Smarter Travel

Impact: Public policy Impacts

Description of impact

Research by Prof Jillian Anable and colleagues in the Centre for Transport Research (CTR) at the University of Aberdeen has made a leading international contribution to a specific approach to sustainable transport planning known as `Smarter Choices' or `soft measures'. These have been used to develop non-coercive transport policies that inform people of their travel choices, and seek to improve services to make these choices feasible.

These measures rely on understanding the processes and mechanisms for people to change their travel behaviour voluntarily in response to locally tailored initiatives using a combination of social marketing, travel planning, information provision and investment in alternative transport infrastructure. The research at Aberdeen has used a combination of methods to assess the potential of Smarter Choices, and has also been used to calculate the expected carbon emissions reductions that would result from different combinations of policy measures. This research has also developed a specific quantitative methodology involving segmenting the population to give a flexible interpretation of behaviour, allowing different policies and messages to be targeted to different groups.

The research has directly influenced English and Scottish transport and climate change agendas, being taken up in policy guidance, evaluation frameworks, new funding mechanisms and the inclusion of Smarter Choices in carbon reduction targets. The research has also been used by several local transport authorities in the UK and mainland Europe and as underpinning evidence by many transport and environment NGO's and community groups.
Impact statusOpen
Category of impactPublic policy Impacts