Project details

Full project title: Life Transitions and Travel Behaviour

Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council

Principal Investigator: Dr Kiron Chatterjee

Centre for Transport and Society (CTS) Co-investigator: Dr Steve Melia

CTS Principal Researcher: Dr Ben Clark

Other Co-investigators:

  • Professor Heather Laurie
  • Dr Gundi Knies (University of Essex)
  • Tom Gerlach (Department for Transport)

Start Date: November 2012

Finish Date: April 2014

Research briefing sheet: Download the briefing sheet document (PDF)

Project summary

Emerging research has established that significant changes in travel behaviour are often associated with life transitions. Life transitions involve a change in personal circumstances often marked by observable life events such as joining the labour force, moving home, having children or retiring. This research project sets out to explore the relationship between such life events (like moving home) and travel behaviour changes (like the number of cars owned or commute mode choice).

The project will use data from the Understanding Society survey and British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). Together, these surveys have tracked the lives of a nationally (UK) representative sample of individuals over multiple years. They have recorded information concerning household car ownership and commuting behaviour, as well as a variety of other information about people's lives such as their relationships, employment and health. Accordingly, the survey data offers a unique opportunity to examine how individuals make changes to their travel behaviours over time in relation to life events. Further information on the project's objectives and methods is available in the two page briefing sheet.

The project builds on a portfolio of longitudinal studies of travel behaviour change previously conducted by CTS:

Findings from this current project will be reported on an on-going basis on the project website.