All Work and No Play? The role of instrumental and affective factors in work and leisure journeys by different travel modes

Jillian Anable, Birgitta Gatersleben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

304 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines the relative importance that people attach to various instrumental and affective journey attributes when travelling either for work or for a leisure day trip and presents how journeys by various travel modes score on these attributes. Although not a comparative paper, data are presented for two studies which used some identical measurements: one on commuter journeys and one on leisure journeys. The results show that for work journeys, respondents tend to attach more importance to instrumental aspects, and especially to convenience than to affective factors. For leisure journeys, however, respondents appear to attach almost equal importance to instrumental and affective aspects, particularly flexibility, convenience, relaxation, a sense of freedom and ‘no stress’. Each study also examines (i) how regular users’ evaluate their own mode and (ii) how car users perceive the performance of alternative modes compared to their importance ratings. This ‘gap’ analysis reveals on which modes and for which attributes the greatest deficiencies in performance lie. The data for both the work and leisure studies shows that for car users, alternative transport modes are inferior on the salient attributes such as convenience and flexibility even though car users rate modes such as walking and cycling as performing well, if not better, on less important attributes such as the environment, health and even excitement. Nevertheless, for those who cycle and walk regularly, satisfaction with their own travel mode as measured by the gap between importance and performance on salient attributes is better than for those who mostly use the car. Conclusions are made as to how greater attention to affective factors may improve our understanding of mode choice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-181
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research. Part A, Policy and Practice
Issue number2-3
Early online date14 Jan 2005
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


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