Promoting Sustainable Travel: a social marketing approach


The objectives of the research were as follows: (1) to identify and measure a series of ‘sustainable travel behaviours’ using a sample of individuals from the general public; (2) to explore the empirical and conceptual links between different types of sustainable travel practices amongst the sample; (3) to use segmentation analysis to identify a series of lifestyle groups based on these behavioural data; (4) to use an established framework of environmental behaviour to identify the motivators and barriers for adopting different forms of behaviour according to lifestyle group; (5) to use the results from objectives 1-4 to assist local and national policy makers in promoting sustainable lifestyle practices. There were 3 primary data collection stages focused around 5 sites, selected for their residential type (high-density, inner-city suburban, low-density outskirts, commuter town and rural centre). In each location the following data collection was undertaken: (1)Two focus group discussions with members of the public selected through convenience based sample techniques in July 2008; (2) A questionnaire survey of 400 households selected using systematic random sampling, based on address lists provided by the Royal Mail Address Database; (3) One follow-up focus group discussion with selected respondents to the quantitative survey. In addition, five in-depth interviews were undertaken with participants to the questionnaire, one in each study location. It is a cross-sectional(one-time) study, interviews were conducted face-to-face, and the selection criteria for the sample was one-stage stratified, systematic random sample. This research explores the motivations and barriers encountered by individuals for adopting more ‘sustainable’ forms of travel behaviour in a range of lifestyle contexts, including travel for work, leisure and holidays. Through a series of questionnaire and focus groups analyses with the public, the research examines the links between different forms of travel behaviour to develop a greater understanding of what constitute ‘travel practices’. On the basis of these ‘practices’, the research will use segmentation analysis to identify a series of lifestyle groups who share similar travel habits, exploring the factors that influence the behaviour of these individuals. These factors can then be used to explore the value of ‘social marketing’ as a way of promoting more sustainable travel amongst different groups in society. Social marketing necessitates a focus on the specific barriers individuals encounter within the context of their lifestyle choices and aspirations and seeks to promote behavior change through positive marketing and branding strategies rather than negative campaigning. Using wide stakeholder engagement, the research seeks to uncover the factors that influence a highly complex set of behaviors related to travel in the UK and explores practical measures for changing current practices amongst different lifestyle groups.

The population under study: (1)for the stage 2 quantitative survey: residents living in five electoral wards in Devon in Autumn 2008 selected by systematic random sampling: Pennsylvania, Polsloe, St. Loyes, Crediton St. Lawrence and Cullompton North; (2) for Stage 1 focus groups: residents living in these five electoral wards selected by convenience sampling in June and July 2008; (3) for stage 3 focus groups, volunteer respondents from the questionnaire survey from all five wards;(4) for the in-depth interviews, volunteer respondents from the questionnaire survey. The data collection consists of: The three stages of the primary data collection: (1) 10 focus group transcripts in individual MS Word files (two each from the five study locations). A total of 71 participants were involved with these groups; (2) 1 SPSS data file (with attendant coding in the ‘Variable View’) for the questionnaire survey of 1561 participants covering all five sample locations; (3) 5 focus group transcripts in individual MS Word files (one each for the five study locations). A total of 21 participants were involved in these groups. In addition, 5 in-depth interviews were undertaken with participants to the questionnaire, one in each study location.

Metadata Access
Creator Barr, S, University of Exeter
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2015
Funding Reference ESRC
Rights Stewart Barr, University of Exeter. Helen Ratcliffe, University of Exeter; The Data Collection is available for download to users registered with the UK Data Service.
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Numeric; Text
Discipline Economics; Social and Behavioural Sciences
Spatial Coverage Pennsylvania, Polsloe, St. Loyes, Cullompton North, Crediton St. Lawrence; United Kingdom