NPCT Stage 1

In Stage 1 of the project we have designed, developed and deployed on-line a public-facing Prototype for Three Cities (NPCT Prototype). This is now live at This has a high quality and user-friendly interface, thanks partly to user-testing sessions with Local Authority transport planners and other key stakeholders. The tool is available with open-source code providing transparency and supporting future development of the work.

The two Evidence Reviews have identified a clear stated preference for separation from busy or fast motor traffic, plus some support from intervention studies that creating such routes can increase cycling levels. Stated preferences for separation from motor traffic are particularly strong for women and appear also to be stronger for older people. The related Inequalities Report has developed key principles and recommendations for addressing inequalities in cycling. The Policy and Practice report draws out the policy implications of the work.

The Impacts of Cycling Tool (ICT) provide insights into the potential and limitations of trip based scenario modelling, which will inform the NPCT in Stage 2. The ICT provides results on the health, mode shift, and carbon impacts if we created new cyclists or e-bikers. It indicates very substantial health benefits (6% reduction in years of life lost due to premature mortality) and considerable reductions in car miles (8%) if non-cyclists had the same propensity to cycle as current cyclists. We have created a prototype webtool visualising National Travel Survey data and the model’s results.

The analysis of Propensities to Cycle has, for the first time, provided detailed comparison of cycling patterns in England and the Netherlands. This includes analysis on how propensity to cycle varies by age and gender, and how this interacts with distance. For England we also have a new quantitative understanding of the role of hilliness in the decision to cycle, and can use this to appropriately adjust ‘go Dutch’ scenarios to English topography.

The Spatial Microsimulation (SMS) feasibility study for Manchester provides complementary analysis to the aggregate approach implemented in the NPCT Prototype. We have generated a novel SMS technique and used this to allocate individuals to Census flows for Manchester. Compared with the prototype the SMS approach provides greater detail about who is cycling and which modes they switch from, better estimating health and environmental impacts.

We have also developed a preliminary National Model for estimating cycling potential at the local authority level. Results from this will be presented early in Stage 2.

The models developed, analysis undertaken, and evidence synthesised in Stage 1 provide a robust basis for implementing and rolling out the NPCT in Stage 2. In Stage 1 these separate strands have spread out to each provide an understanding of what a propensity to cycle model would look like and how it should be constructed. In Stage 2 we will weave these strands together to create the NPCT. User testing has indicated the demand and range of potential use cases for the tool.