Large-scale workforce relocations : what are the opportunities to influence travel behaviour towards sustainable modes?

Binder, A 2019, Large-scale workforce relocations : what are the opportunities to influence travel behaviour towards sustainable modes? , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

Individual behaviour, including that of travel behaviour, can become habitual when repeated within a stable context. The context change or disruption brought about by a biographical event can remove the habitual automation, necessitating people to revert to a decision making process in order to manage their new context or norm. Workplace relocation is a type of disruption that offers an opportunity to break travel habits and influence travel behaviour towards more sustainable patterns. In the last few decades, large-scale workforce relocations (involving over 250 employees) have been frequently occurring in both the private and public sector. Current drivers of relocation include cost savings but also policy and infrastructure developments, such as Government decentralisation plans and high-speed rail which will increase time-space convergence, creating potential for more organisations to consider where they base their operations. The uncertainty regarding the UK exit from the European Union is also resulting in organisations considering where they should be located.

Previous research has shown how travel behaviour is influenced by both spatial (urban form e.g. density, diversity, design, accessibility) and non-spatial factors (attitudes towards travel and urban form and socio-demographics). Large-scale workforce relocations offer the opportunity to influence travel behaviour towards sustainable modes through both spatial and non-spatial interventions.

Between 2010 and 2012, a workforce of approximately 2,300 people relocated to the new BBC site at MediaCityUK, Salford predominantly from existing sites in London and Manchester. MediaCityUK was planned as a sustainable, Transit Oriented Development and has a site Travel Plan with a target to achieve a minimum of 45% of trips to the site by non-car modes, such as active travel (cycling and walking) and transit (light rail, heavy rail and bus). A mixed methods case study approach (involving surveys and interviews) was utilised to research the influences on travel behaviour during a large-scale workforce relocation. The study also aimed to understand the opportunity that a large-scale workforce relocation provides for positively influencing travel behaviour towards sustainable modes.

The study showed the importance of sustainable transport infrastructure being in place from the outset and how soft measures needed to be utilised as early as possible in the relocation process. The study highlighted the many complexities that influence individual travel behaviour and that can constrain sustainable mode use. However, the study has shown that large-scale workforce relocations provide a key opportunity to be capitalised on and their potential can be expanded through the effective use of hard and soft measures.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Adams, MD (Supervisor) and Knowles, RD (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Depositing User: A Binder
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 14:44
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 14:44
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/51300

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