Modelling the uptake of active travel: from infrastructure to behaviour change

This talk provides an overview of the work that Robin Lovelace and Malcolm Morgan have been doing as part of their Department for Transport funded projects on the Propensity to Cycle Tool.

The Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT, has become part of UK government policy in the Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Strategy). Although strong evidence shows that infrastructure usually precedes (and to some extent causes) behaviour change the starting point of the talk will be behaviour: how do people currently get around and how could it be different, based on the fundamentals of route distance and hilliness. Robin demonstrates the PCT in action, talks about the R package stplanr that he developed to develop it, and outline plans for a globally scalable transport planning toolkit that builds on the PCT work.

Following this high-level overview, Malcolm zooms into the detail: How the CyIPT identifies the best places for infrastructure change and what that infrastructure should be. He also talks about the advanced programming techniques needed to process such complex geospatial network data at city to national levels.

Further information:

  • The PCT in action:
  • A prototype of the CyIPT:
  • A paper on the PCT (Lovelace et al 2017):
  • An article explaining stplanr (for people interested in the tech):


  • Dr Robin Lovelace, University of Leeds
  • Dr Malcolm Morgan, University of Leeds

Watch now.