Essential evidence on a page

The Essential Evidence series was undertaken by Professor Adrian Davis. It started in 2008 in order to provide a de-jargonised service to transport planning colleagues in Bristol City Council at the time when the city had just commenced ‘Cycling City’ status. The key point of these 1 page briefings is to bring to officers (and others interested) data and evidence (data is not evidence per se) about the health impacts of aspects of transport planning which will otherwise probably remain ‘locked away’ in the ivory towers of academia in seemingly arcane journals that transport planners has very likely never heard of let alone accessed (and often also behind a paywall). Having chosen a’ career path’ in both public health and transport planning it seemed self-evident to me that there was a need to provide some of this evidence often from non-transport disciplines to transport planners in order to help better inform transport planning decision making.

In academia – where we generate a codified title for most things – this type of work translating evidence from jargon has been increasingly described as translational research. It’s just starting to make a mark outside of the bio-medical and pharmacological ghetto in which it first developed not least to help drug companies improve client understanding of their products (i.e. the medics). But I really want to encourage others with the translational skills and the overview of a broad literature to do some of this translational work – I know who some of you are!

This series reached 187 issues when Adrian Davis’s funding from Bristol City Council ended in June 2019.

– is available at:

The evidence is organised into the following themes:

Demand Management & Behaviour Change


Adults and Walking

Adults and Cycling

Public Transport Use

Air and Noise


Public Policies

Health Effects

No more evidence summaries will be posted through Essential Evidence on a Page (EEP) so it stands as testament both to a bold period of evidence-based transport planning within Bristol City Council with strong leadership and vision, and as a library of evidence summaries still practical, powerful and potentially liberating.


This series marks the continuation of the Essential Evidence series of 1 page de-jargonised summaries on aspects of road transport policy, practice and public health. Adrian Davis writes these as part of his role as Chair of Transport & Health, at the Transport Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University.