The Economic Impact of Public Transport in Gloucestershire
Chris Heywood, Accent, Elaine Rosscraig, Stagecoach, Alan Bently, Gloucestershire County Council
This paper reports on commissioned research which was sufficiently robust to identify the precise economic impact or contribution to major retailers and other town centre employers sited within two major conurbations in Gloucestershire
Although there had been research regarding the economic impact of public transport on local markets these could not be used to look at the impact or identify the economic impact of public transport, particularly buses, in Gloucestershire. This was because these studies have been at a macro or national level and did not provide substantive local level impacts or because the studies were focused on major conurbations where the respondent profile was significantly different to that of respondents in urban areas.
Therefore, research was commissioned which was sufficiently robust to identify the precise economic impact or contribution to major retailers and other town centre employers sited within two major conurbations in Gloucestershire: Gloucester city and Cheltenham town centres.
The research was conducted through face-to-face tablet on street interviews at key locations throughout Gloucester city and Cheltenham town centres. The research covered those who accessed the centre by car, park & ride, bus, train, walk and cycle.
About 750 interviews were undertaken in Gloucester and 730 in Cheltenham. There was a quota of 50% who used bus and and/or Park & Ride.
The research was designed to explore the purpose of the visit, frequency of visit, the activities undertaken and spend.
The relative contribution to the economic vitality of the centres by users of different access modes was assessed.
For both bus and Park & Ride, satisfaction and key drivers to usage were explored along with the main reason for non usage.
The research also explored the degree to which environmental and safety concerns were an issue to visitors and views on public transport provision.
Association for European Transport