The Traffic and Health in Glasgow study (also known as the M74 study) is a quasi-experimental study of changes to the urban environment consequent on motorway construction in deprived neighbourhoods in Glasgow. It is a mixed-method study, using a combination of quantitative (longitudinal and cross-sectional) and qualitative research methods to evaluate both individual- and population-level changes in health and health-related behaviour and to develop an in-depth understanding of how these changes are experienced and brought about.
It comprises four packages of work: (1) core surveys of local study areas to compare changes in neighbourhood perceptions, travel behaviour, physical activity and wellbeing in the intervention and control areas (2005 baseline n=1322, 2013 follow-up n=1350); (2) an environmental audit (documentary analysis, interviews and site visits) to ascertain whether the intervention was implemented as originally planned, to elucidate its broader environmental impact and to identify any potential area-level confounders; (3) a two-tier in-depth study of a sub-sample of core survey participants to quantify differences in neighbourhood-specific physical activity between intervention and control areas (combined accelerometry and GPS measurement, target n=400) and to elucidate participants’ experiences of environmental changes and the mechanisms through which these changes influence behaviour (qualitative interviews, target n=40); (4) analysis of existing national population datasets to evaluate the impact of the intervention on road traffic casualties and to describe concurrent regional and national trends in travel behaviour and neighbourhood perceptions.
All recruitment and data collection complete.
Unit led study in collaboration with MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, University of East Anglia (UEA), University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh and Glasgow Centre for Population Health.
NIHR Public Health Research Programme, Unit held grant.