Driven To Drive

26 Aug 2008

Cars have become synonymous with personal freedom – the ability to go where you want, when you want. And it is this issue that presents the biggest challenge for transport planners as they seek to deliver the sustainable agenda. In addition, the increasing prominence of the environmental agenda has provided a powerful tool for those charged with altering the travel behaviour of individuals as they continue to enjoy the freedom that their cars provide.
For many drivers, the reality of reducing their car travel is complex especially if their car is a necessity. But for millions of others, the psychology of their travel behaviour presents a challenge for today’s transport planners.

So against this background, how do transport planners address this key issue of travel behaviour? RPS works extensively in this area through travel planning work, and has developed a range of methods and tools to deliver this service. For example a web-based travel survey process has been developed that is easily transferable to identify existing travel patterns and allow future travel plan users to identify initiatives that encourage alternatives to single occupancy car travel. RPS uses focus groups to understand more fully the decision-making process at both an individual and household level. Personalised travel planning and active encouragement of alternatives is another service offered. We are continuing to incorporate this culture into our work for a range of clients including schools & colleges, businesses, residential developments, hospitals, local authorities and even private individuals.

The ideas developed in our travel plans are designed to change the way people think about their travel habits, both financially and environmentally. Major clients who have benefited from our service include BP, Vodafone, Pfizer, BMW, Rolls Royce and Dixons.

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