A new study from the US says that having better access to data can help get kids walking and cycling to school.

In its report, the nonprofit Safe Routes to School National Partnership says that more accessible data provides the tools to make informed decisions related to walking and biking infrastructure and Safe Routes to School programmes.

More accessible data also allows communities to view, understand and use the data for their own needs.

It also enables them to participate in decision-making, promote awareness of the issues, advocate for desired outcomes, and hold decision-makers accountable.

The authors write that as walking schemes and programmes need to compete with other initiatives for funding, data can help draft strong funding proposals.

But to be useful for planning and funding proposals, the data needs to be comprehensible – easy to understand and use.

The National Partnership says that there are many barriers to comprehensibility – a lack of economic resources, technological knowledge and internet access, and language barriers.

The report also describes the types of data that are or can be used, explores how data can inform and support safe walking and bicycling, and gives an overview of US initiatives.