Opening Up the City Centre: Closing Down the Private Car



Opening Up the City Centre: Closing Down the Private Car

Authors

SMITH B, Cambridgeshire County Council, UK

Description

The Core Scheme is the generic name given to the proposals in recent TPPs (Transport Policies and Programmes) (and to be reflected in the Local Transport Plan) to exclude through traffic - except buses, taxis and hire cars and, of course, bicycles - from

Abstract

The Core Scheme is the generic name given to the proposals in recent TPPs (Transport Policies and Programmes) (and to be reflected in the Local Transport Plan) to exclude through traffic - except buses, taxis and hire cars and, of course, bicycles - from the "core" of the city: essentially the area within the inner ring road.

This is a key policy of private car restraint and encouragement of public transport, cycling and walking, with environmental and safety benefits.

The closures have been achieved by using rising bollards, an experiment followed with some interest by DETR because of the volumes of vehicles using the roads. Buses, taxis and hire cars trigger the lowering of the bollards via the use of transponders, fitted to all vehicles.

The first closure was January 1997 on an experimental basis. Confirmed last year as a permanent measure, a further closure will be introduced in Summer 1999, a primary aim of which is to free up bus movements in the central area.

The closures have raised important points about the way such measures can be secured, the importance of quality information and the tactics and psychology in respect of different users.

The purpose of the paper is to explore and illustrate the above points, focussing in particular on the psychology of changing the behaviour of car drivers, and recogrtising the vital importance of appropriate alternatives to support this. This initiative has important lessons for those authorities wishing to exploit the promised new powers for congestion charging and workplace parking.

Publisher

Association for European Transport