Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Free bus travel for teens curbs road traffic injuries and benefits environment

Date:
June 12, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Free bus travel for teens helps curb road traffic injuries and benefits the environment, reveal the results of an analysis of the free bus scheme in London.

Free bus travel for teens helps curb road traffic injuries and benefits the environment, reveal the results of an analysis of the free bus scheme in London, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

But it also seems to boost the number of short journeys taken by bus, which might otherwise have been cycled or walked, the findings show.

The researchers wanted to assess the public health impact of giving teens in London free bus travel. The scheme was introduced for 12 to 16 year olds in 2005, and for 17 year olds in 2006.

They therefore used data from the London Area Transport Survey and London Travel Demand Surveys to calculate the number of journeys made in London -- as well as distance and principal mode of travel -- before (2001-4) and after (2005-9) the scheme was introduced.

And they looked at official data on traffic injuries and hospital admissions to see if the scheme had any noticeable effects on personal safety.

The analysis showed that the proportion of short journeys teens took by bus doubled from 2% to 5%, although the overall number of journeys they took did not increase.

The number of short trips walked also fell in tandem with an increase in this length of journey taken by bus, although there was no appreciable impact on total distance walked.

But there was clear evidence of a fall in the number of short journeys cycled and in distances cycled by young people, although this mode of travel was not hugely popular among this age group before the introduction of the scheme.

Rates of road traffic casualties had started falling before the introduction of the scheme, and continued to fall afterwards, but at a greater rate in young people, largely among passengers and cyclists. Pedestrian casualty rates remained the same.

Hospital admission rates for assaults had been rising among teens before 2005, but were higher among this age group after the scheme's introduction.

The number of daily car journeys taken by young people and adults fell, and the average distance travelled by car also shrank, suggesting that free bus travel prompts a shift away from car use and may therefore be a greener option.

There didn't seem to be any fall in the use of buses by older people after the scheme's introduction either.

"The findings suggest, unsurprisingly, a good uptake in use of buses for fulfilling travel needs, including for short journeys," write the authors.

"One disadvantage appears to be some reduction in the proportion of short trips by walking, and in the (already) low level of cycling; these might be detrimental to the establishment of future travel habits bringing regular physical activity," they suggest.

"On the other hand, the increase in the use of public transport may help to establish travel behaviour for later life that entails some physical activity, as well as helping to reduce car use," they say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Phil Edwards, Rebecca Steinbach, Judith Green, Mark Petticrew, Anna Goodman, Alasdair Jones, Helen Roberts, Charlotte Kelly, John Nellthorp, Paul Wilkinson. Health impacts of free bus travel for young people: evaluation of a natural experiment in London. J Epidemiol Community Health, 2013 DOI: 10.1136/jech-2012-202156

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Free bus travel for teens curbs road traffic injuries and benefits environment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612224228.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, June 12). Free bus travel for teens curbs road traffic injuries and benefits environment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612224228.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Free bus travel for teens curbs road traffic injuries and benefits environment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612224228.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reaffirmed the administration's confidence in the CDC's ability to keep the Ebola virus from spreading. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins