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Social Participation, Personal Travel and Internet use

Kenyon, Susan, Lyons, Glenn (2003) Social Participation, Personal Travel and Internet use. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research. . (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:7817)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.


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: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Paula Loader
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2010 10:57 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:45 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Kenyon, Susan.

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