Review of existing evidence on public attitudes to transport

Project details

Full project title: Review of existing evidence on public attitudes to transport

Sponsor: Department for Transport

Project Managers: Professor Glenn Lyons and Professor Phil Goodwin

CTS project team: Peter Wiltshire, Dr Geoff Dudley, Dr Yusak Susilo and Dr Kiron Chatterjee

Other team members: Dr Mark Hanly and Dr Jillian Anable

Start date: February 2008

Finish date: June 2008

Project summary

The Centre for Transport and Society was commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) to undertake a review of existing evidence on public attitudes to transport in the UK. Further to publication of the discussion document 'Towards a Sustainable Transport System - Supporting Economic Growth in a Low Carbon World' in October 2007, the DfT was planning to publish a Green Paper in May 2008 followed by a Transport White Paper by the end of 2008 (this schedule has subsequently been revised). Accounting for current understanding of public views on transport was an important element of these developments.

The commissioned review was intended to synthesise existing quantitative and qualitative UK evidence concerning public attitudes, transport system user satisfaction, public acceptability (of schemes and policies), willingness-to-pay trade-offs and behavioural intentions.

The review has been framed by consideration of the DfT's five strategic goals:

  1. to maximise competitiveness and productivity of the UK economy
  2. to address climate change by cutting emissions of carbon dioxide and other green house gasses
  3. to contribute to better health and longer life-expectancy, through reducing the risk of death, injury or illness arising from transport and promoting travel modes that are beneficial to health
  4. to improve quality of life for transport users and non-users, including through a healthy natural environment with the desired outcome of improved well-being for all
  5. to promote greater equality of transport opportunity for all citizens, with the desired outcome of achieving a fairer society.

The review will also orientate itself in terms of the three network levels now recognised by DfT: cities and regions; national; and international gateways.

The study ran from February to June 2008. The intention was not to conduct an exhaustive examination of existing literature and evidence but to highlight and examine key pieces of work. Key sources such as the British Social Attitudes Survey have been drawn upon in the review.