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Young Londoners’ travel habits probed


17 April 2020

Londoners in their 20s and early 30s who live with their parents make fewer trips than those who live independently, according to new research.  

Alice Saunders has won the 2019 Voorhees-Large prize, worth £1,000, for her transport and city planning MSc dissertation on how living with parents affects  the travel patterns of young Londoners. She studied at The Bartlett, University College London. 

“An estimated 14.5 per cent of 25-34 year-olds in London now live with their parents, up from 7.8 per cent in 2002,” said Saunders, an analyst in TfL’s city planning team. Controlling for demographic and geographical influences, she found those living ‘at home’ travel less frequently than those living independently. 

“Traditionally large numbers of young people move into inner London for work, attracted by the connectivity and ‘urban buzz’,” she said. “Those who remain living in their family home are more likely to live in suburban locations that are less accessible by public transport. They record higher levels of car access and, on average, travel further to work and for leisure. They make a smaller proportion of trips by walking, cycling and public transport. 

“My findings confirm the need for transport planners to look beyond traditional determinants of  demand and consider the external constraints under which young adults make travel choices, as well as the norms and habits that might develop during this time.”

The Voorhees-Large Prize is awarded by the Brian Large Bursary Fund in memory of consultants Alan M Voorhees and Brian Large. 

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