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The Longevity of Behaviour Change: A Case Study of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Parkes, Stephen David (2014) The Longevity of Behaviour Change: A Case Study of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Travel behaviour change is traditionally regarded as being difficult to achieve, with strategies and initiatives often generating only slow and incremental shifts in behaviour amongst the population. There is an emerging discussion in the literature that more radical approaches to travel behaviour change are needed, to contribute to achieving challenging decarbonisation targets. If a step change is required then one potential source of learning is the study of disruptions to systems of mobility provision, which may provide valuable insights into how more radical travel behaviour change is achieved and, potentially, sustained. This thesis provides an innovative approach to examining major-event disruption, in this case arising from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to understand the potential for change from such large, disruptive events. A four-wave longitudinal panel survey was applied to establish the extent, and longevity, of change in response to the Games. The research uses the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) to critically examine travel behaviour. The results show that change was extensive during the Games (54% made at least one change); however change was not often sustained afterwards. Reducing, relocating and re-timing were the most common changes. The key elements of the TTM were not well suited to studying change in such a context, however less commonly used constructs of the model contributed to the identification of four clusters within the sample that provided valuable insight into the behaviour observed. This research makes a valuable contribution to the growing literature around the potential for learning, and opportunities for change, when there is an imperative to do so. Whilst the longevity of changes to travel were limited, the research provided greater understanding of the adaptability and planning involved in response to major-event disruption, and what this means for future travel planning. The clusters generated helped to show the psychological constructs important for supporting different types of change, which can contribute to approaching and understanding travel behaviour change in broader contexts, when there is an imperative to change.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: travel behaviour change; disruption; major-events; Olympics; Paralympics; London 2012; longevity of change
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute of Transport Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.651224
Depositing User: Mr Stephen D Parkes
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2015 14:02
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8981

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