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Title: The impact of light rail on social inclusion in England
Author: Richardson, C.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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Since 1980, seven new light rail systems have been built in England at a cost of £2.3 billions (National Audit Office, 2004). The Social Exclusion Unit (2003) promoted social inclusion as a key UK Government policy and it is now a specific focus for transport policy. The Passenger Transport Executive Group (2005) is advocating investment in further light rail systems. Therefore, this thesis seeks to identify from the available evidence the impacts on social inclusion in those communities served by the new light rail systems in English cities. Firstly, the context of light rail light rail and extent of social exclusion in England is explored. Then, following a review of existing literature, including published before and after studies, the study identifies and reviews the issues around the relationship between transport and social inclusion and the impacts of light rail schemes by reference to five case studies opened 1992-2004: Manchester, Sheffield, West Midlands, Croydon and Nottingham. The hypothesis is that there is a positive relationship between these schemes and improved social inclusion. Can this be demonstrated from the evidence Comparison is made between 'on-line' wards where light rail is located and control areas that do not have light rail schemes. The study compares indicators of absolute and relative socio-economic changes within defined corridors of each scheme at a ward level using the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2000 car ownership and travel-to-work data from the Census and employment levels using NOMIS data for the period, and other published sources. Despite the accumulating literature asserting the positive contribution of light rail systems to social inclusion in England, from the evidence and analysis of these data the study finds little substantive evidence in support of this, with implications for policy and investment decisions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available