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Public acceptability towards Low Emission Zones: The role of attitudes, norms, emotions, and trust

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journal contribution
posted on 29.06.2021, 10:41 authored by Craig MortonCraig Morton, Giulio Mattioli, Jillian Anable
In recent years, the topic of air quality has grown in prominence due to an improved understanding of the detrimental impacts of local air pollutants on human health and wellbeing. The introduction of Urban Vehicle Access Regulations such as Low Emission Zones represents one policy that is being actively considered in city governance to address this problem, whereby the access of highly polluting vehicles is restricted to reduce traffic-related emissions. For such a policy to be implemented, an understanding of public support can prove useful by identifying the issues that underpin citizen reaction.

This paper presents an assessment of public acceptability to Low Emission Zones through the application of a conceptual framework. This framework integrates an array of socio-psychological constructs sourced from theoretical models of behaviour and empirical findings on acceptability to Transport Demand Management measures. The framework is applied through a Structural Equation Model with the results of the analysis indicating that attitudes, policy specific beliefs, trust in government, and problem awareness all represent significant constructs in terms of their direct and in-direct effects on acceptability. This information can contribute to the discussion within local governments by providing guidance in their policy development on what contentious issues need to be addressed in public engagement strategies.


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  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice




256 - 270


Elsevier BV


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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© Elsevier

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice and the definitive published version is available at

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Dr Craig Morton. Deposit date: 29 June 2021