Project details

Full project title: Young People's Travel Behaviour - Evidence Review

Sponsor: Department for Transport

Research partners: Transport Studies Unit (Oxford University) and Phil Goodwin (Emeritus Professor of Transport Policy, UWE  Bristol and UCL)

Project Manager: Kiron Chatterjee

Other CTS Researchers:

Start Date: January 2016

End Date: July 2016

Project summary

Young adults in Great Britain, men in particular, are driving less now than they did 20 years ago. The same phenomenon has been seen in other industrialised countries. It is important to understand why younger people born in the 1980s and 1990s, often referred to as Millennials, have not taken up car use as much as predecessors. Various explanations have been put forward with some commentators suggesting economic factors are mainly responsible, while others have suggested changes to lifestyle and attitudes are more important.

The Department for Transport has commissioned the Centre for Transport and Society, along with the Transport Studies Unit (Oxford University) and Phil Goodwin (Emeritus Professor of Transport Policy, UWE Bristol and UCL), to investigate the topic by conducting a systematic review of literature with possible extension to consider secondary analysis of existing data sets. The research will address the questions of:

  • In what ways have changes in young people's lifestyles impacted on their travel behaviour?
  • How might those drivers, or other expected changes, be expected to impact their future travel demand?

It will approach this by looking at how broader society is changing in terms of socio-demographics, economics, spatial development, technologies, cultures and transport provision and how this is affecting the ways in which young people live and their travel behaviour. It will consider what the future is likely to hold in terms of the next generation of young adults and the current generation of young adults as they age.

This project is a key part of the Department for Transport's wider research programme to understand recent trends and the causal factors. This is important to ensure that the Department's travel demand forecasts remain fit for purpose and sound transport policy and investment decisions made.