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Park and ride - sustainable transport or expensive white elephant?
Addendum to dissertation with further notes
- Subsidy issue: Subsidy referred to in Appendix 6 is misleading. While it refers to the total subsidy, a different method of calculating this shows that there is no subsidy for the bus service itself. Therefore 'total' subsidy should be thought of as 'site' subsidy. It is still appropriate to consider this as a subsidy as it is a potential opportunity cost against other schemes. The calculation should have removed all elements of cost and income relating to the bus, which returns roughly the same figure for a potential 'site' subsidy.
- It should be made clear that the issue of concern studied for the dissertation pertains to the environmental, i.e. 'sustainability' aspect of the system rather than any economic reasons for its existence. The latter is not in question, though whether the same economic accessibility effects could be achieved using a sustainable form of transport at cheaper cost is indeed in question. The system should not be promoted on environmental grounds if that is not what it does.
- It has not been made sufficiently clear that the author does not believe that park and ride acts as a true political counter-balance to the Core Scheme. The latter is intended to reduce through-movements rather than restrict access per se to the city centre, in particular car parking areas.
- Any traffic reductions in the city centre area may be accounted for by the natural effects of the Core Scheme's reduction in road space rather than to park and ride's existence.
- Requirement for alternative uses of space for parking reduction should not be used as an excuse for lack of action unless there is a political issue at stake (which there may well be). However, this needs to be balanced against sustainability aspects. It is submitted that areas containing much parking such as along Queen's Road very much do have alternative potential uses.
- Lack of removal of car parking spaces cannot purely be justified by an increasing population, as the rate of projected traffic growth is well above that of housing growth, i.e. the per capita car use rate is increasing, not decreasing.
- Park and ride may well have helped increase car parking charges but much of this has been in order to fund Park and ride itself. Effects on car mileage have yet to be seen.
- The existence of a quality contract for park and ride potentially infers worse quality service for non-park and ride services, e.g. driver shortages are resolved by removal from service buses not park and ride.
- 'North' and 'South' (Cowley/Clifton Road) were accidentally transposed in Appendix 1.