inequalities.

1.3    This technical analysis of London’s streets will use a bespoke model to identify where in London there is a reasonably walkable environment and ‘walking potential’ for the promotion of walking.

1.4    The outputs of this project will be valuable to the GLA Health team, Transport team and Regeneration team to inform Mayoral policy development.  In addition data will be presented at borough level and disseminated to all boroughs and to the TfL teams who work with boroughs to inform Local Implementation Plans and investment in high streets.  This piece of work is most efficiently done ‘once for London’ rather than each borough individually commissioning their local analysis and therefore demonstrates how the GLA adds value by working at a strategic level.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    This piece of work can only be conducted using the Walkability model developed and owned by Ashley Dhanani at University College London.  This tool is unique in both the data layers included in it and the functionality of it.  Dr Dhanani therefore has the exclusive rights and intellectual property rights to the tool and hence this contract is exempt from the GLA Contracts and Funding Code under section 5 and is therefore a single source procurement.

2.2    The objectives are:

1)    To create 3 new layers for the current Walkability model: Deprivation (individual and combined Indices of Multiple Deprivation), Car Ownership, ‘Walking Potential’ (TfL are doing this analysis in October)

2)    for each London borough present maps which show:
•    Walkability overlain with London Travel Demand Survey pedestrian density to identify locations where there is not much walking but it is a reasonably walkable environment and locations where there is a reasonable amount of walking but the environment is not very walkable.
•    Walkability overlain with walking potential to identify locations with the best alignment of these two variables. NB This is dependent on the data being made available by TfL.
•    Walkability overlain with traffic levels to identify locations where traffic levels may be supressing walking or impacting on the walking experience.
•    Walkability overlain with car ownership to identify places with reasonable walkability and reasonably high car ownership.  
•    Walkability overlain with deprivation scores and traffic levels to see if there is a clustering of deprivation in low walkable, high traffic environments.
•    Combine analysis outputs where possible to identify best, worst walking locations and most potential within each borough
3)    Dissemination of the results of the analysis to relevant teams in GLA and TfL and local authority transport, planning and public health teams.  This will be led by Lucy Saunders, Public Health Specialist in the GLA Health Team who is embedded in TfL 4 days per week. A wide range of stakeholders have been involved in developing this specification and will be involved in signing off the outputs and embedding these in their respective work programmes.

Equality comments

3.1    This project will seek to advance equality of opportunity for groups that are not taking part in as much walking as they would like or enough walking activity to protect their health. Analysis of London data has shown that disabled people, older people and some BAME groups are walking less than they need, or may wish, to (Source: Travel in London 7, TfL, 2014). Further, lesbian, gay and bisexual groups as well as trans groups may experience higher levels of intimidation and fear of hate crime which might be a deterrent to them walking as much as they need/would like to, although we do not have local data on this specific issue. 

3.2    The project will identify the areas where people are walking less than would be expected to inform policy makers to ensure policies and investments can be targeted to reduce unfair inequalities in walking. 

Other considerations

4.1    Links to Mayoral Strategies & Priorities: 
1)    The Mayor has committed, via the London Health Commission, to promote walking in the transport network.  Analysis is needed to identify where the greatest potential lies for public realm improvements, changes in transport policy, investment and promotion that will boost walking.
2)    Under the Mayor’s statutory duties to reduce health inequalities there is a need to identify where and how to target policy interventions that tackle health inequalities arising from London’s transport network.  
3)    The Mayor’s Transport Strategy aims to grow walking and public transport use one and four percentage points respectively.
4)    TfL have a Strategic Priority to boost the proportion of Londoners achieving their physical activity needs through active travel to 70% (from 25% at present).
5)    The Mayor’s Roads Task Force work programme seeks to understand where to invest on London’s roads to meet the ambitions set out in the Road’s Task Force recommendations. 
6)    The Mayor’s manifesto London's Great Outdoors sets out his commitment to champion the improvement of better roads and streets and green public spaces to create places that are fit for a great world city.’

Consultations: 
4.2    The specification for this research has been developed with input from the GLA transport team and at TfL the following teams: Walking, Borough Projects & Planning Team, Policy Analysis, Strategic Planning and Road Space Management.  This in-depth consultation process over several months has ensured that the outputs will be of use to a range of policy makers across GLA and TfL.

Financial comments

5.    Financial comments  

5.1    Approval is being sought to commission Dr Ashley Dhanani to produce of a portfolio of maps and accompanying interpretation and methodology report to promote walking in the transport network.

5.2    The estimated cost of this contract is up to £17,500. This cost will be funded from the 2015/16 NHS England grant as approved by MD1286.

6.    Legal comments

6.1    The foregoing sections of this report indicate that the decisions requested of the Assistant Director fall within the GLA’s statutory powers to do such things considered to further or which are facilitative of, conducive or incidental to the promotion of the economic development and wealth creation, social development or the promotion of the improvement of the environment in Greater London. In formulating the proposals in respect of which a decision is sought officers have complied with the Authority’s related statutory duties to:

•    pay due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people;

•    consider how the proposals will promote the improvement of health of persons, health inequalities between persons and to contribute towards the achievement of sustainable development in the United Kingdom; and

•    consult with appropriate bodies.

6.2    In taking the decisions requested of her, the Assistant Director must have due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty; namely the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010, and to advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic (race, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment) and persons who do not share it and foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it (section 149 of the Equality Act 2010).  To this end, the Assistant Director should have particular regard to section 3 of this report.

6.3    Section 4.1 of the Contracts and Funding Code (the ‘Code’) requires the GLA to procure the services competitively or call off the services required from an accessible framework. Therefore ordinarily the services required would be procured in accordance with Section 4.1 of the Code. However, officers have indicated in section 2 of this report that there should be an exemption from the Code on the basis that the this piece of work can only be conducted using the Walkability model developed and owned by Ashley Dhanani at University College London, and that Dr Dhanani therefore has the exclusive rights and intellectual property rights to the tool. 

6.4    If the Assistant Director is satisfied with the content of this report and that the case made for the proposed exemption from the Code is adequate justification for an exemption, the Assistant Director may approve the exemption sought under Section 5 of the Code. 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

November 2015

Announcement [if applicable]

N/A

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

November 2015

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external)

February 2016

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

March 2016

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

March 2016