Enhancing Park and Ride with access control: A case study of Southampton
Implementing and promoting more sustainable forms of urban transport are key policies of Local Authorities throughout the UK. Park and Ride (P&R;) is one such system implemented widely in the UK, especially in historic towns and cities with limited road and parking space in the centre. Some cities (e.g. Rome and London) have also implemented forms of ‘access control’ to reduce congestion and/or pollution in central areas. This paper describes a feasibility analysis of a unique application studied for potential implementation in Southampton—the integration of P&R; with access control on a key corridor in Eastern Southampton where traffic demand is likely to increase significantly in the coming years because of new housing developments. The system concept is a P&R; facility with express buses to the City centre, keeping the corridor free-flowing for these buses (and other traffic) using a combination of bus lanes and access control. Following an outline of the policy context and system design, this paper then describes the corridor and network modelling undertaken to predict the impacts of the scheme and alternatives of it. This has been based mainly on the CONTRAM dynamic traffic assignment model, which covers the whole of Southampton and its surrounding motorway network. The assessment of the benefits of the various options in this scheme showed that the combination of P&R; with signalised access control was the best option to improve the movement of people on the corridor. The paper concludes with a discussion of potential issues for implementation, including the need for complimentary measures and a consistent policy framework.