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Children's and parents' perspectives of a supportive environment for active travel to School

O'Sullivan, MM 2013, Children's and parents' perspectives of a supportive environment for active travel to School , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Active Travel to School is a term used to refer to any mode of travel that uses physical activity to go to school such as walking and cycling. Despite its demonstrated physical, developmental and sustainable benefits and after years of nationwide policies, strategies and schemes in place to increase it, the shift towards Active Travel to School in the UK has been negligible, and car use and road traffic have not declined. Within this context, this PhD research was funded by the EPSRC under a linked studentship to the ongoing VISIONS2030 project which explored the current dependency on motorised travel and how walking and cycling could be encouraged in the future. This research contributes to the project by examining the factors that influence Active Travel to School and by bringing the perspectives of the group of parents and children about a supportive environment for it to the study. Underpinned by the Interpretivist and Social-constructivist paradigm, the research adopted a qualitative survey approach in which 130 participants were involved through a range of interactive and novel participatory methods designed and implemented through focus groups, activity groups and semi-structured interviews carried out at schools and households from urban areas. The results show key factors acting as both barriers and enablers: despite perceptions that car use has many advantages for families and that Active Travel to School is not viable under current safety conditions, there is a substantial potential for a shift into an active travel culture that can be achieved through five different but simultaneous approaches in policy by: “Creating an easy, pleasant, safe and barrier free physical environment”, “Creating a social environment for active travel”, “Providing a supportive public transport”, “Convincing people of its benefits through promotion, incentives, education and innovations” and “Imposing restrictions to the use of private vehicles”.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Depositing User: MM O'Sullivan
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2014 17:09
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 23:54
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