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Analysing Public Acceptability of Congestion Charging in the Chinese Context

Liu, Qiyang (2019) Analysing Public Acceptability of Congestion Charging in the Chinese Context. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Public acceptability of road pricing schemes has been extensively studied in the literature, however, this has rarely been investigated in the Chinese context. Given the differences in culture and political system between China and the West, it is questionable whether these Western context-based key determinants and frameworks for assessing public acceptability can be applied to the Chinese context. Therefore, this research aims to contribute to the knowledge by discussing whether contextual factors matter to the analysis of public acceptability of congestion charging. A mixed method approach was adopted in this research. Firstly, twelve stakeholder interviews were undertaken to explore policymakers' understanding of public acceptability and their motivations for considering it. Secondly, nine focus groups were conducted to identify key determinants of public acceptability in the Chinese context and to propose a framework for analysing public acceptability in China. Thirdly, an attitude survey was conducted to understand the extent to which acceptability constructs matter. A final sample of 1104 valid responses was obtained and then analysed by using structural equation modelling (SEM). The findings of stakeholder interviews suggest there are multiple barriers for policymakers to considering public acceptability while only a few factors urging them to think about it. Findings from focus group discussions. The results of focus group discussions and the SEM exercise demonstrate that public acceptability is dominantly influenced by the level of trust people have towards government and experts. Various determinants in the Western context, such as access to information and perceived effectiveness were found inappropriate to investigate public acceptability in the Chinese context. The results imply that public acceptability of congestion charging in the Chinese context has a stronger resonance with wider social issues than more specific transport problems. As such, attempting to present evidence on the anticipated effectiveness of the policy in alleviating congestion and smog problem may not make the policy more acceptable to the public. The overall inference of the study is that contextual factors are more important than has been previously considered within public acceptability studies which has important implications for the role of context and cultural values in both research and practice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Keywords: Public acceptability, Congestion charging, Beijing, Transferability
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mr. Qiyang Liu
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2019 10:20
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2019 10:34
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25504

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