Dimensions and determinants of expert and public attitudes to sustainable transport policies and technologies

TitleDimensions and determinants of expert and public attitudes to sustainable transport policies and technologies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsXenias, D, Whitmarsh, L
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
KeywordsAttitudes, Expert-public differences, Sustainable transport, Transport policy
Abstract

This paper investigates (a) attitudes to sustainable transport and how these differ between experts and non-experts, and (b) factors that influence these attitudes and their relevant importance in explaining why such differences occur. Attitudes of experts (N = 53) and British public (N = 40) were compared using open-ended questionnaires, attitude scales, analytic hierarchy process and preference ranking. Both samples prioritised reduction in transport demand in qualitative measures. In quantitative measures, however, experts preferred techno-economic measures while the public prioritised behaviour change and public transport improvement. Some options for sustainable transport also varied with individuals' values, suggesting that expertise alone does not fully account for variation in attitudes. Different perspectives and values imply a need for a broader definition of expertise in transport policy-making, and that the public may not accept transport policies/technologies designed by experts - underlining the importance of early public engagement. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.