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Can we reduce car use and, if so, how? A review of available evidence

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  • Graham-Rowe, Ella
  • Skippon, Stephen
  • Gardner, Benjamin
  • Abraham, Charles
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    Abstract

    Transport accounts for nearly a quarter of current energy-related carbon dioxide emissions with car travel constituting more than three quarters of all vehicle kilometres travelled. Interventions to change transport behaviour, and especially to reduce car use, could reduce CO2 emissions from road transport more quickly than technological measures. It is unclear, however, which interventions are effective in reducing car use and what the likely impact of these interventions would be on CO2 emissions. A two-stage systematic search was conducted focusing on reviews published since 2000 and primary intervention evaluations referenced therein. Sixty-nine reviews were considered and 47 primary evaluations found. These reported 77 intervention evaluations, including measures of car-use reduction. Evaluations of interventions varied widely in the methods they employed and the outcomes measures they reported. It was not possible to synthesise the findings using meta-analysis. Overall, the evidence base was found to be weak. Only 12 of the 77 evaluations were judged to be methodologically strong, and only half of these found that the intervention being evaluated reduced car use. A number of intervention approaches were identified as potentially effective but, given the small number of methodologically strong studies, it is difficult to draw robust conclusions from current evidence. More methodologically sound research is needed in this area.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 (June)
    Pages: 401-418

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:5:p:401-418

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    Related research

    Keywords: Car-use reduction Driving reduction Intervention CO2 emissions Policy Review;

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    References

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    1. Gary T. Henry & Craig S. Gordon, 2003. "Driving less for better air: Impacts of a public information campaign," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 45-63.
    2. Henderson, Dennis K. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 1996. "Impacts of Center-Based Telecommuting on Travel and Emissions: Analysis of the Puget Sound Demonstration Project," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1250382t, University of California Transportation Center.
    3. Saleh, Wafaa, 2007. "Success and failure of travel demand management: Is congestion charging the way forward?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 611-614, August.
    4. Tertoolen, Gerard & van Kreveld, Dik & Verstraten, Ben, 1998. "Psychological resistance against attempts to reduce private car use," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 171-181, April.
    5. R H M Emmerink & P Nijkamp & P Rietveld, 1995. "Is congestion pricing a first-best strategy in transport policy? A critical review of arguments," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 22(5), pages 581-602, September.
    6. Jörgen Garvill & Agneta Marell & Annika Nordlund, 2003. "Effects of increased awareness on choice of travel mode," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 63-79, February.
    7. Cecilia Jakobsson & Satoshi Fujii & Tommy Gärling, 2002. "Effects of economic disincentives on private car use," Transportation, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 349-370, November.
    8. Mokhtarian, Patricia & Varma, Krishna, 1998. "The Trade-Off Between Trips and Distance Traveled in Analyzing the Emissions Impacts of Center-Based Telecommuting," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt43b756qg, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    9. Bandivadekar, Anup & Cheah, Lynette & Evans, Christopher & Groode, Tiffany & Heywood, John & Kasseris, Emmanuel & Kromer, Matthew & Weiss, Malcolm, 2008. "Reducing the fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions of the US vehicle fleet," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2754-2760, July.
    10. Steininger, Karl & Vogl, Caroline & Zettl, Ralph, 1996. "Car-sharing organizations : The size of the market segment and revealed change in mobility behavior," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 177-185, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Brand, Christian & Anable, Jillian & Tran, Martino, 2013. "Accelerating the transformation to a low carbon passenger transport system: The role of car purchase taxes, feebates, road taxes and scrappage incentives in the UK," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 132-148.
    2. Skippon, Stephen & Veeraraghavan, Shoba & Ma, Hongrui & Gadd, Paul & Tait, Nigel, 2012. "Combining technology development and behaviour change to meet CO2 cumulative emission budgets for road transport: Case studies for the USA and Europe," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(9), pages 1405-1423.
    3. Bastani, Parisa & Heywood, John B. & Hope, Chris, 2012. "The effect of uncertainty on US transport-related GHG emissions and fuel consumption out to 2050," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 517-548.
    4. Firnkorn, Jörg, 2012. "Triangulation of two methods measuring the impacts of a free-floating carsharing system in Germany," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1654-1672.
    5. Reimers, Vaughan, 2013. "Convenience for the car-borne shopper: Are malls and shopping strips driving customers away?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 35-47.
    6. Woo, Su-Han & Pettit, Stephen J. & Kwak, Dong-Wook & Beresford, Anthony K.C., 2011. "Seaport research: A structured literature review on methodological issues since the 1980s," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 667-685, August.

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