Effects of living near an urban motorway on the wellbeing of local residents in deprived areas: Natural experimental study

Foley, Louise, Prins, Richard, Crawford, Fiona, Humphreys, David, Mitchell, Richard, Sahlqvist, Shannon, Thomson, Hilary and Ogilvie, David and M74 study team (2017) Effects of living near an urban motorway on the wellbeing of local residents in deprived areas: Natural experimental study. PLoS One, 12 (4). ISSN 1932-6203

[thumbnail of Published manuscript]
PDF (Published manuscript) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (928kB) | Preview


Background: Health and wellbeing are partly shaped by the neighbourhood environment. In 2011, an eight kilometre (five mile) extension to the M74 motorway was opened in Glasgow, Scotland, constructed through a predominantly urban, deprived area. We evaluated the effects of the new motorway on wellbeing in local residents. Methods: This natural experimental study involved a longitudinal cohort (n = 365) and two cross-sectional samples (baseline n = 980; follow-up n = 978) recruited in 2005 and 2013. Adults from one of three study areas—surrounding the new motorway, another existing motorway, or no motorway—completed a postal survey. Within areas, individual measures of motorway proximity were calculated. Wellbeing was assessed with the mental (MCS-8) and physical (PCS-8) components of the SF-8 scale at both time points, and the short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (SWEMWBS) at follow-up only. Results: In multivariable linear regression analyses, cohort participants living nearer to the new M74 motorway experienced significantly reduced mental wellbeing over time (MCS-8: -3.6, 95% CI -6.6 to -0.7) compared to those living further away. In cross-sectional and repeat cross-sectional analyses, an interaction was found whereby participants with a chronic condition living nearer to the established M8 motorway experienced reduced (MCS-8: -3.7, 95% CI -8.3 to 0.9) or poorer (SWEMWBS: -1.1, 95% CI -2.0 to -0.3) mental wellbeing compared to those living further away. Conclusions: We found some evidence that living near to a new motorway worsened local residents’ wellbeing. In an area with an existing motorway, negative impacts appeared to be concentrated in those with chronic conditions, which may exacerbate existing health inequalities and contribute to poorer health outcomes. Health impacts of this type of urban regeneration intervention should be more fully taken into account in future policy and planning.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2017 05:09
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 15:42
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/63291
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174882

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item