Partners to the project include Dawes Cycles, the two Cambridge schemes and the organisations where interviews will be carried out. The project also has support from the Cyclists' Touring Club.
The project is funded by the ESRC through the national LINK programme on Inland Surface Transport, and runs from 1st May 1999 for two years
Research team: Paul Rosen and David Skinner
Over a million new bicycles are sold in Britain each year. Why are so few of them used to travel to work? Over the last five years, transport and planning policy have become increasingly concerned with finding alternative forms of mobility to the private car, but most people still drive to work. The Government's Integrated Transport White Paper in 1998 reaffirmed the commitment to increase commuter cycling, with support for Green Transport Plans and better facilities for cyclists.
But is a change of policy enough? Even when the physical and policy infrastructures are fully in place, how can people be persuaded to leave their cars at home and get onto their bikes?
The purpose of this project is to understand what factors facilitate the development of workplace cycling cultures, within the context of broader workplace transport cultures.
The project draws on work in social studies of technology, organisation studies, the sociology of the environment and the sociology of consumption. It builds on previous research within SATSU, notably projects looking at urban and transport planning and the organisational consumption of technology, as well as Paul Rosen's PhD thesis and forthcoming book on the British bicycle industry.
The research is concerned with how individual and organisational decisions and practices interact with each other to shape the pattern of work-related travel at any workplace, or indeed across a whole city. The project will be looking to answer questions such as:
These kinds of questions highlight the amount of work that needs to be done in changing the culture of transport in order to achieve the government's target to quadruple cycle trips by 2012. Whilst the project will build on existing studies of travel attitudes and behaviour, its cultural perspective is often missing from transport policy and analysis. The project consequently aims to feed into, and help shape, policy concerning modal shift at both local and national levels.
The study will focus on six workplaces in Cambridge, some of which are members of the Travel for Work and Cycle-Friendly Employers Schemes established in the city within the last few years.
As well as the usual academic publications and conference papers, research outcomes will include: