Research & reports

Title: Qualitative research with residents: Cycling City and Towns Programme

Organisation: Department for Transport
Date uploaded: 6th March 2013
Date published/launched: August 2012

This report presents findings from qualitative research undertaken with residents of the Cycling City and Towns, during the programme period. It explores their cycling behaviour and how they responded to the investment in cycling in their local areas.

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This report presents findings from qualitative research undertaken with residents of the Cycling City and Towns, during the programme period. It explores their cycling behaviour and how they responded to the investment in cycling in their local areas.

By setting cycling decisions in the context of individual and family lives, and also the wider environment, the research identifies:

The key triggers for changes in how people choose to travel
The contextual factors which support or constrain cycling at those points - including the role of cycling schemes and interventions.

Key findings
Analysis of the interviews found that changes in cycling behaviour were in many cases triggered by life change events such as getting a new job, having children, moving house, having a health event, or retiring. Such events prompted deliberation and reconsideration of habitual travel behaviour.

Changes in the external environment for cycling can also play a role in the triggering of cycling behaviour change. However, not all triggers led to a change in cycling: the outcome was dependent on mediating factors which included personal history, intrinsic motivations and facilitating conditions.

The analysis suggested that people were more or less responsive to the idea of cycling depending on their current life stage and recent life events.

For example, represented amongst the groups who experienced a turning point are:

New entrants to the workplace;
People changing the nature or location of their work;
Parents of young children, especially mothers;
People recovering from ill health;
And people with increased leisure time (e.g. on retirement).

For more information contact:
Dr Kiron Chatterjee
T: +44 (0)117 32 82032

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