Commuting is stressful for everyone but the pressures are even greater for some.
Train operators have recognised that pregnant women deserve special consideration, but now an academic study is under way to try to quantify how commuting affects people’s wellbeing.
All types of passengers are being invited to give their opinions about how they feel in an online survey.
The study is being carried out by Dr Sarah O’Toole and Professor Nicola Christie at the Centre for Transport Studies University College London.
They hope to increase their understanding of the link between the car, bus or train journey and the length of people’s commute on their physical and emotional wellbeing.
In 2016, the Department for Transport found that although the number of commuting trips had declined since 2000, the average journey length had increased.
Research by Stutzer and Frey in 2008 found that longer and more challenging commutes were linked to lower life satisfaction, while in 2004 Voydanoff discovered increased work-family conflict. In 2006, Evans and Werner identified greater stress.
The current research is aimed at identifying stressful commuting experiences which could have a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of pregnant women.
Transport for London introduced its baby-on-board badge in an effort to improve the experience of pregnant commuters, but there has been limited research into the badge’s effectiveness.
The research will explore the experiences of commuting for pregnant women and the effectiveness of the Transport for London baby-on-board badge in improving their commute.
You do not have to be pregnant to complete the online questionnaire. The researchers want as many commuters as possible to complete it.
The questionnaire is open to men and women who commute to work via any means and will take approximately 10 minutes. This research has received ethical approval and all answers are anonymous and confidential.
Transport for London, Southeastern and Greater Anglia already provide baby-on-board badges.
Greater Anglia offers a free first class upgrade in a woman’s last eight weeks of pregnancy before maternity leave, if there are no seats available in standard class.
Please click the link below to complete the questionnaire: uclo
If you have any questions regarding this research, please contact Dr Sarah O’Toole at s.otoole at ucl.ac.uk.