Need, mobility poverty and the ethics of the future cost of mobility

Timeline: November 2014 – October 2016

Our team includes: Greg Marsden, Caroline Mullen

Some of our key questions include:

  • How do people in different income brackets respond to transport needs?
  • Evaluation of future scenarios in terms of differential affordability, access and mobility justice.
  • How far should policy go in providing people with the means to access and use transport?

And these are some of the ideas we are engaging with:

Spending on transport varies more significantly than any other area of household expenditure, currently ranging from £16.40 a week for the lowest income decile to £155 or more for the highest. In addition, the need for mobility is so embedded that spending tends to rise as costs increase. In this context, rising oil prices and the implications of a shift to electric propulsion (which changes the relative unit costs of travelling for those that can afford the initial capital outlay) could have very significant impacts with large distributional implications.

Focus groups will be held in two areas characterised by good and poor non-car based mobility options, followed by household interviews. Sampling will ensure adequate coverage of five income quintiles. These will allow us to determine forms of transport ‘stress’ and responses to it.  The second stage uses GIS mapping tools to analyse various technology and policy scenarios and present new metrics of transport stress as an input to stage 3 of the research.  Further interviews and workshops with policy makers in England, Scotland and Wales will debate present priorities, future scenarios and the concepts of entitlement on which they depend.

For more detailed information about how the project fits into the Demand Research Programme you can read the 13-page DEMAND research summary.

Featured results

Whilst the easiest way to browse our materials is via the Project 4.2 tag, we have collected a few key outputs here.

Key dissemination events