Transport and Accessibility; the Perspectives of Disadvantaged Groups and Communities



Transport and Accessibility; the Perspectives of Disadvantaged Groups and Communities

Authors

LUCAS K and SIMPSON R, University of Westminster, UK

Description

This paper describes an ongoing piece of research, which aims to locate the role of transport in the lives of socially and/or economically disadvantaged individuals, groups and communities. From this position, the research explores the impacts of transpor

Abstract

This paper describes an ongoing piece of research, which aims to locate the role of transport in the lives of socially and/or economically disadvantaged individuals, groups and communities. From this position, the research explores the impacts of transport policy and of decisions relating to the provision of transport in the UK, in the broader context of people's quality of life..It uses the evidence of focus group discussions with individuals generally perceived as being disadvantaged by their low- income status and other exclusionary factors, such as age, gender, disability and ethnicity, to examine the position of transport in a hierarchy of basic need. The research asks when transport is a vital component in servicing these needs and when it acts as a further barrier to their social and economic inclusion.

The study has been commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, under a wider programme of research entitled Reconciling Environmental and Social Concerns, in recognition that policies aiming to reduce the environmental impact of transport may be in conflict with the social and economic well-being of some groups and communities. The aim of this study is to characterise the views and aspirations of people, living in different types of communities, vis-g-vis their transport and accessibility needs, in the context of the transport policy agenda, tn this context, the study aims to:

* Identify the current travel behaviour and views of disadvantaged groups and communities regarding the provision of transport and other services, and the extent to which their daily needs are being met;

* Explore their perceptions of broader transport-related issues and of current government transport policies;

* Examine the-extent to which current transport and other policies address or conflict with these perceptions, needs and aspirations, as they are identified.

Three key stages were identified within the research methodology. The first, a scoping stage, involved a comprehensive review of the available literature, policy documentation surrounding concepts of disadvantage and disadvantaged groups and communities and the role of transport in relation to this. During this review, a number of on-going fieldwork studies with a direct relevance to the research were also identified and used to supplement first and second stage findings and inform fieldwork methodology. The second stage of the research involved secondary analysis of data from a number of national surveys pertaining to travel behaviour, spending on travel and attitudes to transport. The third stage constituted the main fieldwork phase, involving interviews with key professionals and focus group discussions in 5 different locations in the .UK. The paper summarises the main findings of the first two phases of the research and presents the methodology for fieldwork exercises, the findings of which will be the main subject of the Conference presentation.

Publisher

Association for European Transport