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Title: Cars, culture and environmental citizenship : understanding public responses to sustainable transport policy in rural Scotland
Author: Martin, Suzanne
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2001
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During the 1990s, transport policy thinking in the UK underwent a fundamental paradigm shift, with policy attempting to manage rather than meet demands for car use. It is for environmental reasons that this new sustainable transport policy urges the public to reassess the positive values attached to car based mobility and to become actively involved in reductions in car use. Cultural change, active and responsible local environmental citizenship are therefore seen as being placed at the heart of transport policy. Given highly publicised resistances to car constraint measures in the rural domain, this study adopts a case study approach to understanding the ways in which people in peripheral areas of rural Scotland identify with the sustainable basis of policy and notions of responsibility and ability to reduce car use. A contrast is drawn between emphases on the need for a new travel culture in policy and the weight that theories of car dependence place on economic and material measures of reliance on the car. In taking a critical theory approach this research attempts to build on theories of car dependence and create new ways of understanding public responses to transport policy. Grounded in an appreciation of the importance of the subtle and complex nature of public consciousnesses in determining levels of car dependence, it attempts to foster an understanding of the how the social, political and cultural contexts in which transport policy is formulated and received, shape public identification with the sustainable basis of policy. How these contexts impinge upon shared understandings of responsibilities and abilities to actively participate in sustainable travel initiatives is also explored. A number of opportunities for and constraints to the development of sustainable travel in rural areas of Scotland are identified and related to Beck's (1992) thesis on 'Risk Society'. It is concluded that there is a need to widen the basis of and incorporate more flexible understandings of rurality in transport policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available