Rebecca Steinbach of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Rebecca Steinbach is a Research Fellow in the Department of Social and Environmental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her research interests are in transport and health, in both road injuries and transport mode choice, with a particular focus on inequalities. Recent projects have examined the impact of 20 mph zones on road injury in London and how people choose to travel in London, with an emphasis on cycling. Her current work evaluates the impact of free bus travel for young people on public health and explores the role of exposure in explaining ethnic inequalities in child pedestrian injury risk.
“There has been increasing interest in the ways in which transport policies affect the public health but to date, few robust evaluations of specific policies. This study aims to evaluate the impact of the introduction of free bus and tram travel to under 16 year olds in 2005 and under 18 year olds in 2006 in London. The aims of this policy included reducing transport exclusion among young people. This potentially had a positive effect on the determinants of health and health equity. However, there has been some concern about the potential unintended consequences of the policy such as reducing the amount of healthier ‘active travel’ done by young people, increased exposure to minor crime and assault as young people travel further distances, and impacts on other population groups, such as elderly people. Using a mixed method design, this study aims to provide empirical evidence for the impact of free bus travel on public health, and evaluate the economic costs and benefits.”