National Propensity to Cycle Tool

A team of academic specialists led by CEDAR is developing the National Propensity to Cycle Tool (NPCT) for England for the Department for Transport (DfT). The academic team consists of Dr James Woodcock (UK CRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Principal Investigator), Dr Robin Lovelace (University of Leeds), Dr Anna Goodman (LSHTM), and Dr Rachel Aldred (University of Westminster). Alvaro Ullrich (MRC Epi Unit) is the lead data manager on the project. The researchers are Ali Abbas (MRC Epi Unit) and Dr Nikolai Berkoff.

The interactive web based tool will be useful for planners tasked with prioritising where to invest to best realise uptake of cycling. The model will not only provide insight into where cycling has the greatest potential to grow, but also calculate resulting societal benefits.

The method allows estimation of cycling potential at the local level under a range of scenarios. In the first instance the model will focus on commuting trips. A novel feature of the method is its ability to quantify extra cycling potential along specific routes.

Version 1 of the NPCT, with an introductory video is now available at

The key features of Version 1 will be a fully operational web based propensity to cycle model for the whole of England. With this interactive tool, local authority transport planners will be able to visualise which small areas and routes have the greatest cycle commuting potential under different scenarios. At the regional and national level planners will be able to investigate which towns and cities have the greatest potential. The tool will be WebTAG compatible, including health economic savings using the World Health Organization HEAT approach. Concurrently we will produce a new version of the Impacts of Cycling (ICT) web tool, incorporating regional estimates of benefits and using more advanced methods for calculating greenhouse gas emissions

We will also produce a report on pathways to impact. This will involve collating information from the tool, bringing out policy implications of the findings, and laying out options for achieving the Government’s cycle ambition. The report will be based on the material from the NPCT modelling, updating and expanding reviews from Stage 1. We will conduct a new online survey to enhance understanding as to what practitioners see as the key local and national policies that could support achieving the national cycling ambition.

For more detail on what we did in Stage 1 see this page

For more information please contact Dr James Woodcock:

Screenshots from the NPCT Prototype showing the top 20 commuter cycling flows in Coventry in 2011 and under a ‘Go Dutch’ scenario

Coventry baseline

Coventry with the top 20 cycling flows from 2011 Census

Coventry 'Go Dutch'

Coventry with the top 20 cycling flows under a ‘Go Dutch’ scenario