Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Social and Political Sciences

What brings us together?

We investigate transport and mobility from perspectives of the social and political sciences studies with the aim of delivering effective, fair and environmentally sustainable mobility systems locally, nationally and globally.


  • Social research methods (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Disaggregate statistical analysis and econometric and behavioural modelling
  • Social and political theory
  • GIS and spatial analysis
  • Policy studies
  • Social and health impact assessment

Priority research topics

  • Governance and processes of policy formulation, from agenda setting to delivery.
  • Distributional equity and mobility justice
  • Transitions to new mobility systems and technologies (low carbon; automation; shared etc.)
  • Energy trilemma in transport and mobility systems
  • Public health especially active travel and pollution
  • Psychology and mobility behaviours
  • Social media and social innovation
  • Critical analysis of assessment tools and notions of best practice
  • Transferability of policies, infrastructures and programmes.


Members teach on various modules and supervise dissertations for:

  • Undergraduate Geography with Transport Studies
  • Masters Transport Planning and Sustainability courses at ITS,
  • Other departments: School of Geography, School of Earth and Environment, Civil Engineering and Leeds University Business School (LUBS)

Examples PhD topics

  • Integration of active travel modes into the design of inclusive public transport systems and services
  • Future of commuting
  • Road User's Perception and Attitudes as a Barrier against Cycling in Cities
  • Reducing use of conventionally fuelled vehicles
  • Pedestrian mobility in deprived environments
  • Mobility-related social exclusion
  • Early-life exposure to traffic-related air pollution and risk of developing childhood asthma
  • Incentivising Sustainable travel behaviours
  • Public Participation GIS and web-based GIS
  • Energy, carbon and travel impacts of vehicle automation

Read more on PhD topics

Other Student Members

Based in other departments but co-supervised by ITS: Holly Edwards, Claire Linton, Jennifer Norris


For further information about the work of the Sustainable Transport Policy research group, please contact Dr Caroline Mullen or Dr Eva Heinen.