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Transport and its management:
The spread of houses into suburbs and small towns and villages of rural areas, while jobs
remain concentrated in the central parts of the cities, has created surges of morning and
Occur in large towns and cities across the UK.
They take place along roads (private cars and commercial buses) and railway networks.
No matter how much money is spent on transport infrastructure, traffic jams, railway
overcrowding and parking problems seem to get worse.
The 1st London Underground line was opened in 1863 and the 1st deep electric railway in
1890. It was built to overcome the urban transport problems in London at that time in 1890.
The average speed along the Underground in 1890 was 24kmh, the same as the average
speed of central London tube trains in 1995.
As further road building is likely to release suppressed demand and quickly fill up extra
capacity, greater emphasis should be placed on upgrading the public transport system.
How and why is urban traffic increasing?
Car ownership is increasing throughout the world. In the UK more than 30% of the households own 2
or more cars.
A large urban working population
A high proportion of people work in urban areas of the country but live in rural and suburban
areas. These people make regular journeys to and from their homes by road and rail. However,
many of commuter journeys are now between one suburb and another, rather than from suburb
to town centre, not across town. Suburb to suburb journeys therefore have to be made by
private car, resulting in congestion of suburb roads. It is expensive to expand public transport
networks to keep pace with suburbanisation and counter urbanisation. The car continues to be
Economic growth is in retailing and other consumer services has led to more service vehicles
(supermarket vehicles and white vans) on urban roads. Freight traffic, such as delivery vans, is
likely to increase as internet shopping becomes more important in retailing.
The growth of in urban incomes
Earnings in urban areas are usually higher than in rural areas and these higher incomes allow more
car ownership. Incomes have risen faster than the relative rise in car prices, leading to multiple
car ownership in many families.
The growth in the number of journeys
As the number of cars increases, so does the number of journeys that people make in them.
There is a corresponding fall in use of public transport.
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Urban transport solutions
Road schemes and restricted access
The Congestion Charge was introduced in central London in 2003 and extended parts of
W.London in 2007. Those choosing to drive through these zones of the city on a weekday are
charged on a toll. This model is likely to be followed by other cities in future.
On a smaller scale, the creation of bus lanes with priority at junctions is an effective way of
encouraging public transport use and decreasing car traffic.…read more