Table of Contents

Accessibility Analysis and Transport Planning

Accessibility Analysis and Transport Planning

Challenges for Europe and North America

NECTAR Series on Transportation and Communications Networks Research

Edited by Karst T. Geurs, Kevin J. Krizek and Aura Reggiani

Accessibility is a concept central to integrated transport and land use planning. The goal of improving accessibility for all modes, for all people, has made its way into mainstream transport policy and planning in communities worldwide. This unique and fascinating book introduces new accessibility approaches to transport planning across Europe and the United States.

Chapter 16: European transport policy: methodology to assess accessibility impacts

Panayotis Christidis and Nicolás Ibanez Rivas1

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


The European Commission presented an update on its transportation policy in the White Paper Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area–Towards a Competitive and Resource Efficient Transport System published in March 2011 (European Commission, 2011b). Apart from the objective of reducing CO2 emissions drastically, the proposed policy measures also aims to improve the efficiency of the European transport system and improve accessibility at regional level. This chapter presents the methodology applied during the preparation of the White Paper for the evaluation of trends in transport and accessibility by the year 2030, and the impact assessment of accessibility-related measures. The analysis is based on the TRANSTOOLS model (Burgess and Nielsen, 2008; Rich et al., 2009), a multimodal transport network model covering all 27 European Union (EU) member states. The model is the standard tool used by the European Commission services in policy impact assessments for transport. A reference scenario to 2030 was developed, taking into account the expected socio-economic and demographic trends. A set of indicators to measure transport costs, congestion and accessibility was developed. These indicators were used to compare alternative policy intervention scenarios to the reference scenario. The findings of this analysis were used in European Commission (2011a) to evaluate the accessibility impact of various policy options and several other policy priorities. This chapter is structured as follows: a description of the general context of EU transport policy is given first, defining priorities from the policy analyst’s point of view. An analysis of selected theoretical concepts with respect to accessibility measurement is then given. The general trends in transport activity are also presented, identifying the main drivers that affect accessibility. The impact of the specific policy initiative is presented and discussed, and a final section concludes.

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