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Transport Geography/Transport Scotland Knowledge Exchange Day Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, 6.7.2012 Peak Car The current state of play in an unresolved evidence-based technical argument with strong, complex, policy implications. Phil Goodwin Emeritus Professor of Transport Policy UCL and UWE.
Transport Geography/Transport Scotland Knowledge Exchange DayVictoria Quay, Edinburgh, 6.7.2012Peak CarThe current state of play in an unresolved evidence-based technical argument with strong, complex, policy implications
Emeritus Professor of Transport Policy
UCL and UWE
(sub-themes – strength of policy influences, location of development for population increases...)
All are ‘evidence-based’ technical arguments
‘Evidence’ has tended to be ‘supportive data’. But research hypotheses must discriminate between the explanations. Suggested research programme in an appendix, interim results meanwhile...
Look at disaggregate data where ‘temporary economic pressure’ view would lead to changes in one direction, and ‘cultural/technological shifts and policy impacts’ view would lead to opposite
Eg demographic and income breakdown, location and timing of biggest changes...
DfT: test saying get total traffic about right in last 6 years with population, economy, fuel price alone, therefore no evidence of shift in underlying relationships or demand drivers
Work by Barbara Noble, KironChatterjee & Geoff Dudley, Gordon Stokes, Kit Mitchell, David Metz, Scott Le Vine and others in UK, parallel work in USA, France, Germany, Netherlands....
Some of Gordon Stokes results....
Rich, economically successful cities with high incomes and growing population – they are the ones showing greatest reduction in car use
(Hass-Klau: London, Munich, Freiburg, Paris, Strasbourg)
And also reductions in medium size towns especially ‘sustainable travel towns’ 2004-8 (Sloman et al)
And much lower traffic levels in high density new urban developments.
So not only because of economic pressure – but why? (...better public transport, traffic restraint, parking, charging, pedestrianisation, cycling, ‘smarter choices’, low-car redevelopment in brown-field sites.....?)
My view: it’s more than ‘temporary economic pressure’, but evidence is still disputed and in spite of very active current research, there is unlikely to be a consensus in the next couple of years. Need to take fundamental change in the trends seriously.
Therefore narrow ‘high growth-low growth’ sensitivity tests are not good enough; appraisal scenarios needed meanwhile.
Testing the Hypotheses
(suggestions to Independent Transport Commission in response to their Call for Evidence on Road to Rail)