Action on cycling in primary care trusts: results of a survey of Directors of Public Health

Nick Cavill, Harry Rutter, Alison Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)


Cycling is a form of physical activity with the potential to make a significant contribution to improving public health; however, participation levels are decreasing. Primary-care trusts (PCTs) are in a position to influence local provision for cycling but the extent of their involvement in policy and practice on cycling is unknown. A survey of Directors of Public Health in PCTs was conducted to establish the level and type of PCT involvement in policies, strategies, programmes and projects on cycling.
Directors of Public Health on the Faculty of Public Health database were sent an e–mail inviting them to complete an online questionnaire that addressed key issues of PCT involvement with cycling.
One hundred and sixty-five responses were received (49% of all PCTs). Thirty-two per cent of respondents said there was someone in the PCT with specific responsibility for cycling. Less than half of PCTs had the basic facilities to encourage staff or visitors to cycle to their premises. Around one in 10 said that cycling was included in their travel plan or local delivery plan, and 49% of respondents said that their physical activity strategy contained reference to cycling. Joint working on the local strategic partnership and community plan was common, with 94% and 82% of PCTs, respectively, saying they had worked with other agencies on these plans. Most PCTs (60%) had worked on the Local Transport Plan. Specific knowledge of cycling policy was low, and demand for additional resources high.
Cycling does not seem to be high on PCTs’ agendas, despite its great potential to improve public health. More could be done to ensure that cycling is given a far greater emphasis within the work of PCTs, notably PCT input into local transport plan development, and production of local physical activity strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-105
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health
Issue number2
Early online date26 Sept 2006
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007


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