This project consisted of, firstly, the introduction of a minibus service to connect the bus and railway stations via the central shopping area and, secondly, the pedestrianisation of certain streets within the shopping area. The purpose of the demonstration project was to test the feasibility and economics of operating a small bus within a central area and to assess the practicability of allowing these buses to penetrate at low speed into a pedestrian precinct. A comprehensive study of the effects of the scheme on conditions in the central shopping area was undertaken and the results and conclusions are listed in this report. Some brief details of a comparable project in Birmingham are included as an appendix. The project showed that it was quite feasible for a minibus to provide a useful service in a city centre where it would be inappropriate to use a larger bus and that it was quite practical to allow the bus to pass through pedestrian streets. There were disadvantages due to slow speed involved in city centre operations; firstly, the cost per mile was quite high and, secondly, excessive clutch wear seems to occur. Surveys of both pedestrians and minibus passengers showed that most people felt the minibus concept was good and that its main value was for those who could not walk far. It was found, not surprisingly, that a majority of passengers were in favour of the minibus going to stops inside the pedestrian precinct but pedestrians were marginally against this. It had been thought that shoppers ladened with their purchases would have used the minibus for their homeward journey but it was found that most passengers made the journey into the centre and about a quarter made the complete journey from one station to the other. There was some evidence that the service had generated some additional shopping trips into leeds, but in total there were not enough passengers using the service to make it economically viable. Environmental conditions in the shopping area were greatly improved and almost every pedestrian preferred the paved area to the original layout. The number of vehicles and the visual intrusion that they caused was reduced to a minimum and there was a significant drop in the number of accidents. There was also some evidence of a shift in the centre of gravity of the shopping area towards the paved streets and the number of pedestrians increased by about 9% compared with a fall of around 6% at a control point outside the precinct. /TRRL/

  • Corporate Authors:

    Department of the Environment, England

    2 Marsham Street
    London SW1P 3EB,   England 
  • Publication Date: 0

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 20 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131477
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Report/Paper Numbers: No. 5 Sumry Rpt.
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: May 14 1981 12:00AM