Automobiles and Socioeconomic Sustainability

Do We Need a Mobility Bill of Rights?

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Daniel Newman Cardiff University

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This article argues for the establishment of a Mobility Bill of Rights. That the current car system is not sustainable in environmental terms has been much discussed in academic circles and is increasingly accepted in wider society, as reflected by governmental attempts at reform. The current trend for remodeling this car system largely involves the substitution of petrol/diesel for potentially more ecologically sound methods of powering the vehicles such as electricity. Attempts to reach environmental sustainability in this manner do little to impact social or economic sustainability and thus will fail to address the triple bottom line. Rather, reliance on automobiles in the present vein may continue trends for mobility-related exclusion. To tackle this, we need a debate on how the transport needs of ordinary people can be met.

Contributor Notes

Daniel Newman is a lecturer at Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University, Wales. He also works with Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute. He focuses on issues of access to justice, including both criminal justice and social justice. His work on mobility and social justice addresses transport poverty, particularly in terms of consumerism and commuting. He has recently published on these themes in journals such as Legal Studies, Review of Radical Political Economics, and Capital and Class. E-mail:

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Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies


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