Fly by Bus, Fly by Train: Identifying and Quantifying the Factors Supporting the Use of Public Transport in the United Kingdom for Travel to and from Airports
R Clark, Transport Scotland, UK
This paper looks at the use made of public transport (bus and rail) to access airports in the United Kingdom, and identifies the key factors which promote the use of these services
Most airports rely on public transport services to provide part of their landside access; in some cases this is in the form of rail, underground or light rail services. However, public transport really only provides a service for a minority of users. Airports with a strong use of public transport for their landside access (more than twenty percent of the airport's passenger throughput) are not actually that common.
The concern of Scottish Ministers to see the use of public transport encouraged, also extends to the use of public transport for airport access. Using the public CAA data, this research analyses the relationship between the use of public transport for various airports and various independent factors for those airports, such as total passenger demand, the components of that demand (that is domestic versus international, foreign versus domestic resident traffic, and business versus leisure traffic), service frequencies and modes. After a review of the broad relationships, examples of good-practice are also noted for further consideration. Some statistical modelling is undertaken to identify the factors which are associated with a stronger use of public transport for airport access, and some policy implications are teased out as well. The use of public transport has increased over time in some specific instances; the paper looks also at what the factors underlying that growth in use have been.
The context of this work is an ongoing debate about landside access to Scotland's largest airports. This paper has been produced in a personal capacity; it is not an official Transport Scotland research project; and its views do not necessarily reflect official Transport Scotland policy.
Association for European Transport