|One clear result of the testing was the importance of strategies which include both 'carrot' and 'stick' elements. For those strategies which incorporated a full range of measures across all modes, car trips were reduced by approximately 25% over their Do-Minimum equivalent at the year 2011. If such reductions could be achieved in reality, then traffic levels would be lower than present day values. What the tests could not convey but which is nevertheless implicit is that the process of change must be both long-term and consistent. The whole basis of the testing was to see how the perceived costs of travel could be incrementally increased in favour of the more sustainable modes and against the private car. Since significant cost changes are required to produce any relative shift in car use it is clear that a variety of levers will be required. Though some of these levers are outwith the control of local government this nevertheless leaves a number of 'carrots' and 'sticks' which can be used effectively as shown in Table 1 above.|
|Appraisal Frameworks and Indicators|
|The following strategies were selected for more detailed appraisal from a full list of 20 tests, as they appeared to offer the potential for the greatest benefits in terms of reduced environmental impact, improved modal split and reduced amount of travel. The Future Year (2011) Do Minimum Strategy was also appraised for comparison. |
- Pro Bus Strategy
- Local Authority Measures with new orbital route
- Local Authority Measures without new orbital route.
|Each strategy was tested against 9 different objectives:|
- Maximising accessibility for the community, in particular maximising access to major employment opportunities;
- Minimising traffic induced severance and intimidation in the community;
- Maximising the safety of the transport system.
- Facilitating economic development;
- Maximising the economic performance of the city.
- Minimising greenhouse gas emissions;
- Minimising consumption of energy and construction materials;
- Minimising impact on the natural and cultural heritage;
- Minimising impacts on local environmental quality.
|These objectives and the various measures which described them were subsequently reduced to three indicators for more rapid appraisal of other tests. These indicators were as follows: |
- peak hour modal split;
- vehicle flows on key links (this could refer to specific roads, sites or areas);
- new infrastructure.
|The results of the 'Do Minimum' appraisal showed that a number of unsustainable trends in Aberdeen's transport system will continue between 1997 and the year 2011 if no significant action is taken. Against this background, each of the 3 'Do Something' strategies tested in the framework, performed well under the 3 headings of community, economy and environment, and provided an indication of what might be achieved using combined strategies.|
|A key part of the work was to understand the barriers to reduced car use. As such a number of surveys were undertaken with groups of travellers, different demographic groups and representatives of commerce and industry. |
The surveys with the public demonstrated two clear points:
- that issues of convenience and the quality of travel were generally far more important than cost and time; and
- that whilst some of the obstacles were broadly similar others were distinctly different.
This second point led to the conclusion that certain groups represented a more legitimate target for concerted action. Examples included peak period commuters, particularly those with a destination in the City Centre.
In terms of institutional barriers to change, the views of commerce were that the levels of economic activity in the City Centre were directly related to car accessibility. For them therefore, guaranteeing existing levels of car accessibility was viewed as a major political priority.
The central conclusion from the interviews with representatives of commerce was that communication was a key in facilitating the required change. Too often commerce felt that it was marginalised or involved too late in the process once decisions had already been made. It is important therefore to involve key opinion formers at the earliest possible stage and encourage them to become part of the plan formulation process.
|The overall conclusions from the work were that change can be achieved although any strategy will need to challenge current trends in a comprehensive manner. This relates not only to specific transport initiatives but also involves developing a consensus amongst those affected. |
Importantly if progress is to be made this is likely to be on the basis of no-cost or low cost solutions which involve the re-allocation of road space away from the private car. It is also likely to be on the basis of partnership, either formal or informal, between those who are involved in the planning and operation of the transport system. This includes the local authority, bus companies, Scotrail, the Police and even large employers. The pivotal role in all of this is occupied by the local authority who must define the strategy, manage the process and influence others to deliver their part in any overall solution.
Developing a sustainable transport system will require a reversal of existing trends and the development of a new travel culture. Nevertheless, it can be done if all parties involved are committed to the process of change.
|"Sustainable Transport for Aberdeen", the research report summarised in this Research Findings, is available priced £10.00. Cheques should be made payable to The Stationery Office and addressed to: |
The Stationery Office Bookshop, 71 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9AZ
Telephone: 0131-622 7050, or Fax: 0131-662 7017
This Research Findings may be photocopied, or further copies can be obtained from:
The Scottish Office Central Research Unit
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