The most congested part of the city is the centre.
Towns developed before the car was invented, the oldest streets are therefore often the narrowest. With little pavement space the conflicts between the needs of pedestrians and drivers are at their greatest.
Because people demand greater mobility, flexibility and accessibility, the number of cars has increased.
Solutions to traffic problems * Congestion charges * improving public transport *urban tram systems * use of cleaner fuels – biofuels or natural gas * integrated public transport systems * one way streets * increase car parking charges to dissuade car usage * park and ride * priority bus lanes * traffic lanes for multiple car occupancy *pedestrianised the city centre * oyster cards
Turn your book onto its side. Copy down the following table, ready to be filled in .
Picture Disadvantages Advantages Location Scheme
Solution 1 – Central London Congestion Charging Zone
Since 2003, a charge has been introduced for motorists who use the central areas of London. Based on a system of cameras that photographs and then registers you car licence plate number in its database. These cameras are located at all entry points into the London congestion charge zone and within the zone itself and actually photograph both front and rear plates on entry and exit of the zones.
The cost of setting up the scheme was £200 million pounds and the cost of running the scheme is around £115 million pounds a year. In its first two years the scheme made £70 million pounds and £97 million pounds in 2004/2005.
Congestion in the zone has fallen by 30% while the volume of traffic within the zone is down by 15%. 30% of business's within the zone reported a drop in trade although 22% noted an increase. However motorists continue to complain of being wrongly fined having paid the charge or not even having been in the zone at the time the system registered the number plate.
York park and ride is a park and ride system operated in the city of York. It was designed and introduced to relieve York's overcrowded city centre car parks. The street plan of the historic core of the city dates from medieval times and is not suitable for modern traffic. As a consequence many of the routes inside the city walls are designated as car free during business hours or restrict traffic entirely.
Five bus based park and ride sites operate in York. The sites are located towards the edge of the urban area, with easy access from the ring road, and allow out of town visitors to complete their journey into the city centre by bus. Many of the car park developments, bus priority measures and new vehicles have been part-funded by City of York Council.
The scheme is rightly seen as one of the most successful in the country. Congestion and traffic pollution have been eradicated completely from York city centre, and as there is very little traffic on the roads leading into the centre, passengers have commented on how fast and efficient the scheme is.
Delays due to traffic congestion in the peak period can more than treble the time it takes for buses to travel from the outskirts to any city centre compared with off-peak times. These delays are chiefly due to queues which build up at the approaches to junctions as the traffic flows reach, and then exceed, the capacity of those junctions.
As a result of introducing bus lanes, commuting times for users from the edge of the city have decreased and levels of pollution in the city centre have also been reduced.
However, the installation of bus lanes has required additional space to either be constructed (increasing the impact of the road on the surrounding area, and requiring private land) or taken from existing lanes, reducing the capacity of the road for private vehicles.
Edinburgh Trams is a forthcoming tramway system which is currently under construction. It will be the first tram system in Edinburgh since the city’s previous network, Edinburgh Corporation Tramways, shut down in 1956.
The electrified tram scheme will bring benefits to the city by reducing air and noise pollution in the city centre. It will also cut journey times from outlying areas near the airport and Leith, the terminuses of the first line.
There have been many criticisms of the scheme. Originally budgeted at a cost of £512 million, the tram system is now anticipated to cost over £600 million and is likely to be many years behind schedule. Likewise, Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh has been a building site for years, damaging trade for local shops. And many have argued why the city needs a tram scheme when the city has always had a comprehensive bus service.
The Oyster card is a form of electronic ticketing used on public transport services within the Greater London area. It is promoted by Transport for London and is valid on a number of different travel systems across London. A standard Oyster card is a blue credit-card-sized card which can hold a variety of tickets which must be added to the card prior to travel. It is a contactless smartcard which passengers must touch onto electronic reader when entering and leaving the transport system in order to validate it or deduct funds. The cards may be "recharged" in person from numerous sales points.
By June 2010 over 34 million cards had been issued of which around 7 million are in regular use. More than 80% of all tube journeys and more than 90% of all bus journeys use Oyster. Queuing times have been reduced at stations and the ease of travelling in London has been increased. The cost of running stations has been cut as fewer people need to be employed in ticket booths.
Criticisms of the system include erosion of privacy as the authorities can track every journey made on public transport systems in London. There have been some technical faults with cards as well and some criminals have been able to hack the system to steal from other people’s card balance. At stations where a large number of people don’t have an oyster card (such as at national train stations), queues are often very long for the reduced number of ticket booths.