The main attitude to public transport was that although it was not a realistic

The main attitude to public transport was that

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The main attitude to public transport was that, although it was not a realistic alternative for the vast majority of residents, it represents an essential service for those without access to a car, even given the paucity of services in both the villages: A lot of the elderly people in the village without a car can’t do without the bus. Attitudes to transport policy Almost without exception, the respondents in both groups expressed the unprompted opinion that the Government’s current transport policy is based on ‘attacking the motorist’ and a desire to ‘get the cars off the roads’. There was considerable concern about the impact this has on rural dwellers, particularly those living on low incomes. We were told that if the policy continued they would have no option but to pay the additional cost even at the expense of other household needs: There would be less money for the kids’ shoes. Something else would have to suffer. The amount of times you would go out socially, taking the kids out. I’d have to think about moving or get a really well paid job. There was little confidence that additional support for public transport services could provide an effective solution in rural areas. Personal safety Both villages were described to us as generally very safe places to live and relatively crime free; however, there were some concerns about speeding vehicles and the risk to children: Nobody slows down for the village speed limits. You’ve got dead straight roads and sometimes you’re through the speed limit before you realise they are there. Hidden deprivation, Bristol In most of the case study areas, focus groups were held in areas housing predominantly low- income groups. In Bristol, however, the intention was to recruit people living in ‘hidden pockets’ of deprivation in a relatively affluent area of the suburbs. The aim was to directly compare the experience and attitudes of this group to those of their more affluent neighbours. It was thought that the needs and problems of disadvantaged individuals in such situations are often entirely bypassed by policy intervention and any exclusion may therefore be experienced more acutely. To this end, we recruited a group of residents living in Westbury-on-Trym village and a group of residents from the adjacent Southmead council estate. Lifestyle experiences It became immediately apparent that the Southmead residents were very angry and bitter about a whole range of issues to an extent that we had not experienced in the other case study areas. They were also deeply sceptical about national and local government policies to address the needs of low-income families and areas of social deprivation, and felt that modern life was increasing social exclusion.
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30 Transport, the environment and social exclusion Furthermore, there was a deep feeling of mistrust in institutions and the policy-makers: The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The Government don’t seem to realise that they’re the ones making the areas poorer and they are making people turn against them because they’re not helping.
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