Travel behaviour response to major transport system disruptions: implications for smarter resilience planning

The current focus of transportation policy around disruptive events is to adopt an engineering resilience-oriented approach, which focuses on returning assets to good workable order as soon as possible. It is, however, only one part of ensuring that such events have more limited impacts on society and the economy. A broader consideration of societal resilience and responses outside the transport sector is needed. People travel in order to take part in activities (work, education, caring and so on), and a smarter resilience response requires us to better understand these activity patterns and intervene accordingly. There is significant adaptive capacity within society that could be better harnessed to reduce the impacts of disruptive events. This briefing paper presents evidence collected from new studies of behavioural adaptation during disruptive events and uses this to identify four areas for action to improve how we plan for resilience and how we assess the worth of different types of investment strategy: 1. The development of Smart Resilience Strategies – which are a combination of transport and non-transport responses which work together to minimize the impacts of temporary infrastructure loss; 2. Measures to improve the usefulness, impact and co-ordination of communications with the public and businesses during disruptions, enabling social adaptation and reducing time wasted in unnecessarily perilous and extended journeys; 3. A continued programme of developing the capacity of travellers and businesses to adapt to different events through greater multi-modality and an increase in smart and flexible working practices; and 4. A reassessment of the approach to understanding the economic impacts of disruptive events which extends well beyond the apparent reductions in flows and increases in journey times observed on the networks and captures the societal and economic impacts in a more holistic way.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 27p
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 2016-09

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01602439
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 21 2016 9:46AM