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"Transport and Social Exclusion in Rural Areas in the United Kingdom" by John Farrington, Professor and Director of Centre for Rural and Transport Research in the Department of Geography & Environment at the University of Aberdeen. Aberdeen meeting of 20 February 2007

John Farrington defined accessibility as the degree to which people can engage with or reach services and activities that might be thought of as normal for the society in which they live and thus a factor in social inclusion - without which we cannot achieve social justice, which is a necessary condition for sustainability.

Barriers to accessibility include transport and also Internet access, income, education and impairment. Accessibility is about people and places, and can be referenced to both. Accessibility poses issues of rights, needs, wants and deserts, and increasing incomes does not of itself solve problems since there will still be those excluded by factors such as education.

Improving transport provision by such means as reopening of a railway line can improve accessibility to employment for some people while reducing accessibility for others who may find that a commuter influx deprives them of affordable housing.

Report by Marion Mackay.

 

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