WTPP Abstracts: Volume 1 (1995)

Volume 1, Number 1 Abstracts

Volume 1, Number 2 Abstracts

Volume 1, Number 3 Abstracts

Volume 1, Number 4 Abstracts


Volume 1, Number 1 (1995) wtpp01.1.pdf

The well-travelled yogurt pot: lessons for new freight transport policies and regional production

Stefanie Böge

Freight transport on roads has increased greatly, especially in the food sector. The growing distances in goods transportation are decisive determinants of environmental and social impacts. There are capacity limits which become evident in the environmental field and in the social field in decreasing quality of life. The concept of a product-related transportation analysis which analyses the product related transportation procedures has been accomplished for a strawberry yogurt. If on 150g strawberry yogurt is purchased in a supermarket in southern Germany, it will have been responsible for moving one lorry over 9.2 metres. So-called "environmental" products are not environmental if the distances are included. A regional product label can identify the origin of ingredients and the total distance travelled. Suggests product-related transportation analysis can give the basis for such a scheme.

The end of the urban freeway

Peter Newman

Examines the future of the urban freeway in the light of recent spectacular collapses of these giant structures in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Outlines how they no longer represent good urban policy from an economic perspective as well as social and environmental. Initiatives are reviewed in the USA, UK and Australia to develop alternatives through public transport, demand management and land use that is not car dependent. Popular support for freeways is now at a low ebb, as the anti-freeway movement has become a truly populist social phenomenon, leaving politicians little choice but to pursue these alternatives.

Urban transport policy paradoxes in Australia

Paul Mees

Melbourne's extensive heavy- and light-rail networks are suffering declining usage as the city becomes increasingly car-dominated. Discusses reasons for this trend and contrasts Melbourne with Canadian cities and Perth, Western Australia. The popular explanation for Melbourne's problems --the low-density nature of post-war suburban development -- is held to be a rationalisation, rather than an explanation. The real cause is Government transport policies that reduce the attractiveness of public transport while expanding road capacity.

How Amsterdam plans to reduce car traffic

Leo Lemmers

In 1993, the city of Amsterdam published a scheme to reduce car traffic in the historical city centre. Describes the backgrounds and origins of the scheme, its relation with a local referendum, held in 1992 on the subject of traffic reduction; the objectives: a sustainable form of transport for a thriving economic city centre; the main elements of the scheme itself; its impact on the city's economy and on environmental qualities' the way public support has been created; and finally the results of the decision-making process.

New roads generate new traffic

Rudolf H.H. Pfleiderer & Martin Dieterich

Road traffic accounts for about one-fifth of fossil energy consumption worldwide. It is one of the major causes of global environmental pollution and contributes significantly to the greenhouse effect. There is widespread ignorance concerning the mechanisms which underlie the generation of additional traffic. In particular the construction or improvements of roads is neglected by conservative traffic experts. Travelling time, saved as a result of faster vehicles, is not shifted from transportation to other activities. Rather, average travel time budgets remain constant thus allowing for longer distances to be covered. This results in traffic induced by improved infrastructure. Induced traffic is considered to be one of the main causes of traffic increase in general.

Can trams carry cargo? new logistics for urban areas

Werner Rien and Michael Roggenkamp

Goods traffic is increasing more than any other type of traffic in Europe. At present, city residents living on roads with high traffic density are not happy about it. On the other hand there is more traffic planned because of the building of goods centres (GVZ) in Germany. Discusses the potential of using tram lines for goods transport because there is spare capacity available immediately. The basis for transport on the planned two-direction, low floor vehicles is the "Logistik box", a small container-form which was introduced by Deutsche Bahn AG in 1991. This Logistik box is compatible with normal containers and fits on train wagons and trucks. The CargoTram is part of a regional logistic service management and goods traffic system.

A new approach to reducing road freight transport

Peter Strutynski

Deals with the effects of "lean production" for interfirm supply traffic. Argues that the generally predicted large increase of freight transport -- especially of road freight traffic -- is not the result of new production methods, but is caused by other factors, i.e. through the Single European Market, transport sector liberalisation or extremely low transport costs. Lean production in the sense of a total rationalisation of the entire value chain could actually lead to a decrease of interfirm freight transport, because there is a general tendency to reduce the number of the direct suppliers. But there must also be a clear diminishing of average transport distances through regional concentration of production and supply relations. However an essential precondition for this would be the drastic increase of transport costs.

Violence and the car

Helmut Holzapfel

Considers the fact that the horsepower and speed of cars has increased considerably since 1981 and suggests that, 20 years ago, only motor races saw such dangerously close distances between cars. Discusses the negative influences of the car-centred society -- for example more than a half million people have been killed by cars on German streets alone (not considering those seriously injured). Highlights the fact that the psychological effects suffered by victims have rarely been analysed. Assesses statistics associated with dangerous driving; characteristics of aggressive drivers; and reactions of slow drivers when irritated by aggressive faster drivers. Concludes that cars have brought an increase in violence and the only way of stopping this violence is to face the problems that cars create.

Living without a car

Michael Glotz-Richter

A housing estate reserved for people living without a car is planned in Bremen, Germany. Herewith a modern urban lifestyle of different mobility patterns should be supported by advantages in the direct environment. Less noise, less pollution, more space, better urban design and less costs are main points to a higher urban life quality. To support projects like "housing without cars" means to save energy and find new qualities of urban life. Mobility is guaranteed by walking, cycling and public transport and also by organised car sharing (StadtAuto member of ECS European Car Sharing). For 210 housing units in the Bremen-Hollerland estate only 30 parking lots (for car sharing, visitors and handicapped people) are necessary instead of 180 otherwise required in a housing project of this size. Construction is expected to start in 1995. The project offers the opportunity to redevelop an urban lifestyles as a part of a sustainable development. Around 27% of all households in West Germany are car free.

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Volume 1, Number 2 (1995) wtpp01.2.pdf

Freight transport as an environmental problem

Jack Short

Examines a number of issues in relation to freight transport and the environment. Analyse traffic trends and forecasts. Summarises the environmental effects and discusses the concept of sustainable transport. Explains how sustainability needs to be incorporated in appraisal methodology. Comments on the recent EU Green Paper on transport and the environment and also the White Paper on the EU's future transport policy. Briefly explores some policy options.

Reducing the impact of freight transport on global warming: the potential of technical solutions

David Martin, William Cannell & Ken Gwilliam

Considers how technology policies in relation to vehicle design, engine technology and alternative fuels can help to reduce global warming effects of transport, and outlines current EU research programmes. Presents, in table form, an appraisal of alternative technologies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Shows their advantages, disadvantages and uncertain potential to create a strong need for a strategy for technology to fine the best, obtain the best from it and control its use. Outlines four key areas for R&D but concludes that a technology strategy is not enough on its own and needs to be integrated into a general transport policy.

Economic instruments for sustainable mobility: the case of freight transport

Gert Jan Koopman

Gives an overview of how economic instruments might be used to reconcile the contribution of transport to economic prosperity while safeguarding the environment. Adopts an economic theory perspective to evaluate possible instruments. Argues that because the costs of many of the environmental effects of transport are not taken into account by private agents, environmental resources are overused and corrective action may be taken by governments. Formulates several criteria and discusses a set of first best policy measures. Discusses the merits and drawbacks, and the transport, energy and economic effects of increased fuel taxes and argues that, by themselves, they are not likely to lead to and efficient and effective environmental policy. Discusses innovative additional instruments. Inspects current EU measures and argues that a strengthening of actions which have already been introduced is necessary to achieve sustainable mobility. Discusses a number of illustrative but quantified transport scenarios and presents an outlook for increasing the role of market-based transport policies in the EU.

The European railways perspective

John Markham

Argues that the railways in Europe will play an increasingly important part in achieving the goal of sustainable mobility to which the EU is committed. Provides comparative statistics showing how the relative fortunes of Europe's railways have varied during the period 1971-1990. Outlines the principles underlying the European Commission's approach to the proposed combined transport network, and discusses the contribution of the railways to it. Argues that, since freight traffic values will continue to increase and that the external costs of railways are very low, while those of roads are excessive, there is a strong case for the development of the combined transport network, in which a high priority must be given to the internationalisation of external costs if the goal of sustainable mobility is to be achieved.

Potential forms of regional economic co-operation to reduce goods transport

Helmut Holzapfel

Defines what constitutes a region and seeks to answer the question: what can be done to avoid the trend towards increasing goods transport distances and the replacement of regional by supra-regional co-operation? Suggests three sets of measures, namely: regional information systems to improve market transparency; installation of multiple forms of regional co-operation with appropriate devolution of financial and regulatory powers; and greater orientation of traffic infrastructures towards regional transport interests. Uses the example of a specific manufactured food product to illustrate the transport savings and other advantages of co-ordinated regional supply. Concludes that, in spite of specified limitations, there is a major overall potential for regionalisation measures.

Fiscal measures as part of a European policy on freight transport

Arie N. Bleijenberg

Views fiscal measures as an important tool to tackle the environmental problems posed by road haulage. Focuses on the possibility of increasing excise duties on motor fuels. First describes the environmental and economic rationales behind such a measure. Presents a rough estimate of the level of excise duty needed to cover the full costs of road transportation. Summarises the main environmental and economic effects of higher fuel prices. Includes a brief discussion of the implications of transport prices for income distribution in relation to the peripheral regions of the European Community.

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Volume 1, Number 3 (1995) wtpp01.3.pdf

A word on the street

Alan James

Pedestrianisation and traffic calming are among the most powerful forces of change to the character of urban spaces and as such plays a key role in the quality of urban life. Argues that while the concepts are generally fine, the execution of such schemes in the UK has left a lot to be desired, mainly because of the over-eagerness of design professionals to fill them with trivial detail. The visual qualities of most streets rest in the simple relationships between buildings, surfaces and the spaces they create, and successful design depends on a better understanding of this very simplicity and the simple treatment it demands. Illustrates these theories with pictorial evidence from UK cities.

A future for air transport?

Arie N. Bleijenberg

Discusses the slump in the European air transport sector. A committee has been set up whose brief is to take it out of this crisis and back to growth. The committee recommends further liberalisation of the European air transport market; expansion of the capacity of airports and air traffic lanes; and cost reductions. Environmental features are not given priority in the report, as environmental measures increase costs. Argues that the fact that the committee has omitted to give a prominent place to the environment in its report makes it recommendations unrealistic and that the predictable tightening up of environmental policy looks set to lead to a permanent slump in the air transport section. Suggests some ideas for an integrated environmental policy and presents three scenarios for the future of air transport.

The role of parking in traffic calming

Hartmutt H. Topp

Parking is considered a key issue in the push-and-pull approach towards better urban transport with fewer cars. Since parking management tends to increase the turnover of parking spaces, no scheme should be established without consideration of private spaces. Discusses the common instruments and their application in German cities with some emphasis on fees and enforcement. Before and after studies from Munich, Salzburg and Kaiserslautern are reported, as well as the zoning ordinances of some German cities to restrict new private parking spaces. It is concluded that parking concepts can effectively support other traffic calming measures only if they are applied city-wide and if they are part of a broader push-and-pull approach. Every city needs its specific approach.

The throttling of a transport system: Calcutta tramways

Debasish Bhattacharyya

Depicts the decline of Calcutta to its present polluted condition through the history of the city's relationship with the Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) which passed into the control of city authorities from British management over a century ago. CTC's decline from prosperity is a paradigm for the uncontrolled poisoning of Calcutta's air by toxic emissions and noise from traffic. Ninety-five per cent of Calcutta's road space is occupied by private vehicles which cater for the needs of only 5 per cent of commuters, while CTC's services have been progressively ended and downgraded by inept and corrupt municipal administrations. Protests against the abolition of CTC are now being made, but the company's future, and that of Calcutta itself, are equally uncertain.

The association between health and residential traffic densities

John Whitelegg & Anthony C. Gatrell

Discusses the results of a survey of 731 households representing 1,791 individuals which show that there is a statistically significant relationship between the number of reported incidents of poor health and the volume of traffic passing the homes of those concerned. This was the case for five of the seven symptoms analysed. The study was conducted in the summer of 1992 in 15 urban areas of northern England and Scotland. Data on health were obtained from self-administered postal questionnaires, and those on traffic, from local authority vehicle counts. Statistical models were fitted to the data allowing the traffic effect to be quantified while controlling for smoking, housing conditions, age, sex, chronic health conditions, social class and distance from the road. Demonstrates a clear and quantifiable effect, even after allowing for the importance of other factors.

Automobile dependence in Bangkok: an international comparison with implications for planning policies

Jeff Kenworthy

Discussions of traffic congestion and transport-related environmental problems now characterise Bangkok as the "Los Angeles of the East", in contrast to its historical identity as the "Venice of the East". Attempts to reveal the major policy factors behind Bangkok's horrendous traffic situation through an extensive comparison of Bangkok's land use and transport characteristics with other Asian, European, American and Australian cities. Bangkok has high vehicle ownership and use for its relatively low level of wealth and much new development is building in automobile dependence. Use of public transport is similar to that in European cities, though it is not high when compared with many other Asian cities. The environment for walking and cycling is very hostile and use of these modes is abnormally low for an Asian city.

The changing role of cycling within Chinese transport policy

Maf Smith

Examines the role of cycling in China from a variety of perspectives. Government support of cycling institutionalised the bicycle in Chinese life. Ideological, geographical and pragmatic factors conspired to increase the popular appeal of cycling during the cultural revolution. Economic considerations favoured this mode of travel, as also did the limited alternative modes. Ideological shifts towards capitalism and market-driven forces are now increasingly apparent in China. Since automobiles are an established symbol of affluence in western societies, Chinese business people are eager to display their success by becoming car owners. The bicycle meanwhile is being marginalised. Chinese politicians, however, should reflect on the experience of neighbouring countries, like Taiwan and Indonesia, which embraced the automotive culture earlier in the century, and discovered that cars can create, as well as relieve, problems.

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Volume 1, Number 4 (1995) wtpp01.4.pdf

A road too far

Anne Batchelor

Reproduces in full evidence given by Mrs Anne Batchelor, a member of the public, to the public inquiry into the Birmingham Northern Relief Road in the UK in September 1995. Demonstrates the extent to which basic freedoms and human rights are extinguished by the pursuit of mobility and further additions to an already overcrowded morass of infrastructure.

Land use impact costs of transportation

Todd Litman

Suggests that land use impact costs should be used for evaluating transportation decisions. Examines how these decisions affect land use. Proposes how land use costs can be evaluated. Describes a framework for incorporating land use impacts into transportation planning and policy decisions.

Transport policy: a critical role for strategic environmental assessment

William R. Sheate

Takes some key examples of transport policy -- the Trans-European Network for transport, motorway charging, airports and new road building -- and examines the need for a fundamental shift in the way in which transport policy is formulated and implemented on the ground. Illustrates the need for a shift in the focus of environmental impact assessment (EIA) to higher decision levels by the limitations of project EIA, especially in the transport field, in its ability to address real alternative options. If transport is to be sustainable, impacts must be avoided, not merely mitigated.

Transport for Visually Impaired: A look at Urban Britain.

Tamsyn Parry

Blind and visually impaired people in urban Britain face many difficulties with transport. These difficulties are directly related to the relative neglect of public and rail transport, in terms of provision, when compared with the private motor car. Visually impaired people, unlikely to have access to a car, have to use a de-regulated bus industry surrounded by confusion and desertion of customers, a rail industry that is on the brink of being privatised, and town and city centres that for too long have been over-run by the motor car. Improvements have been made and change may well be positive. Highlights the problems, through personal experience, that partially sighted people encounter. Also examines some improvements that have been made in Birmingham and Shrewsbury.

Parental attitudes to children's journeys to school

Mary Sissons Joshi & Morag MacLean

Previous research has established that the percentage of 7 - 8 year old children who travel independently to school in England has declined from 80 per cent in 1971 to 9 per cent in 1990. Surveys 378 parents of 7 - 11 year old children. Questions focus on current mode of transport, pattern of accompaniment and reasons for accompanying a child to school. Results indicate that 68.2 per cent of the children are accompanied to and from school by an adult. Finds that there are no general effects on pattern of accompaniment, but there are age effects with 7 -9 year olds being more likely to be accompanied than numbers 10 - 11 year olds. The questionnaire design allows parents to endorse multiple reasons for accompanying a child to/from school, the most frequently cited reason being "stranger danger".

Rejoinder to parental attitudes to children's journeys to school by Mary Sissons Joshi and Morag MacLean.

Mayer Hillman

Gives a reply to the article by Mary Sissons Joshi and Morag MacLean which criticised the design of the questionnaire used in earlier research and postulated that this had produced misleading findings which had serious consequences in terms of interpreting the reasons given by parents for restricting their children's independence. Describes factors which may account for the differences in findings in the research studies.

Urban space and logistics: On the road to sustainability?

Markus Hesse

Deals with the interrelation of urban development, urban construction and commercial transport (goods movement, service industry) in towns, based on the research project "Sustainable Commercial Traffic" in the cities of Wuppertal, Solingen, Remscheid (Germany) and other current German and Swiss activities. The project focussed not only on steps for an integration of freight transport into urban transport planning but investigated also the different interests of urban planning and construction on the one hand and the companies on the other. To discuss problems and to moderate diverse interests between the operatives, a "Regional Freight Traffic Round Table" has been established. Concludes better communication is an important prerequisite for a sustainable transport development.