The reduction of CO2 emissions and social exclusion are two key elements of UK transport strategy. Despite intensive research on each theme, little effort has so far been made linking the relationship between emissions and social exclusion. In addition, current knowledge on each theme is limited to urban areas; little research is available on these themes for rural areas. This research contributes to this gap in the literature by analysing 157 weekly activity-travel diary data collected from three case study areas with differential levels of area accessibility and area mobility options, located in rural Northern Ireland. Individual weekly CO2 emission levels from personal travel diaries (both hot exhaust emission and cold-start emission) were calculated using average speed models for different modes of transport. The socio-spatial patterns associated with CO2 emissions were identified using a general linear model whereas binary logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify mode choice behaviour and activity patterns. This research found groups that emitted a significantly lower level of CO2 included individuals living in an area with a higher level of accessibility and mobility, non-car, non-working, and low-income older people. However, evidence in this research also shows that although certain groups (e.g. those working, and residing in an area with a lower level of accessibility) emitted higher levels of CO2, their rate of participation in activities was however found to be significantly lower compared to their counterparts. Based on the study findings, this research highlights the need for both soft (e.g. teleworking) and physical (e.g. accessibility planning) policy measures in rural areas in order to meet government’s stated CO2 reduction targets while at the same time enhancing social inclusion
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