Spatial Patterns, Congestion and Modelling
Transport Economics, Management and Policy series
Edited by Eliahu Stern, IIan Salomon and Piet H.L. Bovy
Chapter 7: Infrastructure and congestion: Can rail save the road? Can public transport replace the car?
7. Infrastructure and congestion: Can rail save the road? Can public transport replace the car? Piet H.L. Bovy and Bert Van Wee 1. INTRODUCTION Road trafﬁc congestion is a widespread phenomenon in afﬂuent societies. This chapter will address the recurrent congestion mainly caused by urban commuters on motorways and other trunk roads at the fringes of the larger high-density conurbations. Reducing the congestion burden and its related safety and environmental problems is a general concern to people and therefore to policy makers at the national governmental level. Most transport experts, for example Hillman (1993), and critics of current transport policy continue to believe that the key to resolving the conﬂict between the growth in the demand for car travel and its adverse effects (such as congestion, air and noise pollution, lack of safety and so on) lies in investing heavily in bus and rail rather than roads to provide equivalent levels of comfort, service and speed to the car. In this way, it is thought that car and lorry users can then be more easily encouraged to transfer to public transport or rail transport, or even be obliged to do so with fewer grounds for opposing measures taken by central or local government with this aim in mind. Such judgements, well substantiated by Hillman (1993), can be seen at nearly all levels of government, in most spheres of information gathering and dissemination, in professional papers, political lobbying and agenda setting, and thus not surprisingly in the media....
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