CURBING CAR USE - THE DANGERS OF EXAGGERATING THE FUTURE ROLE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The considerable increase in car ownership in the last three decades to the point at which over two-thirds of UK households are now car- owning, and a quarter multi-car-owning, has enabled and encouraged people to adopt much more geographically-dispersed patterns of activity. However, it is now widely accepted that the consequent rising demand for private transport cannot be met. The conventional view is that the key element of a package aimed at dealing with the adverse effects - increasing danger, road congestion, noise, local and global pollution, and so on - lies in investing heavily in bus and rail in order to provide equivalent levels of convenience, speed and comfort to the car. In this way, it is argued, car users can then be more easily encouraged to transfer back to public transport - or be obliged to do so with less grounds for opposing measures taken by central or local government with this objective in mind. Reference to the existence of, let alone provision for, cycling and walking as alternatives to the car is, however, rare, the two non-motorised modes being primarily thought of in the context of very short journeys and, of course, safety. In this paper the author demonstrates how UK evidence suggests that investment would be far more effective if directed to provision for safe and convenient pedestrian networks to meet the demand for short journeys; she shows how evidence from the Netherlands suggests that it would be far more effective if allocated to provision for safe and attractive cycle networks for other urban journeys. She concludes that there is a need for central government to take a significantly more pro-active role than it has to date, particularly in Britain through the medium of the Transport Policies and Programmes and Transport Supplementary Grant system and the advice and guidance process, in order to encourage local authorities to act with this perspective in the forefront of their decision-making on transport priorities and investment.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Landor Publishing Limited

    Quadrant House 250 Kennington Lane
    London SE11 5RD,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Hillman, M
  • Publication Date: 1994

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 21-30
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00713426
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Nov 22 1995 12:00AM