TRL - Creating the future of transport

Social Impacts of Transport

Transport is vital in connecting people and places. However, poor transport provision can lead to social exclusion and the severance of communities. When identifying sustainable transport solutions it's important to understand the social and economic impacts of transport. At TRL we address how transport influences personal mobility and accessibility, as well as the social impacts of traffic, including the effects of environmental pollution and road safety.

Social Impacts of Transport

TRL has conducted significant research in this area, providing policy guidance and advice to central government and other organisations to help improve equality and reduce social exclusion. We can identify how current problems can be addressed, as well as assess the potential impacts of new development and schemes on different demographic and social groups. This includes people on low incomes, women, older people, children and young people, disabled people and black, Asian and minority ethnic people. Our staff are experienced in the use of Equality Impact Assessments (EqIAs) and accessibility planning methodologies.

TRL has worked on many projects for central government to improve understanding of the travel needs and behaviours of different social groups. Further information on our expertise in conducting behavioural and attitudinal studies is detailed in the Green Travel section of this website.

Our key capabilities in this area include:

  • EqIAs
  • accessibility planning and mapping
  • GIS analysis of demographics and accessibility
  • literature reviews
  • stakeholder consultation
  • household surveys and on-street questionnaires
  • policy guidance and advice.


Accessibility Planning

TRL is experienced in accessibility planning research for a wide range of users. Assessment of the location of, and methods of access to, services can allow the placing of services and transport to maximise service efficiency and minimise the negative effects of transport.

Equality Impact Assessment

TRL can also conduct EqIAs, which seek to ensure that projects and policies don't adversely affect members of socially excluded or vulnerable groups. We've developed new methodologies that can be used in the emergent process of EqIA in transport planning, involving community consultation, impact assessment, GIS demographic mapping and environmental equity.


If you're interested in learning more about the topics covered in this section, or you can't find what you're looking for and would like to talk to someone in detail about a specific topic, please complete the enquiry form at the foot of this page - one of our experts will contact you as soon as possible.

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