Report numberRA-MOW-2010-003
TitleMobility exclusion and transport dependency for senior citizens in Flanders.
SubtitleResearch on prevalence and causes.
AuthorsKarin Van Vlierden
Lara Vesentini
An Dreesen
Published byPolicy Research Centre for Mobility and Public Works, track Traffic Safety 2007-2011
Number of pages84
Document languageDutch
Partner(s)Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg
Work packageOther: Risk assessment

By means of a questionnaire we tried to gain insight in the prevalence of mobility exclusion for senior citizens in Flanders and in possible causes of this. We defined mobility exclusion in two ways: on the one hand the feeling of being home-bound because of the inability to use specific means of transport, on the other hand the inability to reach desired destinations. In four separate questions we inquired the perception of this situation. We found possible causes for mobility exclusion in the international literature and categorized these in order to use them for the analysis of responses. We also used a definition of transport dependency to get a picture of this subject for the age group in question.


The great majority of respondents seem not to suffer from mobility exclusion. Closer examination of the group of respondents and of the connections between results we found throughout the questionnaire prompts us to refine this conclusion. Throughout the research we found groups at risk, who reported problems or exclusion more often than other groups of respondents. At risk are females, respondents without a driving license, older respondents, respondents who live in a rural environment, respondents who live alone, lower educated respondents and respondents with personal features that influence their mobility. So we cannot say that the problem of mobility exclusion for the elderly in Flanders is minor just like that.


The categories of possible causes of exclusion that we based on the international literature proved to be very usable and relevant for our target group. We cannot say which category of causes is dominant. This depends on the means of transport in question and on the fact of questioning means of transport or destinations.


We defined transport dependency as being in need of adapted transport or transport by others because of physical limitations, as dependency of help and company of others or as needing help from others to make specific trips (e.g. long distance, specific point in time, inability to reach a destination by bike or public transport). The amount of respondents that we consider transport dependent proves to be considerable. Since it has a negative connotation for our respondents, transport dependency may have a great impact on senior citizens in Flanders.


We recommend further qualitative research to approach specific target groups in a better way and to be able to gain insight in their situation and problems.

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The Policy Research Centre for Traffic Safety carries out policy relevant scientific research under the authority of the Flemish Government. The Centre is the result of a

cooperation between Hasselt University, KU Leuven and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.


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