Intelligent Travel

The importance of changing travel behaviour in the UK is widely recognised as being an essential element of an overall package of measures designed to solve transport problems. Intelligent Travel aimed to examine the potential for changing travel behaviour by reducing car use and encouraging walking, cycling and public transport use which promote health, fitness and a better environment.

It tested personalised travel planning on a random sample of 5,701 households living in three wards of the City of York, using before and after questionnaire surveys to measure the effect on personal travel behaviour.

The City of York was one of fourteen UK cities that were selected by the Department of Transport (DfT) in December 2002 to pilot a new approach to mobility management called personalised travel planning or individualised marketing.

The York Intelligent Travel© project was initiated in January 2003 by the City of York Council (CYC) in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York, Norwich Union, First Group, Halfords, Selby and York Primary Care Trust, Walking The Way to Health Initiative, York St John College and York Local Agenda 21.

The project achieved a 16 percentage point reduction in car trips and a 28 per cent reduction in car distances driven. This equates to 15,000 fewer cars on the city’s road if half the population of York took part in the scheme. Walking and public transport increased by 10 and 5 percentage points respectively.

In the context of national and international transport planning and policy this is remarkable result. It shows that it is possible to influence travel choices away from the car and away from short trips by car. It has been achieved in a constructive and co-operative manner simply through close working with local residents.