RGSIBG cfp: Time at the nexus: mobility and modal choice

This session aims to consider the multiple dimensions along which time is a key feature of mobility and modal choice. For many decades, maximising mobility and minimising travel time were core objectives in transport planning. However, contemporary transport research offers a more nuanced picture of our travel needs and wants. Mobility has been found to be declining in developed economies – a phenomenon which has been termed ‘peak car’ – raising questions about the environmental, economic and social drivers of this change.

That digital technology can offer virtual, rather than literal, co-presence has, for some and in some instances, obviated the need to spend time travelling, as well as improved issues of accessibility e.g. online banking and shopping. In contrast, assumptions about the ‘cost’ of travel time have been undermined by a new appreciation of the potential quality and value of commuting time. Furthermore, there is a growing awareness of slower modes as means of supporting sustainable travel choices, and boosting health and wellbeing. Time is also a crucial factor in understanding and planning for transport need: considering urban form and scale, places and populations change over time, offering new challenges as depopulating areas struggle to support services while growing urban centres face increased demand and congestion. From large scale trends to more personal influences on travel decisions and residential locations, the life course offers another intersection between time, mobility and modal choice, as issues such as finding a livelihood, child-rearing or transitioning towards old age change our options and preferences.

We particularly welcome papers which engage with mobility and modal choice, linked to the themes of:

  • The experience or value of travel time
  • Slower modes for environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing
  • The influence of ICT on mobility, modal choice and accessibility
  • Age, period and cohort effects
  • Mobility and changing needs across the life course
  • Changing demographic socio-cultural and lifestyle factors
  • Policy and changing mobility needs
  • Urban or rural change and transport demand
  • Residential/service location and accessibility
  • Research methods

Please submit an abstract of up to 300 words by Tuesday 16th February to session convenors Dr Julie Clark and Dr Sara Tilley at:




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