Nikitas, Alexandros, Avineri, Erel and Parkhurst, Graham (2011) Older People’s Attitudes to Road Charging: Are They Distinctive and What are the Implications for Policy? Journal of Transportation Planning and Technology, 34 (1). pp. 87-108. ISSN 0308-1060

In an ageing society older people have a growing influence on politics in general, and potentially on the acceptability of road charging in particular. They face specific types of risk of transport-related social exclusion which may influence their views on charging, although there is also evidence to suggest that older people favour, more than any other age group, what is positively valued by society – a process known as ‘pro-social value orientation’. Family and friends may also affect older people’s considerations about their intentions and choices - thus the importance of studying the influence of ‘social norms’ on older people’s attitudes to road charging. The paper develops our understanding of these issues, based on the findings of a quantitative survey conducted in Bristol, UK. Evidence indicates that the attitudes of older people to road charging do differ from those of younger people and that pro-social value orientations and social norms do contribute to the formation of these attitudes. It is concluded that the presence of pro-social attitude orientations assists in explaining why people assumed to be ‘natural supporters’ of charging schemes may hold negative attitudes, which underlines to scheme promoters the importance of understanding and overcoming strongly-held, psychologically complex objections.

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