The Specification of Revenue Collection Systems Within UK and European Light Rail Systems
PRENDIVILLE A and SALE R, University of East London, UK DAVIS-COOPER R, Salford University, UK
In recent years the continuing damage on the environment caused by transport is increasingly raising alarm in the industrialised world. In the UK the costs of congestion are now approximately E15 billion per annum and E80 billion per annum in Europe.Õ In
In recent years the continuing damage on the environment caused by transport is increasingly raising alarm in the industrialised world. In the UK the costs of congestion are now approximately E15 billion per annum and E80 billion per annum in Europe.Õ In addition reports show that transport is one of the key consumers of fossil fuels and a main contributor to energy and environmental problems.Õ
In 1991 a Department of Transport study concluded that town centres Òsimply cannot take unrestricted traffic growth and there is no point increasing the capacity of roads leading into areas which are already congested.ÓÕ If mobility is to be maintained and increased within urban areas alternatives to the private car need to be considered. One method of increasing the capacity of the existing road networks would be through greater use of buses and trams or expanding the rail systems.
The revival of the electric tram, as a modern day light rail vehicle, provides a fast and efficient alternative to the private car and is simpler and more affordable rhan a full metro. The vehicles are now fast, stylish and,quiet and are capable of running along rails on pedestrianised streets, roads, underground tunnels or unkempt railway tracks all on the same journey. Throughout cities in Western Europe and America the tram is being introduced as offering an alternative to private car travel and consequently an improvement to the quality of urban life.
In contrast to its European equivalents, Britain withdrew its cityÕs trams for buses in the 1950s and as a result is a relative newcomer to the benefits of the current generation of sophisticated modem tram ways.
At present virtually every big provincial city in Britain is examining the possibility of building a new light rail transport network. In Britain in 1993 there were as many as 40 Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems under consideration. Within Britain today there are already five light rail / tramway systems: Blackpool tramway, Tyne and Wear, Docklands Light Rail with Greater Manchester Metrolink and South Yorkshire being the two most recent additions and both completed within the last four years.Õ
In addition to the development of new light rail systems, and in order to achieve the transfer of people from the car to public transport, the attractiveness of public transport needs to be enhanced by improving the quality of service. This is dependent on many factors including the provision of information, the integration of public transport services through operation, timetables, fares, design of stops and connection stations, waiting conditions and vehicle comfort.
Association for European Transport