Children's experiences of care on walking and cycling journeys between home and school in Healthy New Towns: Reframing active school travel

Emily Tupper, Stephanie Morris, Emma Lawlor, Carolyn Summerbell, Jenna Panter, Russ Jago, Tessa Pollard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

The Healthy New Town programme in England set out to ‘put health into place’ by supporting the design and construction of healthy places to live, including by creating safe environments for active travel. To explore the impact of this approach, this study examined how children and their families experienced school journeys in two contrasting Healthy New Towns in England, one an affluent new town in the early stages of construction and the other more economically deprived and established. We undertook photo-elicitation and go-along interviews with 24 children aged 7-12 years and semi-structured interviews with 17 caregivers. We found that experiences of care were important for children's school travel. In the ‘deprived’ town, opportunities for children to care and to be cared for were enjoyed, facilitated by routes with limited traffic, pockets of ‘nature’, and possibilities to encounter meaningful others. For families living in a town under construction, the need to negotiate unfinished travel infrastructure, and a sense of being ‘in limbo’, was experienced as an absence of care by planners and developers. Interventions to promote children's active travel should consider the role of care-full planning in facilitating walking and cycling journeys.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103147
JournalHealth and Place
Volume85
Early online date15 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research (Grant Reference Number SPHR-PROG-PCBT-CS2 ). The NIHR School for Public Health Research is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield; Bristol; Cambridge; Imperial; University College London; The London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); LiLaC—a collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster; and Fuse - The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health a collaboration between Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities. The funders had no role in study design, data analysis and interpretation, or preparation of the manuscript. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. JP is supported by the Medical Research Council (Unit Programme number MC_UU_12015/7 ).

Funding Information:
This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research (Grant Reference Number SPHR-PROG-PCBT-CS2). The NIHR School for Public Health Research is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield; Bristol; Cambridge; Imperial; University College London; The London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); LiLaC—a collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster; and Fuse - The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health a collaboration between Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities. The funders had no role in study design, data analysis and interpretation, or preparation of the manuscript. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. JP is supported by the Medical Research Council (Unit Programme number MC_UU_12015/7).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors

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