Demand management and travel behaviour (Package B)

This includes the core measures as well as a series of measures aimed at managing the demand for travel and changing travel behaviour

Traveling by car is most convenient for many people on most  journeys. However the roads in Harrogate and Knaresborough were not designed for the number of cars using them.

Whilst people will continue to need  their cars for some journeys we need to look at the journeys that could be made differently. The easiest trips to change are usually those that are short, as walking, cycling or public transport are often a realistic alternative. Removing these short car trips will mean  less traffic on the roads, resulting in less congestion, fewer delays and better air quality.

Removing trips isn’t the only way to reduce congestion. Some people  could be encouraged to travel at a different time of day (when it isn’t as busy, or share transport. The measures here aim to  help people to change the way they travel. They  include providing information in different, accessible ways, encouraging more use of public transport, cycling and walking for shorter trips, investing in car sharing and car clubs and working with residents, schools and businesses. For the most part, they  do not involve major infrastructure improvements, or construction, meaning  they could  be delivered relatively quickly.

Due to the complexity of the traffic modelling, and the flexible nature of the packages it is not possible, at this stage, to present a detailed, road by road, analysis of the traffic reductions achieved by each package.

However, initial modelling has shown that package B would have a significantly smaller impact on traffic flows on the existing network than package E. In particular with package B, the A59 in both Harrogate and Knaresborough and the A661 modelled show reductions of between 5% and 10% during the peak hour compared to reductions at least a third achieved by package E. This should be considered in the context of vehicle reductions not being the only objective of the study, particularly in the context of mode shift and the relatively conservative estimates that have been used for the potential uplifts for cycling and walking.

However, due to the early stages of this study and the flexible nature of these packages all of these figures should be seen as indicative only.

This package would also include the core measures.

Changing behaviour

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Cost: low

How would this help?

Often people make journeys in a particular way out of habit; for example. If they have always travelled to work by car they will continue to do so,

Changing the way you travel can be daunting, particularly if you don’t have the information you need and don’t know where to find it. This option would not only help people to get that information but also tell them the benefits of doing it. Key messages could include the health and wellbeing benefits of walking and cycling, as well as potential for saving money on fuel and parking.

Personalised journey plans, looking at an individual’s specific journey, would be offered to residents, schools and  employees. This would look at whether a journey can be made in a more sustainable way, and would provide the information someone needed to have the confidence to travel without their car (including walking distances and times, bus stop locations and times and how long the journey would take door-to-door).

Where would this be?

A campaign to change behaviour would use marketing, advertising, incentives and information to encourage people to consider different ways of making their journeys. There is potential to continue and build on the Open Harrogate initiative.

Any campaign is likely to include work with local businesses, residents and schools to offer information and advice on the  travel options available.

Key benefits Potential issues
  • No requirement for new infrastructure
  • Would not cause any disruption or inconvenience for road users
  • Low or no capital cost
  • Potential to reduce car trips and resulting congestion
  • This ‘lighter touch’  would need  complementary measures to maximise its effectiveness
  • Campaign would need to be long-term to be effective
  • Reliant on people being willing to change to their behaviour, so level of change could  be limited
  • Significant  time involved – likely to require an ongoing fulltime role for at least one person

 

Sustainable transport at new developments

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Cost: low

Why would this help?

Changes in people’s lives, such as moving to a new house or starting a new job, can also be a great time to change how they travel, before habits are formed.

There are two parts to this. One is making sure that we make walking, cycling or using public transport as easy as possible. This is likely to include working with bus operators to provide bus services to new developments, providing good footways, setting up a car-sharing service or making sure there is secure cycle parking.

Secondly, people who live and work at the site would be given a transport information pack, providing information on the travel options and encouraging them to consider different ways of getting around. This can be supported by incentives, such as free or discounted public transport tickets cycle training or better car parking spaces for those who car share.

Where would this be?

This would be considered for all new developments in the area.

Key benefits Potential issues
  • Unlikely to cause  significant disruption or inconvenience for road users
  • Relatively low cost 
  • Potential to reduce car trips at a significant time  in people’s lives
  • A ‘lighter touch’ option which would need complementary measures  to maximise its effectiveness
  • Reliant on people being prepared to change the way they travel
  • Requirement for council staff time

Traffic management zone

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Cost: low

Why would this help?

To address congestion successfully, it is likely that it will be necessary not only to encourage use of more sustainable modes of travel, but also to actively discourage car use.

A traffic management zone could introduce a charge for car drivers who choose to use specific roads, likely using cameras that recognise number plates.

The charge may simply cover the cost of running the scheme, or could be higher, with funds used to invest in more sustainable travel options.

A similar scheme launched in Durham in 2002 has seen traffic decrease by 85%.

Where would this be?

This option has not been developed to a level that identifies specific roads that would be subject to a charge. It would likely be limited to roads in Harrogate town centre itself.

New signage would  make it clear when a vehicle was entering the charging zone.

Key benefits Potential issues
  • Improve air quality and public health
  • Reduce congestion in town centre
  • Encourage more people to walk, cycle or use public transport
  • No significant new infrastructure required
  • Delivery access for businesses would need to be considered
  • Involves maintenance and administration costs
  • May increase congestion in other areas

Car sharing and car clubs

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Cost: low

Why would this help?

Car sharing involves people traveling together, most often to work, effectively reducing two trips  to one.

This  option also includes the rollout of electric car clubs, which would allow residents or visitors to hire electric cars for an hour, day or week. This offers the convenience of a car,  without the cost of  owning and running one.  It provides an alternative to car ownership, so  could help to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

Where would this be?

Car sharing would be encouraged through a promotional campaign as well as working with businesses to  encourage  staff to car share.

Further work would be needed to decide the  locations for car club vehicles, but these could  include large housing estates, business parks and the town centre.

Key benefits Potential issues
  • Improved air quality and public health
  • Potential to reduce congestion, particularly at peak times as car sharing is  usually by commuters
  • Relies on the support of  businesses and adequate promotion
  • Costs to implement and maintain a car club
  • Reliant on other options to ensure effectiveness e.g. campaign to encourage behaviour change
  • Needs people to be willing to change how they travel

Travel plans

Cost: very low

Why would this help?

A travel plan is a package of actions developed for a specific business, housing development, school or another type of organisation. They are intended to encourage healthy and sustainable travel, such as walking, cycling, car sharing and public transport.

Evidence suggests successful travel plans can reduce car journeys by  20% or more.

Travel plans at schools would focus on reducing cars on the school run, as well as education. Working with schools offers the potential for this behaviour to continue into adulthood.

Travel plans could include incentives, such as discounted public transport tickets, journey plans showing all the options and tailored travel information.

Where would this be?

This  would involve working with businesses, schools and housing developers. Travel plans could also be used for special events, such as the Great Yorkshire Show, to reduce their impact on  local roads.

Travel plans would be promoted to ensure their effectiveness.

Key benefits Potential issues
  • Low cost option
  • Help reduce congestion particularly during morning and evening peak times
  • Can reduce impact of large events
  • Reliant on businesses, schools and residents supporting Travel Plans
  • Needs other options to ensure effectiveness e.g. campaign to encourage behaviour change
  • Does not include any physical improvements to walkways, cycle lanes etc.
  • Requires significant Officer time – likely to be a full time role.