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Sustainable travel behaviour and the widespread impacts on the local economy


  • Candice C Howarth


  • Polyvios Polyviou


Statistics show that unsustainable travel behaviour and global greenhouse gas emissions are growing and due to the perceived indispensable nature of personal travel, shifts to more sustainable modes remain a challenge. Automobility supports sustained local economic growth but also raises issues around safety, health, road fatalities, traffic and congestion, and detrimental environmental impacts. This article addresses the issue of sustainable mobility by investigating how to increase sustainable travel choices and, where this is not possible, ensure existing travel choices and patterns are as environmentally friendly as possible. Existing soft initiatives aimed at increasing sustainable travel behaviour fail to fully acknowledge that travel decisions are made at the individual level and that tailored strategies would be more effective at targeting distinct behavioural patterns. Influencing changes in travel behaviour at the local level demonstrates significant potential where individual behaviour can be influenced if appropriate support at the system level is in place and complies with the needs of individuals. This article demonstrates that, in doing so, this will simultaneously address other areas, such as accessibility, employability, health and sustainable growth, crucial to the establishment and survival of automobility by both supporting local economic growth and achieving reductions in carbon emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Candice C Howarth & Polyvios Polyviou, 2012. "Sustainable travel behaviour and the widespread impacts on the local economy," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 27(7), pages 764-781, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:loceco:v:27:y:2012:i:7:p:764-781

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