Using a clear understanding of traveller needs and attitudes travel behaviour was successfully modified fo the London Olympics
The Olympic Games in London in 2012 posed serious transport issues. The arrival of millions of tourists and Sports enthusiasts, together with the athletes and staff required to run the games posed a problem in city which already suffers from large scale traffic congestion at peak times.
The aims of the project were to: keep London moving by persuading travellers to:
§ Relieve congestion at key times and in key places
§ Change Travel Time
§ Change Travel Mode
§ Change Route
§ Change Destination
This was balanced with an intention to leave a lasting positive legacy and ensure maximum value for money.
There were three stages to the project: a public consultation, a communication campaign and an ongoing programme of monitoring
The public consultation before the games took the form of five activities:
1. Observation of behaviour
2. Focus Groups – Commuters and frequent travellers
3. Interviews with employers/businesses/industry leaders
4. Stakeholder Forums
5. Focus Groups – Reviewing the Proposed initiatives
The outcome of the consultations was a very effective marketing campaign. The impact was monitored with further consultation in the form of on-line listening and surveys to ensure that the message was being effectively received.

Resources needed

The total project, including the marketing took two years and cost in excess of £30M.
The majority of the cost was on the advertising.
We have not been able to establish the relative proportions of the spending

Evidence of success

A 30% Reduction target was set for baseline traffic during key periods of he games. During the Games the following reductions were achieved
35% on weekdays
45% at peak
12% reduction in drivers
Before the games 60% of travellers planned journeys less than 1 hr ahead
After the games 40% were planning journeys less than 1 hr ahead

Difficulties encountered

Using the feedback from citizens meant that a redesign of advertising was needed at short notice.
Ongoing monitoring was introduced during the working phase of the project

Potential for learning or transfer

This experience demonstrates very clearly that it is possible to change citizen behaviour by taking the time to understand the reasons why they might change, and then engaging in activities that help them to make the change (in this case, advertising).
Although the driver for this activity was the expected disruption of a major event, any disruption could be used as a driver.
Understanding what will drive people to make the change is key to any successful change program.

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Main institution
Coventry University Enterprises Ltd
West Midlands,
Start Date
July 2011
End Date
July 2012


Tess Lukehurst Please login to contact the author.