Issue date: 19 January 2004

ISSUE DATE: 19/01/04

Investigating New Technology’s Evolving Role, Nature and Effects for Transport (INTERNET)

Residents in Bristol and Bradley Stoke have the opportunity to earn up to £120 by participating in a study based in the Centre for Transport and Society at the University of the West of England, Bristol. The study, entitled ‘Investigating New Technology’s Evolving Role, Nature and Effects for Transport’ (INTERNET) will look at the effect that the Internet is having on the way we travel.

If you started using the Internet in the past six months, or you have been online for more than two years, principal researcher Susan Kenyon would like to hear from you.

“We are looking for around 20 people who live in inner Bristol (Cotham, Redland, Bishopston, Horfield, Ashley Down, St Andrews, Montpelier, Arnos Vale, Totterdown, Southville, Bedminster, Cliftonwood) to take part in some research about Internet use and travel” explains Susan. “We also need about 20 people who live in the Bradley Stoke area. All participants must have Internet access at home.

“People will be asked to complete a specially-designed diary for seven days, writing down the things that they do during the day, including what they do on the Internet and when they travel. We will teach them how to use the diary and it shouldn't take more than about ten minutes a day to fill it in.

“We will ask them to complete a diary three times, firstly in March, then September and in March next year. By collecting information from the same people over the year, we should be able to see how people's Internet use, travel patterns and participation in other activities is changing over time.

“We will pay £25 for each diary that they complete. We might also ask them to take part in a discussion, where they could earn £15, or an interview, where they could earn £5. And they won't have to pay tax on this.

“People can find out more about the study by calling me on 0117 328 3996, or emailing If they would like to be part of the study, I will ask them a few questions and arrange to come and see them.”

Participants in Bristol and Bradley Stoke will be part of the first ever project in the UK to examine the effects of Internet use in this way. They will be joined by around 60 other people from other parts of the south west.

Nobody knows what effect the Internet is having upon how we travel, or how we participate in activites, or even how we communicate with friends and family. It is not known if the effects of Internet use are good, in which case Internet use should be encouraged; or if they are bad, in which case strategies to reduce any negative effects need to be implemented. It is hoped that the results from this study will be used to inform the government's Internet, social and transport policies.

The project will also examine the possible role for the Internet in overcoming some aspects of social exclusion.


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