Potential for carfree development in the UK
Melia, S. (2010) Potential for carfree development in the UK. In: 42nd Universities Transport Study Group Conference, Plymouth, UK. [Unpublished]
Publisher's URL: http://www.utsg.net/conf.php
This paper aims: to propose a definition and typology of carfree development, to assess the benefits and problems associated with it, to assess the potential demand for ‘European style’ carfree housing in the UK and the circumstances under which it might be feasible in the UK. Through a review of the literature and study visits to European carfree areas, 3 types of carfree development were identified: the Vauban model, Limited Access model and pedestrianised city centres with substantial residential populations. The study visits supported the claims that carfree developments help to reduce problems created by concentrations of traffic in urban areas. They facilitate active travel and independent play amongst children. Their main problems relate to parking management, although increasing controls in surrounding areas were helping to address this. To assess potential demand in the UK, two surveys were conducted: an online national survey aimed at members of environmental and cycling groups and a postal survey in Camden, London, followed by qualitative telephone interviews with a subset from both surveys. The findings revealed that potential demand for carfree housing is concentrated amongst ‘Carfree Choosers’ – people who currently live without cars by choice. These are mainly found in the inner areas of larger cities, where the greatest potential for carfree development exists. Some potential may also exist in suburban or exurban centres, where these are well served by multiple public transport connections, including rail.
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