The role of businesses in facilitating voluntary travel behaviour change - Insights from the London 2012 Olympic Games

Adam Jones, Janet Woolley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The organisers of the London 2012 Olympics faced transport congestion challenges whose resolution required travel behaviour change across an entire transport network. This study evaluates the role of Transport for London’s (TfL) £30m business-focussed
    Travel Demand Management (TDM) programme in achieving significant traveller behaviour change across its entire transport network. The paper argues that soft TDM measures, together with a targeted ‘hard-edge’ message, alongside travel alternatives,
    can achieve significant voluntary travel behaviour change (VTBC) across a whole transport network, despite such behaviour normally being habitual. Incorporating a longitudinal study comprised of pre-and post-Games qualitative interviews, office attendance data and analysis of TfL’s travel survey with Ajzen’s
    (1991) Theory of Planned Behaviour, this research highlights the importance of reliable information, freedom of choice, and faith in the effectiveness of the measures proposed, in eliciting acceptance of the TDM policy. The results also demonstrate the
    importance of a relevant, hard-edge message in the form of a ‘big scare’—which operates as a ‘catalyst-for-change’ (CfC), breaking habit by increasing cognitive engagement and acceptance—as well as the importance of the role of businesses in delivering significant levels of voluntary travel behavioural change. The findings contribute to the evaluation of methods for achieving actual VTBC, which could be instrumental in enacting the large-scale travel behaviour changes required to meet international environmental objectives of reducing carbon resource consumption by both businesses and individuals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number100040
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2019

    Bibliographical note

    ©2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


    • Travel Demand Management
    • Voluntary Travel Behaviour Change,
    • Soft policies
    • Olympics
    • Theory of planned behaviour
    • Habit
    • Soft Policies


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