Children's Car Use: the Implications for Health and Sustainability

Children's Car Use: the Implications for Health and Sustainability


R Mackett, L Lucas, J Paskins and J Turbin, University College London, UK



A key issue in developing sustainable transport policies and reducing future potential car dependency is to ensure that the lives of today?s children are not dependent on the car. There are concerns currently about the amount of car use by children, especially to school. There is a need to understand the reasonsfor it and the potential implications. A project to investigate the effects of car use on children?s health and long-term car dependency is being carried out in the Centre for Transport Studies at University College London. One part of the project has been a survey of over 500 school children aged 7-10 in ten schools in Hertfordshire. The data are currently be analysed. The paper will address the following issues:

* Why do so many parents drive their children to school?

* How many children travel almost everywhere by car?

* Are children who travel mainly by car less healthy than those who walk and cycle?

* Are children who walk and cycle to school also more active in other ways?

* To what extent do parents? attitudes to their children?s safety and security influence their children?s car use?

* Are parents who take their children almost everywhere by car concerned about their children?s fitness and health?Conclusions will be drawn about the future in terms of car dependency and its implications for sustainability.


Association for European Transport