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Optimizing the implementation of policy measures through social acceptance segmentation

  • Cools, Mario
  • Brijs, Kris
  • Tormans, Hans
  • De Laender, Jessie
  • Wets, Geert
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    This paper proposes Q-methodology as a technique for the identification of more homogeneous subgroups or ‘segments’ within a rather heterogeneous overall population when it comes to social acceptance of demand-restricting policy measures. Identification of such segments would allow policy makers to better tailor their future actions and thereby increase the chance for a successful implementation of the measures they propose. A set of 33 persons, selected in function of age, gender and car ownership evaluated the acceptability of a total number of 42 demand-restricting policy measures. Special care was taken that the final set of statements covered the four classically distinguished demand-restricting strategies, i.e., improved transport options, incentives for the use of alternative transport modes, parking and land-use management, and institutional policy revision. In addition, a balance between both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ and ‘push’ and ‘pull’ measures was strived for. The results indicate that four different segments in terms of social acceptance of demand-restricting policy measures can be distinguished, i.e., travelers in favor of traffic calming, travelers against hard push measures, travelers in favor of demand restriction, and travelers against policy innovations. Besides the differences and similarities between these segments, the practical implications for policy makers are discussed, together with a series of specific recommendations and suggestions for future research.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967070X12000832
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transport Policy.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2012)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 80-87

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:22:y:2012:i:c:p:80-87
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2012.05.013
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    1. Barry, John & Proops, John, 1999. "Seeking sustainability discourses with Q methodology," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 337-345, March.
    2. Anable, Jillian, 2005. "'Complacent Car Addicts' or 'Aspiring Environmentalists'? Identifying travel behaviour segments using attitude theory," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 65-78, January.
    3. Mario Cools & Elke Moons & Brecht Janssens & Geert Wets, 2009. "Shifting towards environment-friendly modes: profiling travelers using Q-methodology," Transportation, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 437-453, July.
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    8. Stradling, S. G. & Meadows, M. L. & Beatty, S., 2000. "Helping drivers out of their cars Integrating transport policy and social psychology for sustainable change," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 207-215, July.
    9. Guiver, J.W., 2007. "Modal talk: Discourse analysis of how people talk about bus and car travel," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 233-248, March.
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