Although private cars are an important mode of transport within the UK, the Transport for South Hampshire (TfSH) Reduce Strategy 66kb acknowledges the problems caused by a present over-reliance on the car: which include congestion, pollution and a population which does not do enough exercise. The strategy outlines how shorter car journeys can be replaced by walking or cycling, and longer car journeys by public transport. Prof. Phil Goodwin has completed a very positive independent peer review of the TfSH Reduce Strategy 255kb.
Importantly, investment in a Reduce Strategy will help future proof against future economic change; communities where there are high levels of walking, cycling and public transport use for meeting everyday travel needs are less vulnerable to sharp increases in the price, or restrictions on the supply, of vehicle fuels.
Reducing transport demands by making Smarter Choices
One of the key ways in which a demand for transport can be reduced is through measures which are known as ‘Smarter Choices’. These help people to make alternative transport decisions, such as walking rather than driving to work.
Smarter Choices measures include:
Travel planning – for example, a school travel plan outlines how the school journey from each part of the catchment area can be completed on foot, by bicycle or on public transport
Car clubs and car sharing schemes – for example, several people undertaking a similar journey can connect through a car sharing scheme and begin sharing one vehicle between them rather than each driving their own car
Teleworking, teleconferencing and flexible working – for example, teleconferencing means that colleagues in different locations can meet virtually whilst remaining in their own offices rather than travelling to a central location
Promotion of walking and cycling
Better pedestrian and cycle signing
Providing services to people without the need to travel (e.g. over the telephone / through the Internet/ or by home deliveries)
Encouragement to support local facilities including shopping locally
Streamlining services to reduce personal visits.
In 2004, the Department for Transport published the extensive study Smarter Choices – Changing the Way we Travel.This study estimates that the benefits of investing in Smarter Choices is significant: in broad terms, the cost of removing a vehicle from the road network brings at least ten times the benefits in reduced congestion alone. This could be even higher in the more congested areas, and does not include the wider benefits of reduced congestion, such as improved air quality.
Reducing transport demands through land-use planning
By carefully designing new developments, such as the SDA planned for South Hampshire, we can ensure that sustainable methods of transport are promoted: for example, by putting in an extensive cycle network or bus priority measures. Land-use planning initiatives can include:
Land-use policies to locate housing, employment and retail development in the same area to create sustainable communities and avoid long journeys to work or to shops
Promoting concentrated development around public transport hubs, particularly in the two cities of Southampton and Portsmouth
Placing services closer to people to reduce journey distances
Co-ordinating the provision and charging regimes of car parking.