The Limits to Travel : How Far Will You Go? book cover
1st Edition

The Limits to Travel
How Far Will You Go?

ISBN 9781138997950
Published January 20, 2016 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

As affluence grows, it gets easier to travel faster and further. But research shows that, despite this, the average travel time in all societies remains steady at roughly an hour a day. The implication is that people are choosing to increase the distance they regularly travel, rather than opting for shorter journey times. While this clearly offers advantages in terms of reaching more desirable locations, the disadvantages are numerous - not least that of anthropogenic climate change, to which transport is the fastest growing contributor. However, the stability of travel time does not form part of the present conceptual framework of transport policy makers and professionals - consequently, misconceived decisions lead to unintended outcomes. In this intriguing book, David Metz examines the inadequacies inherent in the current thinking, along with the resulting problems, such as pollution, congestion and noise. He highlights the impact of the rapid increase in car use in China and India, and explores the general travel experience, public vs. private transport, and transport technology. In considering to what extent travel could be avoided, he arrives at a new paradigm to underpin sustainable transport policies, based on the fundamental characteristics of human mobility and focusing on quality, not quantity, of travel. Visit the Limits to Travel website at:

Table of Contents

Faster and Farther * Detriments and Damage * The Economics of Travel Reconsidered * Global Travellers and Global Oil * Policy Failure * Travelling Together * Individual Effort * Technology Futures * Travelling Hopefully * Index

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David Metz is visiting professor at the Centre for Transport Studies, University College London, and former chief scientist at the Department of Transport, UK.


'A highly readable but challenging perspective on the established conventions of transport policy, planning and economic appraisal ... a fascinating tour d'horizon of topical transport issues.' David Quarmby CBE, chairman of the Independent Transport Commission 'David Metz again challenges conventional thinking in transport through a fundamental reinterpretation of the limits of travel time and human mobility, arguing that there should be maximum limits set for mobility if we are to avoid unacceptable environmental damage.' David Banister, professor of transport studies, Oxford University 'The first book to address the links between why we travel, how we travel, and the environmental impacts of our actions that will ultimately limit our travel. The arguments in the book challenge conventional transport economics and policy, and ... will stimulate debate about both transport policy and the future contribution of travel to global warming.' International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development