Research commissioned in this programme includes Economics and Social Research on transport economics, transport modelling, transport costs and prices, behaviour and attitudes issues and the underpinning social research. The programme has links with other areas such as land-use planning and includes cross-cutting policy evaluations. Apart from the Economics and Social Research, two other sub-themes concentrate on research needs for Transport Direct (and Traveline) and on 'Social Inclusion, Mobility and Accessibility' (which includes research to improve travel for those with disabilities and more general research on social inclusion/exclusion issues).
The objectives, in relation to each of the three sub-themes, are as follows:
- To improve traffic modelling and economic advice on roads and traffic issues, and the Department's advice on appraisal methods for transport generally (not limited to advice on trunk roads);
- To improve travel for disabled and elderly persons, reduces crime or fear of crime on public transport and enables more inclusive (or more available) transport choice for low income and unwaged persons and families. Research also aids the development of engineering and technical standards supporting regulations under the Disability Discrimination Act, eg access for wheelchair users to high-floor coaches, or to railway vehicles;
- To find out better ways to deliver the information services, and to monitor their use and benefits; and to meet market needs.
The transport policy context and organisation are indicated by the programme's 3 sub-themes:
- Economics and social research, including transport modelling & appraisal
- Social Inclusion, Mobility and Accessibility
- Transport Direct (and Traveline).