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Who is Flying Less for Environmental Reasons

Purnell, Paul; Melia, Steve


Paul Purnell

Steven Melia
Senior Lecturer in Transport Planning


Many previous studies have shown how people with pro-environmental attitudes tend to fly more than the general population. This study examines the minority who have reduced their flying for environmental reasons. It used an online questionnaire distributed via environmental organisations based in the UK, followed up with in-depth interviews with a subsample. These ‘reducers’ are mainly educated, professional, middle-aged and white. The main alternative to flying is rail, although the respondents report several barriers to international rail travel, which they have had to overcome. Their main motivations are ethical; most have developed strong counter-identities based around sustainable transport. The main barriers they face relate to unsympathetic social norms; this is an area where environmental organisations could and should do more to lead by example


Purnell, P., & Melia, S. (2019). Who is Flying Less for Environmental Reasons. World Transport Policy and Practice, 25(3), 197-209

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 2, 2019
Publication Date 2019-07
Deposit Date Sep 11, 2019
Journal World Transport Policy & Practice
Print ISSN 1352-7614
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 3
Pages 197-209
Keywords aviation; flying; environmental behaviour; environmental organisations
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