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Transport Policy and the Significance of Time Perspectives

A Comment on the Special Section on Global Cycling

Geoff Dudley

There is frequently a dilemma in the making of transport policy between prioritizing what appear to be the most immediate problems and seeking to find the quickest and most straightforward solutions that will satisfy public demand; or to search for the deep perceptions that shape social and political norms over long periods of time, and which provide the powerful dynamics that drive stability and change. A common factor, therefore, in all four of the insightful case studies in this special section is that they demonstrate how greater understanding of these stability and change dynamics is crucial not only in the framing of more effective policies, but also in gaining knowledge of the interactions (or perhaps lack of them) that construct transport systems over time. Consequently, they reveal that it is this factor of time that is a vital, but often overlooked, element in transport policy-making.