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Contemplating cycling to work: Attitudes and perceptions in different stages of change

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  • Gatersleben, Birgitta
  • Appleton, Katherine M.

Abstract

In 1996 the UK government introduced the National Cycle Strategy which aimed to double the number of cycling trips by the end of 2002 and double them again by 2012. So far, however, these targets have not been met. The House of Commons ascribes this to 'a fundamental lack of commitment to cycling on an individual, regional and national level'. This paper addresses the individual level by examining the views of commuters in different stages of change as distinguished by Prochaska's model [Prochaska, J.O., DiClemente, C.C., 1984. The Transtheoretical Approach: Crossing Traditional Boundaries of Change. Dow Jones/Irwin, Homewood IL]. This model views behaviour change as a process rather than an event. Two studies were conducted amongst university staff and students: a survey study and an action study. The studies showed that as people progress from precontemplation to action their attitudes towards cycling become more positive and their perceptions of various personal and external barriers change. This suggests that different strategies are necessary to move people in different stages of change to action and maintenance. At the moment, it seems that regular cyclists form a very small minority of people who will cycle under most circumstances simply because they like cycling. The majority of people have never contemplated cycling. There is, however, also a group of people who would like to cycle and could be persuaded to cycle under the right circumstances.

Suggested Citation

  • Gatersleben, Birgitta & Appleton, Katherine M., 2007. "Contemplating cycling to work: Attitudes and perceptions in different stages of change," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 302-312, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:41:y:2007:i:4:p:302-312
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    References listed on IDEAS

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