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Designing interventions to support shifts from cars to active travel modes: A brief scoping review and narrative synthesis

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posted on 22.04.2022, 08:31 by Melody Smith-nee OliverMelody Smith-nee Oliver


Reducing private care travel in favour of active travel modes is imperative for improving planetary and human health. While a plethora of evidence exists for associations across the ecological model and active travel modes, less is known regarding car use and the choice to shift between transport modes. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of research focused on understanding of key individual characteristics associated with car use and travel mode shifts. A scoping review was undertaken in Scopus and PubMed in September 2019. A combination of keywords for travel mode, individual characteristics, and decision-making (e.g., choice, “mode shift,” “behaviour change”) were used to identify relevant studies. Bibliographies of relevant articles were screened. Data were extracted into a study-specific form and described narratively. Literature identified revealed that psychological and socio-demographic relationships with shifting away from car use are complex. The Theory of Planned Behaviour and Perceived Behavioural control were commonly used to understand transport mode “choice”. Additionally, social norms, habitual processes, identity, and the complex interplay between situational and personal factors were important to consider. Clear profiles existed for car users and willingness to shift away from cars. Males and older population groups were more likely to be persistent car users. Habits, intentions, and identity all play an important role in understanding car use and willingness to shift away from car use. Changing these factors requires comprehensive and targeted evidence-based approaches, within a wider ecological framework. 



University of Auckland

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