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Balance traffic restriction and economic growth

 

Most people will agree that the Western world's car-growth and congestion already have become unsustainable. According to Phil T. Blythe, a researcher from the University of Newcastle, the situation will get rapidly worse. Car ownership is expected to increase with 50 percents in the next 15 years.
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Photo: Gerhard Ablasser - Parking control - one of several measures to avoid complete traffic Armageddon
Parking control - one of several measures to avoid complete traffic Armageddon
In the UK alone, congestion, accidents and unnecessary mileage annually cost more than 35 billion pounds.
What can be done to avoid a complete traffic Armageddon? Based on his long-lasting research, Phil T. Blythe presents several options.
- Introduce traffic demand management to affect modal splits
- Reduce attractiveness of private transport
- Parking control Ė access zones
- Road-use pricing - cordons
- Make people park their cars farther from the centre
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Some of these measures have already been put into practice Ė with various degree of success.
- Athens introduced odd/even number plate access control to the city centre. Congestion decreased, although people started buying used cars according to their number plates.
- Singapore issued paper permits for access to the centre, or even licenses to own a car. This is a very efficient system, but rather incompatible to Europeís liberal traditions.
- Gothenburg practices a well-functioning pre-booking of parking lots. If you donít have a parking lot reserved, donít bother to drive your car to the centre!
- Oslo and Trondheim have operated classical toll-rings for many years with favourable results.
- Car-pooling/sharing. In this area, the Internet has opened a wide range of new possibilities.
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One of the main problems with access restriction is to strike a balance between traffic restriction and economic growth in city centres. Phil T. Blythe believes this can be achieved for instance by giving local authorities power to levy road-use charges.

 


 Published2003-06-03
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Earlier issues

No.1, Aug 2003 - Access Restrictions

Trendsetter workshop on Accessible Cities

The Trendsetter project

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Londonís Congestion Charging

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No.2, sept 2004 - Clean Vehicles

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