Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
03/03/2020
Date assigned
13/03/2020
Last edited
13/03/2020
Prospective/Retrospective
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
Not yet recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
The way that we travel influences our health, and research shows that walking, cycling or using public transport promotes physical activity which is beneficial for health. However, the way we choose to travel is also influenced by the environment, for example, the cost, reliability and convenience of public transport, ease of walking and cycling and availability of parking. Because of this, there is a focus on building cities and towns that provide healthy environments that encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport. Within these environments, some additional strategies such as incentives are often assumed to encourage individuals to walk, cycle and use public transport, but there is not enough research to show whether or not they work. Northstowe is a new town with plans to build 10,000 new homes. It is located approximately 8 miles north of Cambridge and its environment is designed to encourage walking, cycling and public transport use. As residents move to Northstowe, travel incentives, for example, bus passes and equipment vouchers are offered by the council, funded by the home developers to encourage residents to travel this way. The Incentives for alternatives to the CAr iN Northstowe (ICAN-Northstowe) study aims to understand how people use the incentives and how they influence behaviour. The study is too small to say definitively whether the incentives work, but it will guide scientists to design a future study that can answer this question.

Who can participate?
Adults over the age of 16 who live in Northstowe and have not claimed any travel incentives from the Travel Plan Co-ordinator.

What does the study involve?
Participants are invited to join this study by a letter sent to their home. If they want to take part, they complete a questionnaire asking questions about their neighbourhood, travel patterns, general health and household. Participants can choose to complete the questionnaire in an online or paper format. The questionnaire will take approximately ten minutes to complete and after this, participants are randomly allocated to one of three groups. For the first group, nothing will change and participants can continue to claim the travel benefits as normal. Participants allocated to the second group will receive the travel incentives that are currently offered, but instead of having to claim them, they will receive them directly via post or email. For those allocated to the third group, more of the incentives are sent directly to the participants. Participants also complete online questionnaires after 3, 6, and 12 months after the initial survey.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants may benefit from the travel incentives offered in the study. This depends on whether they are allocated to group 1, group 2 or group 3. In addition, participants may benefit from increasing their physical activity, which could potentially have long term benefits to participants’ health. There are no anticipated risks involved with participating.

Where is the study run from?
The study is run from the University of Cambridge and takes place in the community of Northstowe, a new town located 8 miles north of Cambridge, UK

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
March 2020 to May 2021

Who is funding the study?
National Institute for Health Research (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Dr Jenna Panter
jenna.panter@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk

Trial website

http://www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/research/studies/ican-northstowe/

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Dr Jenna Panter

ORCID ID

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8870-718X

Contact details

MRC Epidemiology Unit
University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
Box 285 Institute of Metabolic Science
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Cambridge
CB2 0QQ
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 746884
jenna.panter@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk

Type

Public

Additional contact

Miss Kate Ellis

ORCID ID

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4869-1181

Contact details

MRC Epidemiology Unit
University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
Box 285 Institute of Metabolic Science
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Cambridge
CB2 0QQ
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 763378
kate.ellis@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

Nil known

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Nil known

Protocol/serial number

Nil known

Study information

Scientific title

Feasibility of a randomised controlled trial of financial incentives to promote alternatives to the car in a new housing development

Acronym

ICAN-Northstowe

Study hypothesis

Incentives for using alternative travel modes to the car increase walking, cycling and public transport use among recipients living in the new housing development of Northstowe. As a feasibility trial, this trial will not be adequately powered for hypothesis testing.

Ethics approval

Approved 27/01/2020, School of Humanities and Social Sciences ethics committee, University of Cambridge (Dr Emma Dollard, 2nd Floor, 27 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX, UK; +44 (0)1223764061; cshssethics@admin.cam.ac.uk), ethics case: 19/228

Study design

Feasibility three-arm randomised controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Community

Trial type

Prevention

Patient information sheet

http://www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/research/studies/ican-northstowe/

Condition

Prevention of disease

Intervention

Participants will be matched on baseline survey responses according to car access and baseline travel patterns and will be randomised to one of three groups. The randomisation will occur at the household level on a 1:1:1 ratio.

Group 1 (Control) – In this condition participants will continue with standard practice. They can contact the Travel Plan Co-ordinator to claim a range of travel incentives, for example, £50 walking and cycling equipment vouchers.

Group 2 (Intervention) – This involves reducing the effort required to obtain the incentives. A package of incentives is delivered directly to participants via post or email.

Group 3 (Intervention Plus) - This involves reducing the effort required to obtain the incentives and increasing the dose by delivering a package of incentives of a greater size directly to participants via post or email, for example £100 walking and cycling equipment vouchers.

Participants complete online questionnaires after 3, 6, and 12 months after the initial survey.

Intervention type

Behavioural

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

1. Recruitment rate expressed as the percentage of eligible participants that are randomised
2. Attrition rate: percentage of participants lost to follow up at 3, 6 and 12 months
3. Incentive use measured via self-report questionnaire at 3, 6 and 12 months and qualitative interviews with study participants at baseline, 3 and 6 months
4. Acceptability of intervention assessed through qualitative interviews with study participants from each study group at baseline, 3 and 6 months
5. Contamination: use of incentive outside household members measured via self-report questionnaire at 3, 6 and 12 months and qualitative interviews with study participants at baseline, 3 and 6 months

Secondary outcome measures

The secondary outcomes assess the change in travel patterns. The study is not powered for statistical testing, therefore the researchers will present descriptive statistics of the secondary outcomes at each follow up:
1. Self-report number of cars owned by household at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 month follow up
2. Daily travel time (minutes) per mode of travel (bus/train/car/cycle/walk) measured via self-report questionnaire at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 month follow up
3. Mode of travel to work (car/public transport/bicycle/walking) measured via self-report at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 month follow up
4. Cost of travel by mode (car/public transport) measured via self-report questionnaire at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 month follow up

Overall trial start date

01/03/2020

Overall trial end date

31/05/2021

Reason abandoned (if study stopped)

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Adult aged 16 or over
2. Living in Northstowe
3. Have not previously claimed any travel incentives

Participant type

Healthy volunteer

Age group

Adult

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

The researchers aim to recruit 132 participants across the three study arms (approximately 44 in each study arm).

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Aged under 16
2. Do not reside in Northstowe
3. Have previously claimed travel incentives

Recruitment start date

20/04/2020

Recruitment end date

03/05/2020

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University of Cambridge
MRC Epidemiology Unit University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine Box 285 Institute of Metabolic Science Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Cambridge
CB2 0QQ
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

University of Cambridge

Sponsor details

School of Clinical Medicine
Addenbrooke's Hospital
Cambridge
CB2 0QQ
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 769291
cad50@medschl.cam.ac.uk

Sponsor type

University/education

Website

http://www.cambridge.org/

Funders

Funder type

Government

Funder name

School for Public Health Research

Alternative name(s)

NIHR School for Public Health Research, NIHR SPHR, SPHR

Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

Local government

Location

United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Planned submission of papers on the feasibility of the trial.

IPD sharing statement
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are/will be available through the MRC Epidemiology Unit data sharing portal (https://epi-meta.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/).

Intention to publish date

01/10/2021

Participant level data

Stored in repository

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

13/03/2020: Uploaded protocol Version 2.0, 02 March 2020 (not peer reviewed). 05/03/2020: Trial's existence confirmed by NIHR School for Primary Care Research.