Table of Contents

Travel Behaviour

Travel Behaviour

Spatial Patterns, Congestion and Modelling

Transport Economics, Management and Policy series

Edited by Eliahu Stern, IIan Salomon and Piet H.L. Bovy

Travel Behaviour is a challenging and original volume, adding to the growing literature focusing on understanding transportation systems. The book capitalises on actual scientific and applied developments in Europe, the importance of EC policies and the resultant trend in studying differences between North American and European research.

Chapter 7: Infrastructure and congestion: Can rail save the road? Can public transport replace the car?

Piet H.L. Bovy and Bert Van Wee

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, transport, environment, transport, urban and regional studies, regional economics, transport


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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