In the East, 1/4 people live in a community with a high risk of transport related social exclusion

Transport related social exclusion (TRSE) is the term used to describe transport issues which have a fundamental impact on everyday life and limit the ability to fulfil everyday needs. This could mean:

  • being unable to access services such as childcare, health provision and leisure opportunities
  • having limited choices of good job and education opportunities
  • facing poverty and financial hardship because of transport costs
  • facing significant stress and anxiety from using the transport system as part of everyday life

There are several identified contributors to TRSE, including poor provision of local public transport, unsuitable conditions to facilitate walking, cycling and wheeling in car-dominated environments, and a high-level of car dependency that result from these factors.

Research shows that TRSE is most likely to impact people on low incomes, those with disabilities and long-term health conditions, and those with caring or childcare responsibilities. These aspects can limit the number of suitable transport options, which leads to an increased risk of TRSE.

How are we identifying areas with a high risk of TRSE?

Transport East has been working with the sub-national transport body, Transport for the North (TfN), to better understand the challenges TRSE presents to the East.

Their TRSE data tool helped us to estimate the risk of social exclusion resulting from issues within transport provision. The level of risk is based on an analysis of the following factors:

  • Accessibility: The level of access to jobs, education, healthcare, and basic services by car and public transport, and the accessibility gap between car and public transport.
  • Vulnerability: The extent to which the population is vulnerable to social exclusion, based on the combination of socioeconomic and demographic indicators.

With this data, we can identify communities where there is a high risk of TRSE and work with partners  including local authorities and transport operators, to develop recommendations that better connect these communities.

TRSE District Reports for the East

The TRSE data tool has been used to identify the risk of TRSE for local authorities across the East:

In the below webinar, Dr Tom Jarvis from Transport for the North  summarises his work in TRSE and demonstrates how the TRSE tool works.

Transport for the North provide further information on TRSE on their website, where the tool is also hosted:

Digital Poverty and its impact in the East

In areas with a high risk of TRSE, having fast and reliable digital connectivity can be hugely valuable to provide people with access to essential services. Yet some places in the East suffer from limited transport options and suffer digital poverty.

Digital poverty is defined as ‘The inability to interact with the online world fully, when where and how an individual needs to”. Statistics from the Digital Poverty Alliance tell us:

  • digital poverty is experienced by all age groups, not just older people, with around 20% all people affected
  • 26% of young people don’t have access to devices such as laptops
  • over half of people not currently connected to broadband can’t afford the average monthly bill
  • new technology developments only further existing inequalities around gender, race, age, ability and income

One goal from our transport strategy is to reduce the number of journeys people need to make, which will help support decarbonising ambitions. The greenest journey is one that is not made.

While not within Transport East’s remit, we fully support local authorities, government, Ofcom and telecoms providers’ existing strategies for all homes and workplaces in the region to have access to ultra-fast broadband and comprehensive, reliable 5G mobile coverage. This includes rural and coastal areas where good sustainable transport connections are more challenging to provide.

Our partnership will work with these bodies to align their digital transport networks plans and this transport strategy, and support plans for digital connectivity to be built into new developments from the outset, helping to tackle the challenges of digital poverty.

Joel Tiller, Digital Poverty Alliance, ran a presentation on Digital Poverty and its impacts: