Nikitas, Alexandros (2009) Road Pricing and Older People: Identifying Age-Specific Differences Between Older and Younger People's Attitudes, Social Norms and Pro-Social Value Orientations to Road Pricing. In: 2nd International Symposium on Freeway and Tollway Operations, 21st - 25th June 2009, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

The implementation of road pricing schemes is likely to be an inescapable measure in the future of managing road transport demand in highly congested environments. Since public acceptability is the ‘Holy Grail’ of charging policy-making, revealing the special attitudinal issues of older people may help the identification of some of the potential social dilemmas of road pricing. In an ageing society, where older people have a growing influence in politics in general, and potentially in the acceptability of road pricing in particular, their attitudes to road pricing are of particular interest because they face specific types of risk of transport-related social exclusion. Moreover, older people favour, more than any other age groups, what is positively valued for society – a process termed 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 and friends 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 to road pricing. The paper will develop a thorough theoretical and empirical understanding of these issues, based on the findings of a primarily quantitatively-assessed survey of 491 post-back responses combined with secondary data analysis. This will lead to the identification of age-specific differences of public attitudes to road pricing. All in all, some support is provided for the view that attitudes to road pricing do vary with age as pro-social value orientations, social norms and their influence on attitudes also do.


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