Research & reports

Title: Knowing their place on the roads: What would equality mean for walking and cycling?

Organisation: University of Birmingham
Date uploaded: 20th January 2015
Date published/launched: March 2014

Free
Trials and dangers faced by pedestrians and cyclists have not only created an impression of undesirable conditions, but have promoted arguments of injustice and inequality. High
rates of death and injury coupled with reporting of poor infrastructure and fear of the
behaviour of other road users point to a plausible prima facie concern that pedestrians
and cyclists suffer inequalities. Yet this appearance masks uncertainty about what factors are relevant in judging inequality and how these should be treated against potentially competing claims.

This article develops a framework assessing conditions for walking and cycling according to a theoretical conception of political and social equality, and so providing a basis on which to make arguments for change in transport policy, planning and law. In developing the framework the authors examine the relevance to equality of a range of factors, including measurement of road casualties, questions of responsibility to increase walking and cycling as means of contributing to pollution and carbon reduction, matters of fault and responsibility for road safety, and the economic impacts of improving conditions for walking and cycling.

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