Evaluation of Transport Accessibility for Elderly and Disabled People: A Proposal for an Activity-based Quality of Life Approach



Evaluation of Transport Accessibility for Elderly and Disabled People: A Proposal for an Activity-based Quality of Life Approach

Authors

S Orr, University College London and Accent, UK

Description

This paper suggests a new microscopic approach that considers how transport accessibility improves the capability to undertake activities which promotes the quality of life of individuals.

Abstract

Several approaches have been proposed for the evaluation of transport accessibility, but have not evaluated how accessibility improves quality of life. This paper suggests a new microscopic approach that considers how transport accessibility improves the capability to undertake activities which promotes the quality of life of individuals. The paper develops a version of an ?activity hierarchy? which can be used for purposes of evaluating benefits from accessibility interventions. We use a list of desired tasks to construct a generic scale which enables the evaluation of accessibility interventions. This is an Activity Based Accessbility Related Quality of Life, or ABARQoL measure.

This is currently much needed for policy appraisal in transport and for developing local transport plans. Currently, the disability discrimination act (DDA) requires only that consideration of accessibility be given to any new projects. However, in DDA guidelines no mention is made regarding the cost-effectiveness of different interventions, and currently some accessibility interventions could yield little in the way of accessibility at enormous cost. For this reason the ABARQoL measure enables comparison of all types of accessibility interventions (from drop curbs to new bus route designs to audio announcements of bus stops, etc.). This entails not only that accessibility can be valued across different types of projects within transport, but also across the public sector. This is particularly important as accessibility, arguably more than other forms of transport, truly requires a thoroughly interconnected and complete ?whole journey environment?. Therefore, it is particularly important that the ABARQoL measure can be integrated with the cost-effectiveness or cost-benefit analyses of other departments, and hence allows for a monetised measure of accessibility benefits. In particular accessibility benefits are often considered by the Department of Health, and we pay special attention to integration of our proposed Accessibility measure with the cost-effectiveness approaches used by DH and by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). We conclude with a case study in which our Accessibility measure approach is used for cost-benefit analysis between both DfT and DH.

Publisher

Association for European Transport