More retail space was filled by businesses following improvements to make cycling and walking easier, TfL finds

Improvements that encourage people to walk and cycle "could help save our high streets", TfL has claimed.

TfL has published research that shows improvements to make it easier and safer to walk and cycle in London's town centres and high streets lead to an increase in retail rental values, more retail space being filled and a 93 per cent increase in people walking in the streets.

The research has also found that people walking, cycling and using public transport spend the most in their local shops, spending 40 per cent more each month than car drivers.

In one study published, locations including Bromley North Village, Hornchurch Town Centre, Clapham, Woolwich Town Centre and Walworth Road were studied to assess the impact of improvements, such as widened footpaths, increased space for outdoor seating, new public squares and pedestrian crossings.

The study, commissioned by TfL and conducted by Matthew Carmona from University College London's Bartlett School of Planning, found that compared to unimproved areas footfall increased, people spent more time in the street, retail rental values increased, more retail space was filled by businesses, and office rental values increased.

The research has been published as part of a new online hub demonstrating the economic benefits of TfL's Healthy Streets Approach, which aims to create high streets that are designed for people, inclusive and easy to access by foot or bike.

Will Norman, London's walking and cycling commissioner, said: “With businesses across London really struggling to survive, we have to do everything we can to support them.

“The evidence is clear - adapting our streets to enable more people to walk and cycle makes them cleaner, healthier and more welcoming, which encourages more people to shop locally.

“The benefits of designing streets around pedestrians and cyclists and reducing car use can be enjoyed by everyone and will help ensure the future of our high streets.”

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