The Tenuous and Complex Relationship Between Flexible Working Practices and Travel Demand Reduction
Any reduction in dependence on fossil fuels within transport requires a fundamental transition going beyond only technological changes. The automobile commute is a central concern due to its contribution to carbon emissions, but has proven stubbornly resistant to established policy approaches. Flexible working practices are considered useful in accomplishing these reductions. Drawing from 29 qualitative interviews, this chapter challenges the efficacy of these approaches. It argues that flexibility of work does not necessarily equate to commute flexibility, with limitations arising from working and other everyday practices. Flexibility within working practices is found to be minimal, having limited effects upon the timing of travel and overall travel demand for work, raising questions as to the future scope of these approaches to reduce energy demand.
This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [grant number EP/K011723/1] as part of the RCUK Energy Programme and by EDF as part of the R&D ECLEER Programme.
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