People living on streets with heavy motor vehicle traffic are experiencing a considerable deterioration of their local social lives, according to Joshua Hart, a researcher from the University of the West of England.
Results suggest that residents on busy streets have less than one quarter the number of local friends compared to those living on similar streets with little traffic.
The study looked at three streets in north Bristol with light, medium and heavy traffic respectively. It found that traffic has a considerable negative impact on quality of life, particularly for residents living beside heavy traffic flows.
Interviews with residents indicate that growing traffic has forced people to make major adjustments in their lives, to shield against the nearly constant noise, pollution, dust and danger outside their front doors.
Many residents revealed that they experience sleep disturbances, no longer spend time in the front of their homes, and curtail the independence of their children in response to traffic.
With an additional 5.7 million cars expected on the UK's roads by 2031 (a growth of 21%), these findings point to an urgent need for the Government to provide healthy residential environments and stem traffic growth by investing in public transport, walking and cycling in order to avoid many more local communities being impacted.
To download the full study, please visit the website.