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Among transport researchers as well as in popular media, a lively debate is underway as to whether today's young adults will grow up to acquire similar travel attitudes and behaviours to those of their parents; or if changes in youth lifestyles will come to lastingly reshape transport use in the UK. There are divergent opinions on the extent to which changes in housing affordability, environmental awareness, mobile device use, and car ownership - to name but a few factors - will lead to significant intergenerational shifts in everyday travel.

The 'Young People's Travel Behaviour' evidence review is a collaborative project between the Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford, and the Centre for Transport and Society, UWE Bristol. The project is undertaken in response to a need, identified by the Department for Transport, to investigate the ways in which the travel behaviours of young people - here identified as those aged 18-30 - have changed since the early 2000s. In reviewing evidence on the lifestyle changes which have influenced how young adults travel, the project seeks to identify various drivers which are expected to shape travel demand in the UK in the coming decades. The evidence review covers both quantitative and qualitative studies from the UK and abroad, and examines recent and long-term trends which shape the travel behaviour of 'Generation Y,' including economics, socio-demographics, culture, spatial development, transport provision and technology. Following the completion of the systematic review, analysis of secondary qualitative and quantitative data will be undertaken.


The main output of the project is a report produced for the Department for Transport, with key insights also expected to be published in relevant academic journals.

Further Information

For more information on this research project please contact Dr Tim Schwanen.