This report examines the links between social exclusion, transport and the location of services. It is particularly focused on access to those opportunities that have the most impact on life-chances, such as work, learning and healthcare.
Recent years have seen a growing recognition that transport problems can be a significant barrier to social inclusion. People may not be able to access services as a result of social exclusion. For example, they may be restricted in their use of transport by low incomes, or because bus routes do not run to the right places. Age and disability can also stop people driving and using public transport. Problems with transport provision and the location of services can reinforce social exclusion. They prevent people from accessing key local services or activities, such as jobs, learning, healthcare, food shopping or leisure. Problems can vary by type of area (for example urban or rural) and for different groups of people, such as disabled people, older people or families with children. The effects of road traffic also disproportionately impact on socially excluded areas and individuals through pedestrian accidents, air pollution, noise and the effect on local communities of busy roads cutting through residential areas.
This report is mainly concerned with the accessibility of local services and activities. It has been prepared by the UK Social Exclusion Unit working closely with the UK Government departments responsible for other key areas, including transport, land-use planning, health, education, work, crime and rural affairs.