Research cites poor transport as cause of social exclusion

Transport infrastructure in the north of England needs improvements, based on a study claiming a link between positive health and wellbeing and travel requirements.

University College London (UCL) research, supported by Transport for the North, focused on the North, where residents face worse health outcomes and poorer transport accessibility than the rest of the country.

Researchers say the study shows the need for investment in medium and long-distance transport options, such as better serviced roads and access to trains and buses, in the most under-served areas.

More than 3,000 residents were surveyed, and the strongest link between travel constraints and health was found to be among the over-55s. They are more likely to suffer limited mobility and loneliness, exacerbating the impact of poor transport.

“In the North, rural and suburban areas with limited access are more likely to experience population loss as young people move to cities in search of work and good travel options,” said Dr Paulo Anciaes, lead author of the study.

“Meanwhile, older generations are left behind in these areas with limited transport options. The range of places they can visit is low, leading to less social participation and lower levels of general health.”

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