not seem an unreasonable demand, particularlyas both the employment and housing marketsare overheated in many other parts of thecountry.There was a strong sense in some of thegroups that each local area should have aminimum level of essential services, although itwas not clear what this should be. In manyinstances, it seemed to constitute the very thingconsidered most lacking in the area. Forexample, in one village a shop and a pub wereseen as essential, in another a local health centreor a secondary school. A lack of facilities andactivities for young people ran as a commontheme across several of the groups and was seento be a significant factor in the rise in youthdisaffection in many areas. It was pointed out tous on several occasions that, if activities are not
36Transport, the environment and social exclusionprovided locally, the additional cost of transportto travel to places outside the local areaeffectively puts them out of the price range oflow-income groups, particularly young people.Clearly, from the perspective of both theenvironmental and transport lobby, a desire tocarry out the majority of activities within yourown local area is to be applauded andencouraged. From a social perspective, however,there may be a need to problematise these low-mobility aspirations. Those promoting the socialinclusion of people living in low-income areasfind that an unwillingness to travel outside ofthe local area may be exacerbating their socialisolation and encouraging the pursuit of limitedhorizons. We agree with this view to a certainextent, as in some cases we observed that aperson’s unwillingness to travel was clearlylinked to a more general fear of the unknownand often manifested itself in parochialattitudes. This fear was often accompanied by alack of knowledge about the transport system orthe availability of facilities in other areas andsometimes led to reduced social and economichorizons, and lower aspirations. In this respect,simply improving local services per se will beinsufficient to ensure the greater inclusion ofsuch people and may also prove an expensiveand difficult way to deliver a solution to theproblems they are experiencing.We would therefore argue that, while thepromotion of local activities should beencouraged and supported to a certain extent, itis unreasonable to expect that every localneighbourhood could support a full range oflocal services and amenities. A more realisticapproach is to:•provide facilities for a collection ofneighbouring areas within local centres orhub and ensure adequate and affordablepublic transport links to them fromsurrounding areas; or•develop a network of services in differentlocations and link these by acomprehensive public transport network;and/or•provide mobile or peripatetic services toprovide for the needs of a number ofoutlying communities.