The Transport Planning Implications of New Mixed Use Stadia Developments: a Case Study Based Comparison of the UK and the Netherlands.
L Rackliff, VSRC, Loughborough University, UK; S Edwards, TORG, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK; P Hoekstra, NL
This paper uses case studies from the UK and the Netherlands to explore the transport and accessibility implications of purpose-built stadia
Since the 1980s a number of professional football clubs in both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have relocated to purpose-built stadia. These moves have been driven by a range of factors, including; changing economic conditions; problems with accessibility at the old grounds; and, in the UK at least, a desire to modernise following a number of high profile tragedies in which mismanagement and poor facilities were implicated.
The largest of these new stadia have a capacity in excess of 50, 000 people. Most incorporate a wide range of leisure and business facilities such as hotels, conference facilities and shops. This results in a more consistent flow of traffic than that generated by the seasonal fortnightly home games at the old grounds. In addition, many of these facilities host a wider range of events than the old grounds, offering, for example music events such as concerts, or fixtures for a wider range of sports (for example, in the UK, Rugby Union matches). These result in a more diverse range of people travelling to grounds, from a broader range of origins. This in turn leads to greater unpredictability in main traffic flows, and exacerbates the problems for those designing traffic management strategies.
Whilst the new stadia may vary in terms of the type of sites they occupy (Greenfield or Brownfield, city centre versus urban periphery) all nonetheless face similar issues when trying to balance accessibility with the desire to promote regional economic development, and to encourage sustainable travel whilst minimising the impact of events on the local transport network. The main issues which relevant stakeholders need to address are traffic congestion, ensuring the safety of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, monitoring illegal and dangerous parking, and (where relevant) meeting objectives set out in ?Green? or ?Sustainable? Travel Plans. Whereas more centrally located facilities were relatively convenient for public transport access, in contrast the new mixed use developments have tended to encourage greater use of the road network, both because of modal switches, but also because of the greater capacity of the stadia.
This paper uses case studies from the UK and the Netherlands to explore the accessibility implications of purpose-built stadia, whilst also examining wider environmental impacts such as land take and trip generation. It will address the priority given to transport, not only in the initial planning process, but also in the planning and licensing of events that are held there after completion. The case studies give more insight into case-specific transport related issues and the solutions that are used to solve them. These solutions will be evaluated in the light of planning related possibilities and limitations
These solutions not only provide a model for transport provision and management at existing stadia, but also serve as a set of guidelines to be implemented at the planning stage in order to help similar developments in the future to achieve the desired balance between sustainability and accessibility.
Association for European Transport