About the Project

Why is the ITC carrying out this far-reaching study?

It is clear we still understand too little about the motivations that underpin travel, in spite of its critical importance for our whole way of life and our future.

Too often transport is considered in isolation from other areas of study. The ITC has therefore commissioned this research project to investigate why we travel, using insights from all fields of human knowledge.

Through research and the development of a national debate, we thereby hope to generate a better understanding of the forces that dictate our travel choices. To launch this debate, we have engaged a distinguished team of experts to write topic sheets on the theme of ‘Why Travel?’ from the perspective of a wide range of different disciplines. The topics chosen are by no means exhaustive, and there will be additional areas that we will be exploring in future work.

These insights we hope will contribute towards better policy making, by providing a fresh understanding of how we should think about travel and transport. Improved knowledge of why we travel can help us nudge the population into to making better social and environmental travel choices and will also help transport providers address the real movement needs of the public.

What Next?

A distinguished team of experts kick-started the project by writing topic sheets on the theme of ‘Why Travel?’. These were launched by the Secretary of State for Transport at a special event in October 2012. From this starting point the project has expanded to include themed workshops and debates, a book, and this interactive website.

Our goal is to engage the public in thinking more deeply about the reasons behind our travel and the questions this raises. Please explore the website fully and don’t forget to: