How transport impacts society

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(Last updated on: 05/04/2020)

Transport impacts society in many ways. While transportation has a direct effect on the environment, as I covered in my recent post How transport effects the environment‘, there is also another aspect of our culture that transportation has an effect on: society.

With anything, there are positive impacts and negative impacts that have been seen over the years pertaining to the society in which we live. Paradoxically, improvements to transport often don’t involve the local communities and can cause significant disruption to their lives, despite the improvements being designed to improve their well-being.

There are many links between how transport impacts society, the environment and the economy. These go hand in hand with each other and are all affected by the transportation sector.

How transport impacts society

How does transport effect society?

Social Cohesion

Defined as a cohesive society that creates a sense of belonging and promotes upward mobility for all members of the society, transport has a direct hand in the cohesion of our society.

Transport has been recognised as a means to overcome local disadvantages and gain access to better jobs ,education, facilities and services. Many people have had opportunities at a better job or found employment because of the the access opportunities that the transportation industry has provided them with. This has the ability to create a more cohesive society.


Shaped by the local community, the idea of governance is that those in society have the right to an opinion and a voice when it comes to the government. It is important to consult with the affected population about issues and schemes that affect them.

Having a voice in decision making that affects the community is an important aspect of the framework for social integration. Allowing members of society to have a voice empowers and involves them in aspects of government that they may not have had the opportunity to do before.

The local community are active stakeholders in the transport industry and in the UK are always given their say. This is emphasised by the HS2 debate, where some members of community are supportive,whereas others are not. Whilst it impossible to make everybody happy, members of society can rest assured that they are given the opportunity to speak their mind. 

Personal Well-Being

Access to transport can enhance so many things in a person’s life such as job prospects, income, professional and social relationships, participation in communities, access to activities, sports facilities and tourist attractions and access to facilities such as medical establishments, opticians etc.

The feeling of being involved in and included in the local community has a major affect on the well-being on the members of society.


Last but not least is the effect that transportation has on policies. There are many policies that transport operators and tourism providers must acknowledge when informing their operational plans.

This could include developing their own policies. It could also include paying reference to formal policies or regulations e.g. government or EU regulation (which is, of course, up for debate with the ongoing BREXIT negotiations). Some policies may pay direct reference to transport, whereas others may indirectly affect the transport for tourism sector.

Some people may not realise just how significant of an impact transportation has on the society in which we live. Do you know of any other ways that it effects our society? Comment below!

If you wish to cite any of the content in the post please use reference ‘Stainton, Hayley. (2018) Lifeasabutterfly.’


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Hi, am Dr Hayley Stainton

I’ve been travelling, studying and teaching travel and tourism since I was 16. Through Tourism Teacher I share my knowledge on the principles and practice of travel and tourism management from both an academic and practical perspective.

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