Retailing represents a major activity in British town centres where the multi trip purpose is efficient and feasible by both public transport and the ubiquitous car. The past decade has seen the development of American style out of town superstore shopping providing customers with an attractive magnet distant from the town centre. These developments are heavily dependent on car borne access, discriminate against those who do not have a car, and undermine the main function of the town centre. The catchment for such stores is necessarily large to justify the large investment and land take which in itself predicates development remote from its users. This study of shopper patterns in North Hertfordshire provides an analysis of how this trend is affecting medium sized British towns. Key planning objectives are conservation and rejuvenation of Letchworth, Hitchin and Royston town centres. The study investigates journey purpose, average spending patterns, origins and choice of shopping location within the wider region. It considers the impact of the construction of out of town shopping development and examines the traffic, retailing and employment implications. Recent planning policy changes by central Government have sought to restrict further out of town superstores and encourage town centre investment to bring life back into the centre, provide opportunities for equitable access to services and provide a more sustainable form of development. The study reflects the change in emphasis in Government policy as shoppers see attractive and well planned town centres as the place to shop. For the covering abstract see IRRD 877018.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 197-214

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00722320
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-86050-282-1
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jun 28 1996 12:00AM