Developing a conceptual model for changing travel behaviour: implications for travel awareness programmes


L Hamer

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - behaviour


The last five years have seen increasing interest in use of transport information, education and promotion to encourage individuals and communities to reduce their use of the car. In many Europea.n countries, a wide range of government, public transport, environmental and business organisations are attempting to encourage the general public to cycle, walk and use public transport, or simply to raise awareness of the impacts of traffic growth on health, the environment and the local economy. There have been few previous systematic attempts to develop a conceptual tool or model to understand the role that information and 'marketing' can play in sustainable transport strategies. The INPHORMM Project, funded by the European Commission's transport directorate has reviewed the range of transport information and marketing campaigns and programmes currently being run in a number of European countries. Few of these programmes have considered the ways in which attitudes, social norms and behaviour can be changed in the longer-term, to enable travel behaviour changes to be maintained. A number of conceptual models of attitude and behaviour change are available for potential application in the field of travel awareness. These originate in the psychological and sociological literature, and have been used in various disciplines to understand the subjective and objective factors influencing individual attitudes and behaviours. Examples can be drawn from: - Health education, public health and health promotion - Occupational psychology and management theory - Marketing and advertising - Community development studies In the field of health promotion, such models have been used to develop campaigns and programmes to change individual health behaviours such as smoking, eating, sexual behaviour and drug use. These can be used to develop an understanding of how and why individual travel choices are made. In occupational psychology and management theory, concepts are available which have relevance to changing attitudes and travel cultures within institutions, such as the workplace and schools. Theories of consumer behaviour and mass media theory can provide lessons for 'transport marketing', particularly the promotion of public transport and cycling. Community development approaches and the concepts of 'community participation' and empowerment may be applicable to those travel awareness programmes seeking to change community travel patterns through local groups and networks. - This paper will outline the range of concepts and models available; - Provide examples of programmes in Europe, where these models are being applied in the field of travel awareness and behaviour change - Discuss the potential for developing 'travel behaviour' models to encourage modal shift - Offer a conceptual model which brings together some of the concepts from the disciplines described above.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.