Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the inequalities reflected in and caused by transport policies, particularly those policies which prioritise adult car drivers’ needs. However, interventions focused on ‘healthier’ transport systems and more liveable cities have huge potential for simultaneously improving social wellbeing and equity for young people. Two research studies in London illustrate this potential. The implementation of 20mph zones has mitigated widening inequalities in child pedestrian injury, and free bus travel for young people has had positive effects on sustainability, equity and wellbeing. Universal free bus travel has removed ‘transport poverty’ as an issue for young people in London; contributed to young people’s independent mobility; and enhanced social participation, without reducing levels of physical activity. In transport, structural interventions which address the ‘root causes’ of inequality may have more potential than those which target individuals.
This is a part of the conference, 'Reducing Inequalities in Child Health', which is available in full on the Gresham College website.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:
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