Understanding the attitudes of older people to road pricing
Nikitas, A. (2010) Understanding the attitudes of older people to road pricing. PhD, University of the West of England.
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Worldwide the human population shows an ageing demographic structure. Older people often face the danger of social exclusion; arguably more often than other age groups. Nonetheless, at least in the western world, older people are more interested in local democracy and are more likely to vote than younger people, so their decisions can be important for social policy in general, and potentially in the acceptability of road pricing. Therefore, practitioners proposing road pricing schemes need to understand particularly well the implications for older people and their attitudes towards the policy if they are to deliver effective schemes successfully. From the literature reviewed it was hypothesised that older people might ascribe more importance to collective consequences and tend to support what could be beneficial for society, a process described as ‘pro-social value orientation’. Hence in a transport context, older people may be more likely to express positive or negative attitudes to the acceptability of road pricing depending on whether they believe it would be good or bad for others, or society in general. Family, friends or more generally their significant others may also have a particular influence on older people’s evaluations about their intentions and choices – thus the importance of studying the influence of ‘social norms’ on older people’s attitudes towards road pricing. The Thesis develops a theoretical and empirical understanding of these issues, based on a secondary analysis and predominately on a two-stage primary research scheme consisting of a quantitative survey and a series of focus groups conducted in Bristol, a city that has been near the forefront of UK cities planning road pricing schemes. Robust evidence is provided for the view that the attitudes, social norms and pro-social value orientations of older people towards road pricing are different from those of younger people with those of people aged 60 to 74 being the most negative and those of people aged 75 and over the most positive ones. Finally it is justified that older people’s particular pro-social value orientations and social norms do affect their attitudes to road pricing. – mostly negatively for the people aged 60 to 74 and positively for the people aged 75 and over.
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