Sunday, 13 April 2008

Road transport

Traffic problems

  • air and noise pollution
  • health problems
  • greater demands on car parking
  • heavy congestion
  • commuter traffic - twice daily build up
  • danger to pedestrians
  • vehicle vibrations can cause damage to old buildings
  • cost of road maintenance
  • old buildings cleared to make way for new roads

    1. reduce the amount of traffic entering the urban area: - traffic free zones, park and ride schemes (Cambridge, Stratford upon Avon), inner and outer ring roads (Birmingham), bypass, motorways, M6 Toll, congestion charges (London)

    2. encouraging people to use public transport: - reliable and frequent bus service, fare reductions (e.g. season tickets), bus only lanes so public transport is faster, installing new rapid - transport systems (Manchester Metro)

    3. Reducing air pollution from vehicle exhausts by:- enforcing law on vehicle emissions
    using traffic control methods: traffic lights

    Case Study - Birmingham

In Birmingham, there have been major traffic problems in the past, particularly around the main routes into the city centre. In order to tackle this, Birmingham City Council have taken a number of measures. In the North they have turned the A38 into a tidal flow road, which is now known as the Aston Express Way. This allows them to change the number of lanes entering and leaving the city to cope with the rush hour. In addition there is also an urban motorway with up to 8 lanes for traffic to cope with the volume. In the East the Stratford Road is now a red route, which means that there is no stopping allowed along this stretch of road and thus maintains the flow of traffic. The main heart of the CBD around New Street, is pedestrianised with bus lanes all around the edge of the CBD. This allows commuters to reach the centre easily and quickly whilst keeping them safe. To the West of Birmingham a rapid transit system (trams) has been set up running from the Black Country into Snow Hill Station, in the business area of the CBD. This is a park and ride scheme aimed at commuters and runs every 10 minutes during the week. There has been major investment in the public transport network with Travel West Midlands offering integrated timetables linking bus routes with trains. All prices on public transport are kept below £1.00 per journey to encourage people to use it. The road network is well organised with both an outer and inner ring road keeping traffic away from the city centre. In 2003 the M6 Toll Road was opened which takes traffic away from the motorways around the edge of Birmingham in order to reduce pressure and congestion on these roads.

With thanks to Miss West and Rachel

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