Recent research has indicated that changes in travel behaviour are more likely at the time of major life events. However, there remains much to learn about the extent to which different life events trigger behavioural change and the conditions under which life events are more likely to trigger change. The UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) offers a previously unavailable opportunity to investigate this for a large, representative sample of the UK population. We have also linked UKHLS data to local spatial data, drawn from the census and other sources, to elucidate the effect of the spatial context on changes to travel behaviour in association with life events. Findings from an exploratory analysis of UKHLS waves 1 and 2 data are presented first. Transition tables demonstrate a strong association between changes in car ownership and commute mode and the following life events: employment changes, residential relocations, retirement, child birth and changes in household structure. Results are then shown of logit models which relate the probability of an increase and decrease in the number of cars owned to the occurrence of life events, controlling for individual and household characteristics and spatial context. These show, for example, that urbanizing and ruralizing moves have contrasting effects on travel behaviour.
Clark, B., Chatterjee, K., Melia, S., Knies, G., & Laurie, H. (2014, January). Examining the relationship between life transitions and travel behaviour change: New insights from the UK household longitudinal study. Paper presented at 46th Universities' Transport Studies Group Conference