Explore our research

  • Institute of Transport and Tourism (ITT)

  • Institute of Transport and Tourism (ITT)

  • Institute of Transport and Tourism (ITT)

The Institute of Transport and Tourism (ITT) aims to advance knowledge about travel for leisure and tourism. It brings together researchers who seek to deliver high quality research contributing to the development and practice of sustainable transport and tourism.

We aim to provide fresh insights into transport, tourism and sustainable development through a rigorous investigation of issues of mobility in contemporary society. Through dissemination of our findings, we hope to advise policy in relation to changing travel patterns and improve the sustainability of tourist travel practices.

ITT is a small institute with big ambitions to make leisure travel more sustainable. Many beautiful areas of the UK and world are now threatened by people’s travelling, whether it is the noise of traffic in an area of natural tranquillity, historic buildings rising from a plinth of parked cars or islands and coasts facing floods from global climate change exacerbated through expanding air and surface travel. For a long time people’s leisure travel has been under-researched both by transport and tourism academics. ITT aims to correct this by studying and reporting on how people make their decisions about leisure travel, what influences those decisions and how choices of where and how to travel can reduce the environmental impact of leisure travel, while increasing the benefits for travellers and destinations.

Expertise & Subject Areas

ITT seeks to:

  • Build research capacity in the area of transport and tourism in order to publish high quality articles and in addition other research related outcomes] in line with the University and School research strategies
  • Enhance the development of practice, which will benefit government and other organisations, in policy formulation and implementation

  • Establish an international reputation for developing new knowledge and research approaches in transport and tourism
  • Increase the level of academic collaboration across the School, University and with Research Networks at an international level
  • Generate external revenue from commissioned studies to contribute to income generation within the School Update and improve knowledge which informs the curriculum and the teaching of transport and tourism as well as research methods
  • Generate a strong regional commitment in association with practitioners, chartered institutes and societies and other key organisations


We have expertise in a variety of different research approaches and methods of collecting and analysing data and using the results in predictive models.


We have designed a number of questionnaires for particular survey conditions such as household (Lancs CC, BikeIt), on-bus, on-train (Tourism on Board, Market day buses, Every Stop Helps, West Somerset Railway), car park (Carding Mill) and web-based surveys (North Sea Cycle Route).

Our high response rates reflect the careful selection and training of our surveyors, explaining the purpose of a survey to respondents, incentives where appropriate and detailed planning and testing of survey designs. This helps minimise the load on respondents, while capturing important information about the journeys people are making, their personal details and their attitudes.

Our surveyors’ journey/day logs also record details of loadings, weather and other relevant features of the journey and conditions. We have been able to use this information to provide detailed descriptive statistics about travel markets, but also explore the relationships between socio-demographic data, patterns of use and attitudes.

Identifying clusters of user-types can help improve both the travel product, how it is marketed or indicate which groups of people are most likely to increase or decrease their mode use.

Economic Impact

Our pioneering work on the economic impact of local visitor spending (One North East/Sustrans, West Somerset Railway) has allowed us to calculate the spending generated in a locality from travel facilities such as walking and cycling trails, local buses or heritage railways.

The calculations include direct visitor spending and the consequences of the local multiplier, the way that service providers such as B&Bs and cafes spend their takings, often over-looked in simple studies of economic impact.

Carbon Counting

We are currently working with the National Trust to calculate the carbon count of journeys to a property and how that impact might be reduced (Carding Mill). We hope to develop techniques to help other tourist attractions estimate and reduce their carbon footprint through this pilot study.

Delphi Study

This well established technique was used to bring together the views of experts in transport and tourism in the North West, (Delphi Study) through several rounds of surveying and consensus building, culminating in a round-table discussion.

Qualitative Research

Almost all our survey work is backed with qualitative research into the issues and attitudes of respondents. This can take the form of focus groups (Lancashire County Council, Trent Trail) enquiring into specific aspects of the survey topic, face-to-face interviews (Hadrian's Wall, Cenarth Traffic Management) telephone interviews (Craven Link, Shropshire Shuttles) as well as the analysis of the comments on survey forms (Tourism on Board, Market Day Buses).

Not only does this qualitative data highlight new issues, it can help to generate and test new theories about travel and tourism behaviour. Examining the words and language used through discourse analysis, can reveal the way that respondents conceptualise their actions and give new insights into issues such as the conflict between car use and concerns for the environment.

Desktop Reviews

Most of our research involves a synthesis of the existing information. This has helped with studies (Review of International Policies for Outdoor Recreation for the Countryside Council for Wales, Review of Case Studies in Tourism Travel for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) which required detailed reviews of the existing literature and practice. Our combined detailed knowledge of this literature, experience at searching and sifting information and an active network of colleagues both in the UK and abroad who are willing to help with queries helps create comprehensive and clearly written reviews.


Weston, R., Davies, N. & Guiver, J. (forthcoming) ‘Cycle Tourism Development in the Peak District National Park, United Kingdom’, in Orsi, F. (ed.) Sustainable Transportation in Natural and Protected Areas, London: Routledge.

Guiver, J., Davies, N. & Weston, R. (forthcoming) ‘Scheduled Bus Use in Natural and Protected Areas: Visitor Preferences and Service Design Issues’, in Orsi, F. (ed.) Sustainable Transportation in Natural and Protected Areas, London: Routledge.

Guiver, J., & Stanford, D. (2014) ‘Why destination visitor travel planning falls between the cracks.Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 3(3), 140-151.

Guiver, J. (2013) ‘Debate: Can sustainable tourism include flying?Tourism Management Perspectives, 6, 65-67.

Larsen, G. and Guiver, J. (2013) ‘Understanding tourists’ perceptions of distance: a key to reducing the environmental impacts of tourism mobility’, Journal of Sustainable Tourism 21, 7, 968-981

Davies, N. J. (2012) ‘What are the ingredients of successful travel behavioural campaigns?Transport Policy. 24 (3) pp.19-29

Davies, N., Lumsdon, L. and Weston, R. (2012) ‘Developing Recreational Trails: Motivations for Recreational Walking’ Tourism Planning and Development Vol. 9, No. 1, 77-88

Davies, N.J., Lumsdon, L.M. and Weston, R. (2011) ‘Health Motivations for Recreational WalkingStudies on Mobility and Transport Research: Issue 3: “Transport and Health Issues” - Current frameworks, trends, implementations and perspectives

Guiver, J. and Jain, J. (2011) ‘Grounded: Impacts of and Insights from the Volcanic Ash Cloud Disruption’, Mobilities, 6, 1, 41

Lumsdon, L. and McGrath, P. (2011) ‘Developing a conceptual framework for slow travel: a grounded theory approachJournal of Sustainable Tourism 19 (3), pp.265-279

Dickinson, J., Robbins, D. and Lumsdon, L. (2010) ‘Holiday travel discourses and climate changeJournal of Transport Geography, 18(3), pp.482–489

Downward, P., Lumsdon, L. and Weston, R. (2009) ‘Visitor Expenditure: The Case of Cycle Recreation and Tourism’, Journal of Sport & Tourism Vol. 14, No. 1, 25-42

Guiver, J., Lumsdon, L. and Weston, R. (2008) ‘Traffic reduction at visitor attractions: the case of Hadrian’s Wall’, Journal of Transport Geography 16, 2, 142-150

Weston, R. and Davies, N. (2007) ‘The Future of Transport and Tourism: A Delphi Approach’, Tourism and Hospitality Planning & Development 4, 2, 121-133

Guiver, J. Lumsdon, L., Weston, R and Ferguson, M. (2007) ‘Do Buses help meet Tourism Objectives? The contribution and potential of scheduled buses in rural destination areas’, Transport Policy, 14, 4, 275-282

Guiver, J., Lumsdon, L. and Morris, K. (2007) ‘The Role Of Scheduled Buses In Reducing Car, Journeys In Tourist Areas’, in Peeters, P. (ed.) Tourism and Climate Change Mitigation, NHTV, Breda

Guiver, J. (2007) ‘Modal Discourse Analysis of how People talk about Bus and Car Travel’, Transportation Research A, 41, 233-248

Guiver, J. Lumsdon, L. And Weston, R. (2006) Visitor attractions, sustainable transport and travel plans, Hadrian’s Wall: A Case Study, Managing Leisure 11, 4, 217-230

Lumsdon, L. (2006) ‘Factors affecting the design of tourism bus services’, Annals of Tourism Research, 33(13) pp.748-766

Lumsdon, L. Downward, P and Rhoden, S (2006) ‘Transport for Tourism: Can Public Transport Encourage a Modal Shift in the Day Visitor Market?’, Journal of Sustainable Tourism 14(2) pp. 139–156

Downward, P.M. and Lumsdon, L. (2004) ‘Tourism Transport and Visitor Spending’, Journal of Travel Research, 42 (4), pp. 415-420

Downward, P.M. and Lumsdon, L. (2004) ‘Tourism Transport and Visitor Spending A study in The North York Moors National Park, UK’, Journal of Travel Research, 42(4) pp.415-420

Lumsdon, L and Page, S (eds.) (2004) Tourism and Transport: Issues and Agenda for the New Millennium, Elsevier

Lumsdon, L., Downward, P. M. and Cope, A. (2004) ‘Monitoring of cycle tourism on a long distance cycle route’, Journal of Transport Geography, 12 (1), 13-22

Downward P. & Lumsdon L. (2003) Beyond the demand for day-visits: an analysis of visitor spending, Tourism Economics, 9, 1, 1, 67-76(10)


Jain, J. And Guiver J. (2001), ‘Turning the Car inside out’, Social Policy and Administration' 35, 5, pp369-586.



Related Projects

Silver Cyclists Projects

The Institute of Tourism and Transport at UCLan are a partner in The Silver Cyclists project which officially launched in September 2015, aiming at increasing the number of seniors undertaking cycling holidays both domestically as well as to other European destinations. The European Cyclists´ Federation (Belgium) is the lead partner for this project which uses the EuroVelo network as a backbone. Partners from the 7 countries involved met in October 2015 to set up the project methodology, management tools, calendar of activities, etc.

For more information visit the Silver Cyclists website.

UCLan transport institute surveys on volcano crisis for lessons learned

The Institute of Transport and Tourism (ITT) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has launched a survey aimed at those affected by the recent volcanic ash travel crisis to see how organisations can be prepared for future unexpected disasters.

"It is important to get as much systematic data as we can" said Jo Guiver, the researcher initiating the survey. "Once the dust has settled, literally, the story about what happened and how people felt about it will change. We are hoping our findings will be useful for airlines, Government and others involved and mean we are better prepared should a similar emergency, caused by terrorism, fuel shortages, health scares or whatever, arise in the future."

Travel to and spending at events in the Lake District

Three outdoor Lake District events held in summer 2009 were surveyed by the Institute of Transport and Tourism from the University of Central Lancashire to investigate the environmental impact of the travel they generate and the economic impact of spending generated in the area.

The events varied considerably. The Ambleside Sports is an annual event, mainly for local people held on a field between Ambleside and Grasmere, featuring traditional sports such as Cumbrian and Westmoreland wrestling, fell running, hound races with children’s races and this year cycling. The Lakeland Triathlon was a commercial participant event, attracting over 250 competitors to swim in the lake, cycle and run from Bassenthwaite Sailing Club. The Commonwealth Championships of Mountain Marathon and Ultra-Distance was a three day event in Keswick, Fitz Park, organised by a committee of people from different local and national organisations. It was attended by competitors and their supporters from all over the Commonwealth and, as well as the Championship races, there were open events for children and adults.

Read the full report. (.PDF, 1984KB)

The economic impact of walking tourism in rural areas - Offa’s Dyke National Trail

Dr Richard Weston

This study adapts similar research undertaken on cycle routes in the North East of England. It uses a bottom-up approach to collect data that will be used to estimate the direct economic impact of walking tourism on the Offa’s Dyke National Trail.

The intercept survey (previously completed by the interviewer) and travel diaries (self-completion) have been combined into a single self-completion survey questionnaire. The questionnaire captures user characteristics and spending patterns of walkers on the Offa’s Dyke National Trail. This will enable the key factors determining spending patterns to be identified and the economic impact of route use to be estimated.

Bus and Train walks

Les Lumsdon, Nick Davies Peter McGrath, Ludlow 21

The phrase Bus and Train Walks has been used to describe walks which reduce energy use and pollution by:

(a) using existing public transport to access the countryside for circular walks

(b) featuring public transport as part of a linear walk, for example, between stations

The project used a series of depth interviews with walking group leaders and a workshop to understand their consideration of environmental issues, predominantly in terms of transport to the start and from the end of the walk.

Predominantly, the groups that the researchers spoke to are environmentally conscious and seek to reduce impacts through car sharing, use of internet, recycling, etcetera. However, the overall picture is one where groups tend to publicise access by car. They indicated that groups could include more bus and train walks in their programmes but this depended on local circumstances. It is important to engage the interest of potential walks leaders willing to research bus and train walks for there to be a change.

Transport to Events

Jo Guiver and Howard Blacksmith in partnership with Friends of the Lake District and the Tourism and Conservation Partnership.

An investigation of the impact of organised outdoor events on the environment.

Outdoor events such as festivals, agricultural shows and sporting competitions attract large numbers of people and are welcomed for the income and vibrancy they bring to rural areas. However, there are costs such erosion of foot paths, litter, damage to the sites used and the traffic congestion they cause to other road users including bus passengers.

The Institute of Transport and Tourism is investigating the scale and nature of events in the Lake District and gathering data about how they impact on the local and global environment. Together with Friends of the Lake District and the Tourism and Conservation Partnership, we aim to produce a toolkit for events organisers to help them minimise the adverse impacts and maximise the benefits of their events.


(European Parliament, November 2008-April 2009, Les Lumsdon and Richard Weston, University of Breda, the Netherlands)

This project included a comprehensive literature review of European research into cycle tourism and investigated the potential for a new long-distance cycle trail along the former Iron Curtain border.

The study assessed the potential benefits of long distance European cycling routes for tourism purposes especially in relation to sustainable tourism development. The report provided an overview of the cycle tourism market across Europe and evaluated the potential for development of the European cycle network, Eurovelo.

There are also a number of barriers to the development of the market for cycle tourism. Many of the major organisations responsible for tourism development across Europe do not recognise its potential and so offer limited investment.

Additionally, an idea to develop a new long distance trail, the Iron Curtain Trail, from the Barents to Black Sea was evaluated.


(On-Trent Consortium, April 2008- April 2009, Richard Weston)

A feasibility study for a long-distance trail along the River Trent involving a survey of paths to identify potential links for and barriers to the trail, surveys and focus groups of residents and other stakeholders and evaluation of marketing strategies.

Nottinghamshire Strategic Cycle Network

(Nottinghamshire County Council, February-March 2008, Les Lumsdon, Richard Weston, Jo Guiver, Nick Davies and Peter McGrath)

A feasibility study of the creation of a pan-regional cycle network with a hub in Nottinghamshire.

This included a review of current provision and researching measures adopted in other areas around the world including the potential of using public transport to carry cyclists and their bikes. The Institute of Transport and Tourism also made recommendations for marketing and branding the network.

Celtic Trail

(Sustrans Cymru, June 2007-May 2008 Les Lumsdon and Richard Weston)

An investigation of the economic impacts of the Celtic and Taff walking and cycling trails on local communities.

Rediscovering Stackpole Demand Analysis

(National Trust, Les Lumsdon, Richard Weston, Babatunde Buraimo, Land Use Consultants)

An analysis of different travel and demand scenarios for the facility at Stackpole, Pembrokeshire and their economic and environmental impacts.

This involved the development of a travel demand model used to estimate visitor demand to the development with spatial economic analysis making use of UK Census data.

Lake District Bus Survey

(Lake District National Park Authority and Friends of the Lake District, July 2008-February 2009, Jo Guiver)

Survey of passengers on four bus routes (two commercial and two subsidised) in the Lake District to establish whether these were increasing social inclusion, reducing car use and generating local spending and investigated the impact of the ‘Give the Driver a Break’ leaflets funded by Friends of the Lake District and Lake District National Park Authority.

The commission also included a survey of local Tourist Information Centres and the analysis of car user data from Borrowdale, Lake District.

Forest of Bowland Bus Project

(Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, July –October 2008, Jo Guiver and Peter McGrath)

Two bus services, funded by Lancashire and North Yorkshire County Councils, converge on and connect at Slaidburn from Clitheroe and Settle.

A survey of bus users in August and September investigated how people found out about the services, used them and what they thought about them. Although most of the passengers are local, day visitors and tourists can use these routes to access walks and villages in the Forest of Bowland and there is considerable potential for extending the use of the bus services.

Shropshire Hills Shuttles

(Shropshire Hill Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, May-October 2008, Les Lumsdon, Nick Davies and Peter McGrath)

ITT undertook a detailed survey of the Shropshire Hills Shuttles throughout the 2008 season and undertook a series of telephone interviews.

This seasonal minibus service gives access to countryside near Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Clun, Bishop’s Castle and Pontesbury. The research aimed to: provide a detailed profile and passenger motivations, estimate user spending in the study area and evaluate information/decision pathways to using the shuttles.

Cenarth Tourist Traffic Management

(Countryside Council for Wales, November 2007-March 2008, Jo Guiver)

Cenarth is a small village, half in Ceredigion and half in Carmarthen, straddling the River Teifi in South Wales which draws day visitors to its scenic waterfalls, historic and graceful bridge and other attractions.

The traffic generated creates local income, but also environmental problems with parking near the river and safety issues for pedestrians on the bridge. The Institute conducted interviews with stakeholders in the village and in both County Councils and held a public meeting in the village to complete its report to the Countryside Council.

Sustainable Leisure Travel Network

The Institute of Tourism and Transport, with the support of Natural England, is setting up a network for people working in sustainable leisure transport. Part of its role will be to fill the gap left when the Car-Free Leisure Network ended its work.

Dr Jo Guiver from the institute said: “Natural England and the Institute of Transport and Tourism hope the network will take their work further to raise awareness of the need to make leisure travel more sustainable and how that can be achieved.”

Travel Patterns of Older People

Through interviews with local people aged 57 and over, Dr Jo Guiver is researching how older people make decisions about where they go and how they travel.

She is also finding out where travel presents difficulties and what respondents would like to change. This research is linked to further research which the Institute hopes to conduct into the impact of the making bus travel free to everyone aged 60 and over in England in April 2008.


MAX is an international EU funded project which is part of the Sixth Framework.

Its overall aim is to further understanding of Travel Awareness and Mobility Management, building on expertise from previous research projects.

A large consortium of universities, research institutes and consultants from countries across Europe are involved in the research and the ITT’s role is based within Work Package A – Innovative Approaches in Campaigning.

Professor Les Lumsdon and Nick Davies are currently working on the main stage of the research. The project is expected to be completed in 2009.

Every Stop Helps

The Institute of Transport and Tourism is working in conjunction with Salford University, Lancashire County Council and Burnley and Pendle and Lancashire United Bus Company on this Urban Regeneration project which aims to encourage health and well-being for users of buses in the East Lancashire area.

The rationale is that time spent waiting and travelling on the bus is a missed opportunity which could be spent improving and maintaining personal health.

The project will test appropriate relaxation exercises for use on buses and their impact on health, travel and levels of physical activity.

The project is being managed by Nick Davies.

Market day Buses

Market day bus services operating from rural areas into market towns once or twice a week have considerable local impact.

Very little research has been carried out on pattern of travel and socio-economic factors associated with market towns. This research investigated market-day buses in rural Herefordshire, using self completion questionnaires.

The preliminary results suggest that the services function as a kind of weekly social club or event, sometimes providing the only opportunity to leave the village or even the house. They are greatly valued by most of the passengers for the access to shopping, banks, health care and visiting they provide and the camaraderie on the bus. Passengers spend, on average, over £40 per trip in local towns.

The research is being conducted by Professor Les Lumsdon.

International Approaches to Outdoor Recreation

In conjunction with Land Use Consultants, the Institute of Transport and Tourism researched and prepared a review of outdoor recreation policies around the world for the Countryside Council of Wales.

Using professional contacts and a thorough review of the academic literature, the Institute compared the policies of ten countries/regions (The Basque Country, France, Hungary, Latvia, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland and Wales).

The second stage focussed on five of those areas: Colorado, France, New Zealand, Norway and Wales and compared their policies and practices in five key subject themes: Participation, Recreation and Health, Access to Opportunity, Recreation and Conservation and Organisation Structures.

The review highlighted the importance of the provision of local outdoor recreation facilities for health and well-being.

Craven Link Bus and Sharing the Dales

This Sunday and Bank Holiday bus service is being run by a Social Enterprise Company, The Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company, in conjunction with the Yorkshire Dales Public Transport Users’ Group.

It replaces a service previously run by a bus company with local authority subsidies. The company has asked the Institute to survey bus users and find out what they would do if the bus were not provided.

The survey took place on the bus most Sundays and Bank Holidays between May and August 2007, and telephone interviews were conducted with 18 passengers. The research is funded by the University and the social enterprise company and directed by Professor Les Lumsdon and Dr Babatunde Buraimo.

Preliminary findings suggest that the bus service has attracted a number of different types of user: workers in local service industries, walkers wanting to do linear walks in The Dales, passengers with concessionary passes exploring the area, visitors from outside the area and residents linking into to wider public transport networks.

There is evidence that the bus reduces car use in a sensitive area and brings extra spending to the local economy.


The Institute was commissioned to conduct a review and pilot study into the valuation of BikeIt, a scheme to increase cycling and cycling confidence among school children run by Sustrans.

The review assessed the relative merits of different forms of contingent valuation of public and merit goods. The pilot study at Moorside School Lancaster, found that over a quarter of parents would be willing to pay £10 or more per term per child for BikeIt and 71% £5 or more.

The main reasons for participating in BikeIt were environmental and promoting cycling rather than reducing travel costs.

Richard Weston is directing the study, Jo Guiver designed and organised the survey and Dr Paul Downward analysed the results.

OneNorth East/Sustrans

This study investigated the economic impact of selected touristic cycle routes in the North East on the local economy.

It extrapolated figures about the number of users and types of journeys and information gathered about the spending of cyclists on the network to work out the total amount of spending associated with the provision of the cycleways.

It also researched where service providers such as guesthouses and B&Bs spent the money they received from cycle tourists in order to calculate the impact of the local multiplier.

From what is known about the flow of money in an area, money spent at a small business tends to be circulated mainly in the local economy on local goods and services. This generates more local employment and wealth creation than money spent in nation and inter-national companies.

The research was managed by Professor Les Lumsdon with Dr Richard Weston.

North Sea Cycle Route

This cycle route runs through Scotland, England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

The Institute was commissioned to monitor the observations of tourist officers in the areas crossed by the cycle route and found that such routes can have strong local economic impacts.

The project was managed by Professor Les Lumsdon and Dr Richard Weston.

Carding Mill Valley – Visitor Travel Study

Carding Mill Valley is a National Trust site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the Shropshire Hills.

This study is a pilot of a methodology to measure carbon emissions from tourist travel - specifically designed for use at site level.

The survey trial has been successful and the results are expected later in 2008. The project is being managed by Dr Richard Weston.

Bishop’s Castle-Craven Arms multi-user trail

The Institute was commissioned to do a feasibility study of the use of the old railway line between Bishop’s Castle and Craven Arms, Shropshire for a trail for cyclists, pedestrians and others.

This was done through interviews with local stakeholders and land-owners along the line of the former railway line (closed in 1935).

Although there was considerable local support for the trail, the problems of obtaining rights of way over the track’s length were unsurpassable.

This research was directed by Professor Les Lumsdon.

The Future of Transport and Tourism in the North West of England

This study aimed to engage experts from the field to predict changes in transport and tourism over the next ten years.

Over 90 practitioners were contacted to take part in a Delphi study and their collective opinions formed a consensus on a variety of aspects including: domestic and international tourist trips, transport infrastructure, modes, policy and environmental and social contexts.

Increases were expected in international tourist trips, with low cost airlines cited as a contributing factor. The expert panel, were undecided about the chance of many types of domestic trips increasing, with the exception of business tourism where moderate increases were expected.

A low degree of consensus was also apparent where day visits are concerned. Aside from predictable increases in private car-use the only other modes where an increase is expected for tourism are trains and cycling.

The provision of infrastructure for transport is not expected to change, and it was shown to be very difficult to predict how transport policies would affect fuel prices and pollution in light of uncertainty over climate change and fuel resources. Environmental concerns, it was predicted, would not cause changes in the immediate term.

The results were discussed at a work shop during the launch of the Institute at UCLan on June 8th 2006.

Tourism on Board

This project was set up by the Institute in 2005 to research the use of buses in tourist areas.

With the help of eighteen associates: National Parks, local authorities and the Youth Hostels Association, we conducted on-board surveys of passengers on buses in tourist areas in 2005 and 2006 to establish how buses were being used, whether they were helping to reduce car use in sensitive areas, improving social inclusion and contributing to the local economies.

Read the publication

West Somerset Railway

Early in 2006, the Institute was asked by South West Development Agency to evaluate the impact of installing a new railway turntable in Minehead at the terminal of the West Somerset Railway, a heritage railway company running steam and other vintage trains between Minehead and Bishop’s Lyeard, near Taunton in Somerset.

A turntable would enable locomotives to be turned, enabling them to pull trains facing the right way, whereas currently trains have to do one leg of the journey ‘tender-first’ which is slower and less efficient and causes problems for them entering from and returning to the main railway network.

With the help of the West Somerset Railway Company, our surveyors were able to distribute over 3,700 survey forms over two weekends of the Railway’s Spring Gala and more than 1,000 were returned by post. The responses indicated that the main market for the steam heritage attraction was middle-aged men and that nearly half of them would return if a turntable was installed.

With the results of the survey, Dr Paul Downward and Dr Richard Weston calculated that the turntable would generate extra local spending, which with the effects of the local multiplier, could lead to the equivalent of 4.5 full-time jobs in the area.

Telephone interviews with train charter companies gave a rich understanding of the highly competitive heritage train day trip market and its various segments.

Cycling in Lancashire

This study, commissioned by Lancashire County Council, used household postal questionnaires and focus groups to investigate attitudes towards cycling in three areas of Lancashire: Fleetwood, Lancaster and Pendle.

With a response rate of over 20% to the survey, this research gathered the views of over 1,200 households. It found that cycle ownership was slightly higher than car ownership, that over 38% of respondents wanted to increase their cycling and 30% wanted to decrease their car use.

Road traffic is one of the main deterrents to cycling, but ‘finding the car too convenient’ is also a major factor. The focus groups explored the views of men and women cyclists and parents about the influences on their childrens' level of cycling. This found that different stimuli or barriers affected children at different ages.

The project was administered by Professor Les Lumsdon and Dr Jo Guiver