Planners are pushing traffic problems down the road, according to analysis of a new report.
A recent survey by consultants Emmerson Hill Associates indicates that travel costs by road are most severely impacted, not by the cost of operating cars, but by congestion caused through bad junction design, poor road infrastructure, bad planning and over-engineered or costly “solutions” to traffic congestion, which often achieve little, but simply transfer the problem elsewhere.
In a report ’ The real cost of travel’ http://www.emmerson-hill.co.uk/downloads/The_real_cost_of_Travel.pdf they looked at how costs can be severely affected by lack of proper transport planning by local authorities (often in association with their highway ‘experts’) meaning that road travellers have to find more innovative solutions to getting around.
The cost of car ownership and use in densely populated city areas has been made more prohibitive – and is likely to continue so – by further restrictions on parking and residents’ permits, more no-go zones, congestion charge areas and a whole raft of measures to discourage car ownership and use.
The report suggests that, whatever the method of travel, those doing so should take into account and assess the cost of their travel time too, with £10 per hour being a suggested figure to use. So an extended journey with the lowest ‘headline cost’ (say by coach) might take the longest – and when travelling time cost is included may not be the cheapest after all. It also states that one should look at ‘door to door’ costs as a proper measure of travel cost.
An examination of the costs of rail, bus, coach and motoring over a 10 year period (2006 to 2016), conducted by the RAC Foundation, using data from the ONS, finds that motoring costs have only increased modestly (by just over 20%) and below the cost of living (just over 30%), whereas rail and bus fares have increased by more than 50% in the 10 year period – far more than they should – something that the unfortunate rail traveller will know only too well.
The report invites the public and motorists, using a congestion suggestion form on the site to give their views.