Transport and health
How transport and health are connected
The Mayor's Transport Strategy looks at the all the ways that our transport system affects people's health.
Active travel and physical activity
People who are physically active every day reduce their risk of many illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, depression, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. By 2041, we want all Londoners to be walking or cycling for at least 20 minutes every day and for 80% of trips in London to be made by walking, cycling or using public transport.
Road vehicles like cars and vans cause around half of London's air pollution. The choices people make about how they travel, such as using public transport or turning off car engines while stationary, affect the safety of the air we all breathe. We work with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London boroughs to reduce air pollution.
Road traffic collisions
Every year in London people are injured or even killed by collisions on the road. We want to stop this happening. By 2041, we want no one to be killed or seriously injured on London's roads. Find out more about our Vision Zero for London.
Noise pollution in London can stop people sleeping, make them stressed and anxious and make it harder to concentrate at work or school. Noise also makes our streets less pleasant for walking and cycling. We want more people to walk and cycle, and to use quieter cars at lower speeds.
Access to services and community support
Londoners use the transport system - from walking on the streets, using buses and the Tube to driving on the roads - to get to work, school, shops, and healthcare, as well as to see family and friends and get out and about for fun. We need all these things for a healthy, happy life.
Climate change presents a direct threat to Londoners' health in the form of weather events such as heat, cold, storms and flooding, as well as an indirect threat from the disruption that these events could cause to health and social care services.
We are working to reduce carbon emissions from the transport system by encouraging people to walk, cycle and use public transport wherever possible, as well as ensuring the transport network is resilient to extreme weather events.
Led by the Mayor of London, we are taking the Healthy Streets Approach to encourage more Londoners to walk, cycle and use public transport. This will help us improve air quality, reduce congestion and make London's diverse communities greener, healthier and more attractive places in which to live, play and do business.
The Mayor's Transport Stategy is built around the Healthy Streets Approach. The Approach is also used in the Mayor's Health Inequalities Strategy.
Find out more about the options in London for:
Economic benefits of healthy transport
We have guidance, case studies and research showing how getting more people walking and cycling is good for the economy. See more on the Economic benefits of walking and cycling page.
Transport for health and social care
The London healthcare sector accounts for around one million trips daily. We work with the NHS and other health and social care organisations in London to help them bring the health, wellbeing and air quality benefits of active and sustainable travel to staff, patients and visitors. We also offer tools to support travel planning.
We have gathered together a series of case studies to show how the NHS can support patients, staff and visitors to switch to more active and sustainable travel options, as well as other actions they can take to help reduce carbon emissions and improve London's air quality.
Social prescribing: Encouraging walking or cycling as part of a journey
Great Ormond Street Hospital Trust: Clean Air Hospital Framework
Guy's and St Thomas' Trust: Off-site freight consolidation
Guy's and St Thomas' Trust: Pathology deliveries by cargo bike
The NHS at the Greater London Authority Fleet Forum
NHS organisations that need support with travel planning can use our freely available WebCAT planning tool. The tool uses the same analysis tools that were previously provided by HSTAT.
Get more information and guidance by emailing WebCAT@tfl.gov.uk.
Health action plan 2014
Before the current Mayor's Transport Strategy we produced a 3-year Health action plan in 2014. Here we wrote about main connections between transport and health and outlined the work we were doing to improve the health of Londoners. Three annual progress reports were also produced.