Promoting Sustainable Travel: a social marketing approach

Lead Research Organisation: UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Department Name: Geography

Abstract

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Publications

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Barr S (2014) A Smarter Choice? Exploring the Behaviour Change Agenda for Environmentally Sustainable Mobility in Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

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Barr S (2016) Practicing the cultural green economy: where now for environmental social science? in Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography

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Barr S (2010) 'A holiday is a holiday': practicing sustainability, home and away in Journal of Transport Geography

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Stewart Barr (Author) (2011) Citizen-consumers and the challenge of sustainable travel in Town and country planning

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Duncan, Tara; Cohen, Scott A.; Thulemark, Maria (2013) Lifestyle Mobilities: Intersections of Travel, Leisure and Migration

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Newton, Peter (2011) Urban Consumption

 
Description This research aimed to address the growth of individual and collective travel practices which are represented by an ever-growing reliance on unsustainable forms of travel, such as the private car and air travel. The research sought to identify and measure a series of 'sustainable travel behaviours' using a sample of individuals from the general public. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, the research explored the links between different types of travel practices amongst the sample and identified a series of lifestyle groups based on reported behaviours and attitude data. These were used to identify the motivators and barriers for adopting different forms of behaviour for each lifestyle group and are currently being used to assist local and national policy makers to develop social marketing strategies for promoting greater use of sustainable modes of transport. The research found that major differences emerged between the barriers and motivations for adopting sustainable practices for daily travel and those for leisure and holidaymaking. In the first instance, adopting more sustainable forms of travel in daily life was largely uncontested and was often influenced by concerns of convenience, reliability and travel experience. By contrast, travel mode choices for holidays were often made with only limited reference to environmental sustainability concerns. These findings imply that policies to promote sustainable travel need to consider the importance of context, in particular the ways in which holidays are often regarded as beyond the concerns of sustainability, despite the potentially disproportionate impacts of related practices such as air travel.
Exploitation Route The research provides quantitative and qualitative data, alongside key findings, which can be used to explore attitudes towards both daily and tourism travel in relation to the environment and climate change. The findings have now been taken forward in two ways. First, the project has been used to develop a follow-on fund project, detailed in Researchfish, which explores the ways in which 'aspiring green travellers' can be encouraged to adopt sustainable holiday travel practices. Second, the project is being used as the basis for an intervention-based approach to promoting changes in 'real time' decision making and the role of technology through the Innovate UK funded Engaged Smart Transport project.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy

Energy

Environment

Transport

URL http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/prost/
 
Description The research from this project has been used, via a Follow-on Fund award from the ESRC, to generate public debate on climate change and travel, to change current businesses practices, and to collaboratively develop a pilot sustainable travel app. In addition, the research has been used to develop and fund an Innovate UK project on Engaged Smart Transport, which worked with commercial partners to develop and test technologically-based interventions for influencing 'real time' travel decisions in the city of Exeter.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment,Transport
Impact Types Societal

 
Description ESRC Follow-on Fund
Amount £79,124 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/J001007/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2012 
End 03/2012
 
Description Innovate UK
Amount £291,500 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/N007328/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2015 
End 10/2017
 
Description A move towards sustainability? : two approaches to achieve changes in travel behaviour 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact In view of the growing need for changes in individual travel behaviour towards more

sustainable mobility, current research developments lead to an increasing integration of

approaches from different scientific areas in travel behaviour research. This seminar

presents results from two inter-disciplinary projects, both targeting behavioural changes

and delivering a basis for policy and planning measures. The ESRC project "Promoting

Sustainable Travel: A Social Marketing Approach" aims to explore motivations and barriers

for adopting more sustainable travel behaviour in a range of lifestyle contexts. Qualitative

and quantitative approaches are used to identify spill-over effects, links and gaps between

different domains of individual life - behaviour at home, daily travel, and less frequent

(tourist) travel. Analyses and results from the current work stage will be presented to

illustrate different relationships between lifestyles and travel decisions and the varying

importance of sustainability related attitudes.

Interest in the research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
URL http://www.transport.uwe.ac.uk/news/CTS%20Seminar%20-%20150509%20-%20Jan%20Prillwitz.pdf
 
Description Behaviour Change Smyposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact A one day workshop held at Aberystwyth University

Interest in the research approach.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Changing consumption patterns 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact ESRC seminar series : local economic development in an era of climate change and peak oil

Greater interest in the research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Moving from energy consumers to energy citizens : 'sustainable lifestyles' in an age of climatic change 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact ESRC seminar series : cultural economies of energy consumption

A co-authored book on Energy and Society, forthcoming.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description The behaviour/practice debate workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact A one-day event to explore the divergence in social science between behaviour change research and social practice theories

Influence on graduate students working in this field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description What Makes Us Green? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact ESRC-funded seminar / workshop

None.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013