Reshaping mobility policy: Sustainable transport responses

Project Summary

This project is something we have been working on as part of our response to the covid-19 pandemic to try and understand more about how transport and mobility are changing and being changed by the situation.  

Our focus is on two areas of work, social media analysis and a specific transport response, namely eBike hire.

Social Media Analysis 

The research aim with this aspect of the project is to gain some insight into how people are talking about the way that transport and everyday travel has changed during the pandemic. We’ve been scraping Twitter using different key words and hashtags, from individuals and from transport organisations. As you can imagine we’re seeing advice from public transport bodies and Governments, individuals radically changing their commutes or shopping trips, fluctuations in car use, and some intense discussion about temporary infrastructure. You can read more about our first thoughts on some of this data in our blog post, Transport, Twitter and… Poems?  

This aspect of our project is focused on a specific action which has COVID response as part of its motivation but will extend beyond the pandemic. Working with local partners Manchester Bike Hire, University of Salford and Northern Care Alliance/Salford Royal NHS Hospital we’re investigating the experiences of people who have taken to a new form of transport to avoid driving and public transport. We’ll be researching their experience of trialling an electric assist cycle and talking about their future plans.  

EBike Hire  

We intend that both aspects of this project will help to understand a little bit more about how we have all adapted and changed transport choices, sometimes very quickly, and how those changes are likely to continue to impact on our future mobility. EBikes are a technology that has been gaining popularity in recent years and it will therefore be interesting to understand the extent to which the pandemic has shaped this growth and how the cycles could be part of mobility practices in the next few years. 

Project outputs

Transport, Twitter and… Poems?

Project contacts

Dr. Sam Hayes –  

Dr. Graeme Sherriff –