Reducing the Need to Travel : a European Guide to Good Practice
McLELLAN A and MARSHALL S, University College London, UK
The consequences of the ever-increasing growth in travel are clearly seen in the proliferation of traffic and increasing congestion on the roads, and tangibly experienced in the air pollution, consumption of land and other environmental disturbances which
The consequences of the ever-increasing growth in travel are clearly seen in the proliferation of traffic and increasing congestion on the roads, and tangibly experienced in the air pollution, consumption of land and other environmental disturbances which follow. Increasing concern over these adverse environmental impacts is shared by politicians, transport and environmental professionals, and the public alike.
These negative impacts have been fm'nly established and widely acknowledged. Indeed, the contributing role of the private car has been singled out as a particular cause for concern. Accordingly, numerous alternatives and solutions have been proposed to reduce the harmful effects of travel in general and the use of the private car in particular, some of which have been outlined in the recent UK Government's White Paper on the Future of Transport (DETR, 1998). For example, in the case of car use, this might entail on the one hand direct restrictions on car use, or on the other hand the encouragement of the transfer away from the car to more environmentally favourable alternatives, i.e. travel by public transport, on foot and by bicycle.
However, while it is one thing to speculate on ways in which travel reduction might be realised, it is quite another to be able to achieve this in practice. The momentum behind trends towards greater mobility appears to be sufficiently great that solutions devised to address the increases in travel may in practice achieve only a modest reduction, or perhaps only a diminution of the growth in travel.
These considerations have led to the commissioning of the European Directorate General VII's DANTE project: Designs to Avoid the Need to Travel In Europe, whose output is a Good Practice Guide demonstrating ways in which travel reduction can best be achieved.
This paper is based on the final output of the DANTE project. It's aim is to evaluate the types of travel reduction strategies which are available to policy makers and examine the dissemination of the lesults by means of a Good Practice Guide.
The paper firstly summarises the impacts of travel reduction measures, drawing from case studies in seven European countries, and noting where these have been more or less successful in changing travel behaviour. It observes the complexities of policy- behaviour interactions and the ability to achieve travel reduction by particular measures. Also reviewed are the possible barriers to implementation, such as institutional or cultural constraints.
The paper goes on to examine the dissemination of these findings to policy makers and implementors, by means of a Good Practice Guide. It discusses ways in which the Guide attempts to treat the complexity of the issues being presented, balancing aims of policy intentions with the evidence of travel outcomes, and how these may be reconciled through the consideration of complementarity and packaging of strategies and the transferability of results between cases.
Conclusions are drawn on how travel reduction may be best achieved, and comments on ways in which the Guide may be used practicably to promote travel reduction in Europe.
Association for European Transport