Active travel

Title: An evaluation of low cost workplace based interventions to encourage use of sustainable transport

Organisation: Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) on behalf of DfT
Date uploaded: 1st March 2017
Date published/launched: January 2017

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DfT commissioned the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) to work with a single site employer to design and evaluate low-cost, scalable interventions aimed at increasing the sustainable travel of employees. As the UKs largest single site employer, with about 76,000 staff who work for 350 employers, Heathrow Airport provided a large scale setting to test the impact of behavioural insights on increasing sustainable travel, with almost half of employees travelling in Single Occupancy Vehicles at the outset of the study. The Heathrow Commuter Team (HCT), part of Heathrow Airport Limited, has historically has been successful in increasing the numbers of staff who choose to travel sustainably to work. BIT and HCT worked together to design interventions aimed at increasing sustainable travel among airport staff; the primary aim was to ascertain to what extent low cost and light touch interventions can shift behaviour change of employees commuting to Heathrow.

A range of light touch interventions were trialled, and many of them did not yield a significant effect. This highlights the complex challenge of increasing sustainable travel of staff, using low cost behavioural measures, particularly in a context such as Heathrow where sustainable travel is already actively promoted. Nevertheless, the results have led to a range of insights, discussed in this report. Of significance is that these results challenge other findings which were reached from studies that were run with less rigorous methods. This underscores the importance of using a robust testing methodology.

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