Social Participation, Personal Travel and Internet use

Kenyon, S.L. and Lyons, G. (2003) Social Participation, Personal Travel and Internet use. In: 10th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research, 10-15 August 2003, Lucerne, Switzerland. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Internet access and use in Great Britain and in many other countries around the world has increased dramatically in a very short space of time. That this communications medium can provide access to opportunities, services, social networks and other goods makes the nature and scale of its current and potential future impacts on society hugely significant. It should therefore be of considerable concern that monitoring and understanding of such impacts is failing to keep pace with developments which in turn seriously impedes the opportunities for informed policy interventions. In providing a means of access, the Internet has the potential to improve or change people’s quality of life and also to change levels and patterns of the alternatives means of access, notably personal travel. This paper reports on a GB survey which marks the first stage in a three year project which is seeking to begin addressing the gap in data and understanding concerning the (evolving) links between social participation, personal travel and Internet use. The results presented are based on responses from 1028 GB weekly Internet users to an online questionnaire survey. Presentation of results consider behaviour and attitudes concerning personal travel, Internet use and links between the two. Key findings relate to the growing array of online activities, access to which people believe is improving their quality of life. The suggestion is made that further to the prevalence of car dependence within society, the phenomenon of Internet dependence may now be emerging. Contrary to expectations, the motivation to engage in online rather than offline activities is derived in many cases not from the attraction of saving travel time but, it appears, from the activity time saving. Nevertheless, not only is the Internet improving access without increasing personal travel, stated intentions suggest that online activities have already become sufficient in quality and scope to offer a viable alternative or substitute to offline activities and associated physical travel, particularly if traffic restraint or the cost of travel were to be increased.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: Social exclusion, Internet access and use, personal travel, telecommunications-transport interactions
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Paula Loader
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2010 10:57
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2010 10:57
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/7817 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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