Urban transport and social inequities in neighbourhoods near underground stations in Greater London

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - subway/metro, policy - equity


Transport, social equity, travel equity, capabilities approach, London


Social equity, and the contribution that transport planning can make to social equity, are increasingly attracting the attention of transport planners and researchers. This perhaps reflects the heightened levels of social inequity in cities and the concern over differential access to transport and participation in activities. This paper considers these issues by applying the Capabilities Approach to transport, in order to examine an individual’s opportunities to travel and engage in activities (capabilities) and their actual day to day travel and engagement in activities (functionings). London is selected as a case study using analysis from three Underground stations on the Jubilee Line Extension. The findings show that there are statistically significant differences in terms of capabilities and functionings across the socio-demographic characteristics of individuals, and also across different neighbourhoods in London. It is argued that unless local residents’ potential travel opportunities and actual activities, and the gaps between them, are better understood and responded to, the problem of transport-related social inequity is likely to persist in London. Therefore, we suggest that the findings from this research, including the multi-dimensional social indicators and understanding of the barriers to accessibility, could be used alongside existing approaches such as accessibility planning.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.