'Pre-pilot' project to investigate if there are intergenerational patterns in household car ownership

Hazel Baslington and Miles Tight, University of Leeds

[Project number 30082]

Normally the variable 'car availability' is used as an economic indicator synonymous with higher income and residency in particular neighbourhoods. However, the findings from this 'pre-pilot' project will not be used to assess the extent of intergenerational social mobility. Several findings from the project leader's PhD research suggest that what is learned in the home regarding transport modes and travel mode behaviour may be influential on a child's propensity to become a future car owner. Two interesting findings uncovered during the PhD project are:

" the possession of two or more cars sometimes transcends socio-economic and physical boundaries. Households in areas of economic deprivation had access to two/more cars. This may or may not be due to the availability of a 'company car' (for instance taxi drivers). A table produced from the National Travel Survey (NTS) confirms that this finding is reflected nationally.

" alternatively, there are 'car free' households. The decision to remain without a car is not based on economic, physical or other factors (age, disability). This group is distinguished from the 'car less' - those who cannot afford to own a car.

If the findings of this 'pre-pilot', suggest a pattern to the intergenerational level of car ownership in households (other than economic circumstance), the next phase of the research would be to investigate other explanatory factors. A suggestion is that children raised in 'no car' or 'one car' households are less susceptible to the habit forming behaviour which may be associated with multi-car ownership.

The LS data will mainly be used to assess the viability of conducting further research.