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Travel time use in the information age

Lyons, Glenn; Urry, John

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Glenn Lyons
Professor of Future Mobility

John Urry


This paper, focused primarily on UK data and debates, considers the potential significance of travel time use within past, present and future patterns of mobility. In transport scheme appraisal, savings in travel time typically represent a substantial proportion of the benefits of a scheme-benefits used to justify its often enormous financial costs. Such benefits are founded on the assumption that travel time is unproductive, wasted time in-between 'real' activities and which should be minimised. Travel demand analysis treats travel time and activity time as separate, albeit acknowledging an interdependency. The paper challenges these approaches by exploring how travel time can be, and is, being used 'productively' as activity time, and what enhancements to time use might be emerging in the 'information age'. Such undermining of the division between activities and travelling, and between activity time and travel time, may have major implications for future levels of mobility, for the modal distribution of travel, for the validity of current transport appraisal methodology and for the analysis of travelling within the information age. These issues are considered. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2005
Deposit Date Jan 22, 2010
Publicly Available Date Nov 15, 2016
Journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Print ISSN 0965-8564
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 2-3 SPEC. ISS.
Pages 257-276
Keywords travel, transport, information age
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Has contributed to catalysing a new sphere of research interest in travel time use and the work of the authors - undertaken through a multidisciplinary £300k EPSRC grant - has prompted two specialists' workshops in the Department for Transport to consider implications for appraisal.
Contract Date Nov 15, 2016


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