Gordon Stokes

Honorary Research Associate


Gordon Stokes has worked in transport research for 35 years. He has worked in government research and government agencies, universities, and for transport consultancies.

After researching time-geographic indicators of accessibility for different social groups in the University of Reading in the 1970s he worked on the Tyne and Wear Metro Impact Study and walking as a mode of transport at the Transport and Road Research Laboratory in Crowthorne. Between 1986 and 1995 he worked at Transport Studies Unit in Oxford (when it was in Bevington Road) on a range of areas including analysis of household travel panel surveys, the effects of bus deregulation, attachment to the car and car dependence, and forecasting travel demand in rural areas.

Between 1995 and 2001 he worked for Transport Consultancies including Steer Davies Gleave, working on European funded research projects (CAPTURE and MIMIC), as well as doing research for the Department for Transport and other national organisations on a range of issues including changing travel behaviour, transport assessments for new developments, and Rural Transport Partnerships.

In 2001 he joined the Countryside Agency as a transport policy advisor, and from 2005 to 2010 worked for the Commission for Rural Communities, following the reorganisation of Defra agencies. During this time he has done much research on rural travel behaviour and well as working with others on a wide range of rural issues. He was the editor and one of the main authors and analysts for the State of the Countryside Report for 2007, 2008 and 2010. He left the Commission for Rural Communities in late 2010 following the announcement of its abolition, to pursue other transport research interests in the University.

He became a Research Associate with TSU in early 2009. He is an active member of the organising committee of the Transport Statistics Users Group.

Current Research

Gordon is best known for his research, knowledge and expertise in rural transport issues and travel behaviour analysis, and the bulk of work during the 2000s involved commissioning and managing research, with some more direct policy related work. As an Associate with Transport Studies Unit he has concentrated on:

  • Analysis and modelling of 'peak car' issues - 'Peak car' is a label for the observation that the amount of car use per person has levelled off in most western industrialised countries since the late 1990s. Gordon has used the National Travel Survey to analyse such trends in detail, looking in particular at the effect of age and gender on access to cars, and on distance driven. Much of his work uses graphic visualisations to show the complex patterns of age and 'cohort' related travel behaviour in a readily understandable way.
  • He is developing this work into developing models that can help predict likely futures for levels of access to cars, based on experience of the rate at which people gain access to cars between the age of 17 and about 40, and on the tendency to hang onto car access in later age.
  • Mapping census data on access to cars and method of travel to work for 2001 and 2011, looking in particular at changes in access to cars (relating to his peak car work) and to changes at the local level in walking and cycling, in relation to economic and social characteristics of different areas.
  • Equity issues in travel behaviour - Analysis of National Travel Survey data studying equity issues as part of the UKTRC social impacts and social equity issues in transport series of framing seminars. Analysis of changes in travel behaviour of different groups of people (by age, income, area of residence and suchlike) to investigate the nature of recent lack of growth in car use.
  • Analysis of community transport - Gordon was main author of the analytical sections "State of the Sector, 2012" report for the Community Transport Association, which analysed data on the provision and use of community transport, with the 2012 report highlighting rural community transport.


Gordon acts as one of the links between Transport Studies Unit and the wider transport community, both locally in the Oxford area, and with the wider profession, through the links he built up during his career.

He is on the committee of the Transport Statistics Users Group (TSUG) and organises and chairs many of the meetings held in London. Since 2012 he has organised meetings on rural transport, "less obvious" sources of transport statistics, accessibility data and modelling, peak car, crowd sourced transport data, attitudes to transport, transport data visualisations, cycling and active travel, methods for analysing the National Travel Survey and the long term effects of population changes on travel behaviour.


  • Stokes, G. (2013) The prospects for future levels of car access and use. Transport Reviews, 33(3): 360-375.
  • Stokes, G. (2012) Rural public transport. Countryside Voice - head to head. Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Summer 2012, London.
  • Stokes, G. (2102) Has car use per person peaked? Age, gender and car use. Presentation to Transport Statistics Users Group, London, April 2012. Download presentations (zip file of four presentations).
  • Stokes, G. (2011) Transport poverty - what is it, can we measure it and what should we do about it? Paper to Transport Practitioners Meeting, Liverpool. PTRC Education and Research Services Ltd.
  • Stokes, G. and Lucas, K. (2011) National Travel Survey Analysis. TSU Working Paper Series, Ref. 1053. School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford.
  • Stokes, G. (2011) Rural transport and the economy. Paper to University of West of England seminar series "Moving the region forward", March.
  • Shaw, J. and Stokes, G. (2011) How will rural people travel in 2030? Commission for Rural Communities, Cheltenham.
  • Stokes, G. (2010) Can we afford to ignore travel behaviour in rural areas? Paper to Transport Practitioners Meeting, York. PTRC Education and Research Services Ltd.
  • Commission for Rural Communities (2008) The State of the Countryside 2008. Commission for Rural Communities, Cheltenham.
  • Countryside Agency (2003) Transport in tomorrow's countryside. Countryside Agency.
  • Stokes, G. (2002) Strategies to change people's travel behaviour - where do we start? Paper to PTRC conference on Changing Travel Behaviour, London.
  • Cullinane, S. and Stokes, G. (1998) Rural transport policy. Pergamon, Oxford.
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England (1997) Traffic trauma or tranquility - scenarios for traffic growth on minor rural roads. CPRE, London.
  • Stokes, G. (1996) Strategies to reduce car dependence. Paper to the CAPTURE Cities Conference, London, December.
  • Goodwin, et al. (1995) Car dependence. A report for the RAC foundation for motoring and the environment. RAC Foundation, London.
  • Stokes, G. and Taylor, B. (1995) The public acceptability of sustainable transport policies: findings from the British Social Attitudes Survey. Paper presented to the Universities Transport Studies Group, Cranfield.
  • Stokes, G. and Parkhurst, G. (1995) Change through interchange: making complex journeys easier. Research for the Rees Jeffries Road Fund. TSU Working Paper (Ref. 838), School of Geography and Environment, Oxford.
  • Stokes, G. (1995) Assessing the effects of new transport policies on rural residents. TSU Working Paper (Ref. 836), School of Geography and Environment, Oxford.
  • Stokes, G. (1995) Rural transport policy in the 1990s. In, Special edition of Institution of Civil Engineers Transport Journal on Transport Policy, August. Originally, TSU Working Paper (Ref. 835), School of Geography and Environment, Oxford.
  • Stokes, G. (1994) Towards transport planning methodologies that help lead to sustainable development. TSU Working Paper (Ref 755), School of Geography and Environment, Oxford.
  • Stokes, G. and Taylor, B. (1994) Where next for transport policy? In, Jowell, Curtice, Brook and Ahrendt (eds.) British Social Attitudes - The Eleventh Report. Dartmouth, Aldershot. Originally, TSU Working Paper (Ref. 804), School of Geography and Environment, Oxford.
  • Stokes, G. and Dargay, J. (1993) What is a sustainable transport policy? PTRC Summer Annual Meeting, Manchester, September.
  • Stokes, G (1992) Long term effects of current trends in transport on land use in Great Britain. Paper presented to PTRC Summer Annual Meeting, Manchester.
  • Stokes, G., Goodwin, P.B., and Kenny, F. (1992) Trends in transport in the countryside. Report to the Countryside Commission. Countryside Commission Research Report CCP 382. Countryside Commission, Cheltenham.
  • Stokes, G. (1991) Test of a time-geographic accessibility measure. TSU Working Paper (Ref. 631), School of Geography and Environment, Oxford.
  • Goodwin, P.B., Hallett, S., Kenny, F. and Stokes, G. (1991) Transport: the new realism. Report to Rees Jeffreys Road Fund. TSU Working Paper (Ref. 624), School of Geography and Environment, Oxford.
  • Stokes, G., Goodwin, P.B., Hallett, S., Hass-Klau, C., Bradburn, P., and Kenny, F. (1991) Buses in towns. Transport Advisory Service, Preston.
  • Stokes, G., Kenny, F. and Hallett, S. (1991) The love affair with the car - wedlock or deadlock. Paper presented to PTRC Summer Annual Meeting, 1991.
  • Stokes, G., Pickup, L., Meadowcroft, S., Goodwin, P.B., and Kenny, F. (1990) Bus deregulation: the metropolitan experience. Association of Metropolitan Areas, London, 1990.
  • Stokes, G. (1989) Bus users and car choosers: an analysis of the 1988 South Yorkshire household travel survey. Transport Studies Unit, Oxford.
  • Robinson, F. and Stokes, G. (1987) Rapid transit and land use: the effects of the Tyne and Wear Metro. University of Newcastle, CURDS, Discussion Paper, no. 88.
  • TRRL (with others) (1986) The Metro report: the impact of Metro and public transport integration in Tyne and Wear. Published by the Metro Monitoring and Development Study, and TRRL.
  • Mitchel, C.G.B. and Stokes, G. (1982) Walking as a mode of transport. Transport and Road Research Laboratory, Laboratory Report 1064.
Gordon Stokes