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“Unfortunately, I use my car”: Commuter transport choices in Bristol, UK

Boushel, Corra; Barnes, Jo; Chatterton, Tim; Devito, Laura; Edwards, Andrew; Rogers, Laura Fogg; Leach, Mark; Prestwood, Emily; Hayes, Enda

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Corra Boushel

Tim Chatterton

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Dr Laura De Vito
Senior Research Fellow in Air Quality Management

Andrew Edwards

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Dr Laura Fogg Rogers
Associate Professor of Knowledge Exchange in Engineering

Mark Leach

Emily Prestwood

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Enda Hayes
Professor in Air Quality and Carbon Management


© 2018 WIT Press. The leading source of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in Bristol, United Kingdom is road transport, and Bristol exceeds the annual mean national air quality objective of 40 µg/m3 for NO2 in many locations around the city. Understanding the reasons for residents' modal choice is an important element in managing air quality in the city. The ClairCity Project approach provides insight into how to reduce overall transport demand and identify incentives that will be effective in creating modal switch away from higher polluting private motorised vehicles. From the ClairCity Project survey subset of commuters (n=442), 45% of respondents used cars or vans at least occasionally for their journey to work, with 28% of the total number of commuters relying exclusively on private motorised transport. The majority of these car users (65.6%) said they would prefer not to travel by car to work in the future. Their responses showed a mix of negative perceptions of public transport, geography and health as key motivations. Family responsibilities, lack of safe cycling and walking spaces, poor health and disability, distance, requirements to transport goods as well as themselves and the need for flexibility were all given as barriers to modal switching. This suggests that for car commuters, well-targeted policy interventions could provide practical alternatives that would appeal to those who currently rely on private motorised transport. Understanding citizens' perceptions, behaviours and activities is a key element in decision-making to reduce transport related air quality emissions and concentrations.


Boushel, C., Barnes, J., Chatterton, T., Devito, L., Edwards, A., Rogers, L. F., …Hayes, E. (2018). “Unfortunately, I use my car”: Commuter transport choices in Bristol, UK. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 230, 243-252.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 6, 2018
Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 25, 2018
Journal WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment
Print ISSN 1743-3541
Electronic ISSN 1743-3541
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 230
Pages 243-252
Keywords air quality, transport, commute, Bristol, Delphi, air quality management
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