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Using behavioural insights for more sustainable transport

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The Department for Transport has published a Behavioural Insights Toolkit, providing practical, step-by-step guidance on how to design more effective sustainable transport initiatives using insights from behavioural theory and social research evidence.

The toolkit is intended for use by those responsible for developing transport policy and delivery initiatives, including local authorities. The toolkit helps its users to think about key issues such as addressing habit and targeting initiatives to meet the needs of different groups of people, from commuters and business travellers to older, less mobile people. The toolkit also provides:

  • Information on behavioural insights and how they could be used to develop more effective transport policy and delivery;
  • Advice on how to develop policies and initiatives which aim to enable different choices;
  • Guidance to help review existing approaches to see if they could be better delivered using behavioural insights, including ‘Nudges’;
  • Suggestions of approaches which could be used as alternatives to using regulation.

Behavioural insights are potentially valuable in enabling government and its delivery partners to achieve their objectives in more efficient and effective ways. However, much of the literature on behavioural insights is currently at a theoretical level and has often focused on policy areas other than transport. The aim of this toolkit is to provide a practical tool for users in DfT and partner organisations to apply the latest behavioural insights in the development of policies or initiatives in the transport context.

The toolkit builds on existing work on behavioural insights both within and outside government, including MINDSPACE, Social Practices and ‘Nudge’. In particular, the toolkit has been designed to be used alongside the recently published Climate Change and Transport Choices segmentation model.

Further information

The Department for Transport would welcome feedback from local authorities and others on their experiences of using the toolkit to support the development of transport policy and delivery initiatives. Please send any thoughts, comments or queries you have about the toolkit to behavioural.insights@dft.gsi.gov.uk


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