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Road pricing and older people: An in-depth study of attitudes, pro-social values and social norms

Nikitas, Alexandros; Avineri, Erel; Parkhurst, Graham


Alexandros Nikitas

Erel Avineri


Understanding the socio-psychological mechanisms that determine the public acceptability of road pricing could be a key for its implementation in urban environments where this is a viable scenario. Studying the attitudes of older people is of particular importance due to the ageing of the populations in the industrialised democracies, the high political engagement of older people, and their vulnerability to transport-related social exclusion. Research by the present authors had previously identified that older people's beliefs about what is the normal, acceptable, or even expected choice in a particular social context (“social norms”) and their tendency to favour, more than any other age group, what is positively valued by society (“pro-social value orientation”) affect their attitudes to road pricing. The present paper aims to develop an in-depth understanding of these attitude-shaping determinants drawing on the findings of focus groups conducted in Bristol, UK. The findings suggest that there are three distinctive expressions of pro-sociality: pro-environmental values and generativity on the one hand, these two being drivers of support for road pricing, and pro-equity values on the other, which tend to drive opposition. Social norms have two particular expressions: subjective norms (i.e. norms reflecting people’s immediate social environment) and norms referring to others and society in general. Furthermore, a theory-driven thematic analysis indicates that trust in the integrity of the concept and older age as a life stage associated with ageing, retirement, lower income, mobility barriers and deteriorating health are important in how attitudes reflecting and affecting public acceptability to road pricing form.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Start Date Jan 6, 2016
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Nikitas, A., Avineri, E., & Parkhurst, G. (2016, January). Road pricing and older people: An in-depth study of attitudes, pro-social values and social norms. Paper presented at 48th Annual Universities' Transport Study Group Conference
Keywords road pricing, older people, attitudes, pro-sociality, social norms
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : 48th Annual Universities' Transport Study Group Conference


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