Southend Borough Council

“Sustainable transport: unlocking the change”

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council was awarded a grant from the Department for Transport to improve economic growth and reduce carbon emissions by encouraging the use of sustainable transport. Linstock worked with the Council to create a campaign that would engage local residents and drive a change in behaviour among those who currently drive short distances around the borough.

Linstock was hired to design and implement a campaign that would encourage people to walk, cycle or use public transport rather than the car for short journeys.

You can’t seek to change behaviour unless you understand what drives it, so we worked with the Council to understand attitudes to sustainable transport. We also used Triandis’ Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour model to determine how behaviour could most effectively be influenced. This recognises the complexity of the decision-making process and the importance of habit in driving behaviour.

We worked with the Council to create a distinct and dynamic brand for the campaign, Ideas in Motion. Rather than relying on ‘go green’ messages, which research showed would have little impact, this focuses on ease, health, time and cost. The campaign is built around positive messages about the individual benefits of sustainable transport, and uses the experiences of real people to inspire and encourage others while developing a new social norm in which travelling sustainably is seen as sensible and convenient.

Travel behaviour in Southend has changed since the campaign launched, with 30% of people saying they are using their car less; 46% saying they are walking more; 40% saying they are cycling more and 33% saying they use the bus more. In addition, since 2010 the percentage of businesses to which people travel primarily by car or van has reduced by nearly 11% and the percentage to which people travel primarily by walking has gone up by 14%. The campaign’s success has been recognised at a number of national award schemes, including winning the MJ Award for Behaviour Change 2014 and being shortlisted for the LGA Community Engagement Award 2016.

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