This report presents the findings from a study conducted by NatCen and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) to investigate how access to transport affects the life opportunities and wellbeing of people living in England. This has provided new evidence that access to public and private transport has wide-ranging positive impacts on people’s lives. The study involves analyses of two national longitudinal data sets: Understanding Society and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Overall, the study reveals that having personal car access opens up life opportunities including, employment, access to services and social participation. The majority (69%) of the population have personal access to cars and a larger proportion (87%) of the population often use cars (at least once a week). The study also highlights the risk of economic and social exclusion for those with no personal car access and no access to good public transport. Nearly a third of the population do not have personal access to a car and this is more common amongst young adults, those in BME groups, those with impairments, unemployed people and those with low incomes. Given the benefits of personal car access, it is important that barriers to car access are not disproportionate for those who are more reliant on cars, particularly people living in small towns and rural areas, people with mobility impairments and people on low incomes.
Chatterjee, K., Clark, B., Nguyen, A., Wishart, R., Gallop, K., Smith, N., & Tipping, S. (2019). Access to transport and life opportunities. Department for Transport