Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 37: Ageing populations and travel
The effectiveness of sustainable transport policies ultimately depends on the response of different lifecycle groups to these policies. This chapter is concerned with one such lifecycle group: the elderly. They are also known in the literature as ‘solitary survivors’ or ‘mature’ groups (Wells and Gubar, 1966; Lawson, 1991; Fodness, 1992). It is an interesting group for a variety of reasons. First, the elderly need to adjust to changing needs and a shifting institutional context. After retirement they may have more discretionary time, they may be empty-nesters, although their household caring tasks may perhaps be substituted by grandparenting tasks. The new generation of elderly is said to have accumulated more wealth and resources (e.g., Spinney et al., 2009). Moreover, in general, their health is better than that of previous generations of elderly, giving them more opportunities to stay active and travel (Ziegler and Schwanen, 2011). On the other hand, they are less flexible in adjusting to changes, i.e., diminishing public urban facilities and transportation resources (e.g., Rosenbloom, 2001; Collia et al., 2003; Hildebrand, 2003). These considerations suggest they are more likely to continue travelling, with detrimental effects on sustainable transport policy ambitions. Little empirical evidence is, however, known about the travel behaviour of the elderly. This chapter summarises results of our previous analyses and activity-travel behaviour of this lifecycle group and adds the results of some new analyses that were specifically conducted for this chapter.
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