Many countries around the world are facing problems in their ever increasing urban environments, one of which is managing transport. Many large cities in both LEDCs and MEDCs are faced with big problems relating to transport such as congestion, road capacity and networks, and pollution. One way to combat these issues is to create more sustainable transport schemes which offer better services to local people and at the same time are more econimcally viable for local authorities. methods of sustainable transport management have been adopted in many countries throughout the world, including the less economically developed.
Sustainability is defined as ensuring we meet our present needs without compromising the needs of future generations. Transport management may be defined as the redesinging of transport systems to create a more sustainable approach in terms of socio-economic and environmental factors. This essay will look at the issues centered around transport management in both MEDCs and LEDCs, the impacts they have had on the local areas and evaluate on how successful they have been in terms of sustainability. The management of transport has been attempted in many countries throughout the world.
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Exmaples I will be using in this essay include Nottingham, Cambridge and London with comparisons to an LEDC example in Curitiba, Brazil. These case studies have all tried to achieve susbtainability in their transport systems in different ways and they have varied in terms of their success. An example of an MEDC city which has redesigned its transport schemes is Cambridge. The local council aimed to provide a high quality alternative mode of transport to car use on the congested A14 corridor. Previously, the A14 was heavily congested especially during rush hours and this made it very difficult to get into Cambridge city centre quickly.
Transport along this road was slow and not reliable, making it non-sustainable. The Cambridge Guided Busway was opened 2009 at a cost of i?? 116 million and is the longest guided busway in the world. when the final work was completed on the busway in 2011, the final cost estimated to be around i?? 180. 7m. The busway runs from Huntingdon village, into Cambridge city centre and out again towards the village of Trumpington, at a total range of 25 miles. It begins at Huntingdon village before the A14 on old railway tracks dedicated to the use of buses only.
After the village of St Ives, the buses join the A14 road again and merge with the traffic heading towards Cambridge. This scheme has proved to be quite successful as it has reduced waiting times and journey. You can now be in Cambridge from the surrounding villages in just 10 minutes. This also has positive impacts on the running costs of the busway as less fuel is used making more stops for traffic and junctions. The concrete tracks also give for a smoother ride and offer more scenic views for passengers. No other vehicles can use the tracks which also improves efficiency and reduces costs for local authorities.
To promote a more sustainable way of getting into Cambridge, wide paths have been built next to the tracks to encourage the use of bicycles and walking and these have been used by many. Some other advantages include the availability of park and ride facilities located near the bus stops which helps to ease congestion on the roads around Cambridge as passengers can park their cars out of the city centre and hop on the bus. The busway also required little extra land to be built as it is on convereted railway tracks with helps to save more costs.
The land which the tracks run through is also an area of natural wildlife and boasts scenic views for walkers and those cycling. Disadvantages to this scheme are that the buses can be quite crowded and if they break down it can take a long time to get the bus off the track and arrange another bus. Also this scheme went greatly over budget and this has caused tension between the local residents, as they, the taxpayers have contributed towards its development. This is an example of a fairly succesful sustainable transport management program as it has reduced journey times into Cambridge to just 10 minutes.
It has also reduced congestion on usually busy roads such as the A14, by redirecting some traffic to park and ride schemes which use the busway to get into Cambridge. The bus has been used by many thousands of people since its opening and this combined with the intergrated walkways alongside the tracks has created, I feel, a fairly sustainable transport scheme which other cities around the UK and the rest of the world should consider. Another example of an MEDC city which has aimed to ensure their transport systems are sustainable is Nottingham.
The local authorities have set out four aims to how they will achieve this and the issues they plan to combat. These include tackling congestion, delivering accessibility to public trnasport for all, creating safer roads, and improving the air quality and the surrounding environment. In order to target some of the issues, projects have been set up one of which is named The Big Wheel. This is a network of sustainable modes of transport to include trains, trams, buses, walking and cycling, which has been largely succcessful.
Another scheme inplemented in Nottingham was the Hub, which is an intergrated system of rail, tram, bus, coach, car, taxi, cycling and walking which also aims to offer sustainable transport. The Hub has also created new shopping quarters and housing which offers good retail links and this combined with the approach to sustainable transport has made Nottingham a strong contender for successful sustainable transport. London, a major world city, is another example of an MEDC city which has rethought their transport policies and is turning towards a more sustainable approach.
London is currently home to the oldest and one of the largest underground rail systems in the world. Opened in 1863, it spans 250 miles of tracks and stops at more than 270 stations on 11 different lines. There are 4000 carriages and the daily usage figures exceed 3 milion. This amount of infrastructure requires a lot of money and resources to run. For exmaple, the tube system uses over a 1,000 gigawatt hours of energy and only 17% of which is renewable, making it very unsustainable as costs will mount.
There is also a bus service throughout the whole of London which boasts the iconic red buses which attracts a further 6 million people on 8000 buses. Tram services in London have ground to a halt in the last few decades as they are becoming more unsustainable, a service still remains in London city centre with 24 trams in operation spanning along 17 miles of track. To counteract the many socio-economic and environmental problems caused by these modes of transport, London has adopted many different sustainable transport plans, two of which include: congestion charges and Barclays bicycle hire.
The aims of these two schemes were to reduce carbon dioxide emmisions, increase accessibility to public transport for everyone, increase sustainability whilst still meeting the demands of the people of London, creating frequent services between suburbs and the city of London, and to encourage the use of bicycles and walking. The congestion charge of London was implemented in February 2003 whereby all vehicles are charged for entering the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) between the hours of 07:00 and 18:00. It aims to reduce congestion and raise funds for London’s transport system.
It is now one of the largest schemes of its type in the world with extensions to western parts of London in an attempt to increase the sustainability of the city. The standard charge is i?? 10 and this has been enough to deter some people as on the first day alone, there was a decrease in normal traffic levels by 25% and the average traffic levels up until 2007 were 16%, showing that this scheme has worked and is reducing the levels of congestion and generally creating a more sustainable city. A second sustainable transport scheme was introduced by mayor of London, Boris Johnson in 2010 at a large expense of i??
140 million. This scheme aimed to encourage the use of bicycles to get around the city of London. As of today, there are over 8000 bicycles and 4600 docking stations dotted around London to try to get people to use them. There is no fee for the first 30 minutes and then after that the prices increase sharply, it is hoped that this scheme will encourage more people to use bicycles to get around London and use their cars less often. This scheme has been sponsored by Barclays bank which offers extra advertising and can be used to get the scheme better known – again increasing the message of sustainability.
Overall, these two schemes have been largely unsuccessful in promoting London as a sustainable city in terms of transport and carbon dioxide and monoxide emissions have barely dropped since the introduction of these schemes, the underground and tram services still use a lot of gasoline, water and electricity which requires a lot of financial input and can be costly to the local authorities and the taxpayer. A contrasting example of a sustainable approach to transport management can be seen in Curitiba, Brazil, which is a prime example of an LEDC.
The new mayor of Curitiba, Jamie Lerner, has proposed some dramatic changes for the city, some of which include arterial roads, new bus stops and buses, and concentric roads. These new developments aim to reduce congestion, increase journey time, provide new access routes in the city centre, increase accessibility to public transport for all city dwellers and of course, increase the sustainability of the Curitiba. In 1974, work began of five arterial roads which would run from the outskirts to the city centre which will increase the flow of the traffic and therefore reduce congestion.
Five concentric roads were also created totalling 300km, expanding the access into and out of the city centre. They aimed to use public buses along these new roads which would further reduce congestion and they proved to be cheaper than underground subways. Further improvements to the bus services included integrated bus lanes on the new roads to speed up journey times and only one ticket for all buses to reduce the cost of travelling around. Bi-articulated buses were also introduced which can hold up to 270 passengers each, this again increased sustainability and reduced both environmental and economic impacts for the local governments.
Tube shaped bus stops and stations have been designed to reduce waiting times and increase efficiency. The doors to these stops are in line with the bus doors and this has been proven to increase efficiency and reduce operation costs by up to 18%. These schemes have been well received by the people of Curitiba and as a result, 75% of commuters now use public transport which has reduced congestion by 25% and also fuel congestion by 30%. This is a perfect example of how sustainable transport schemes can be highly successful even in less economically developed countries.
Curitiba has managed to reduce its emissions and congestion in a very short space of time and it has done this because of the willingness of the people, the input from the local government and the cooperation of the many companies involved. This is an example of one of the most successful sustainable transport schemes in the world and should be used an example for everyone else. The case studies listed in this essay are all prime examples of how cities are striving to become more sustainable as the demands of the people they support continue to increase.
I believe sustainability can be achieved if the right conditions are implemented into our society and if they have enough backing from the people, the authorities and local businesses in an area. The sustainable transport schemes listed here have all been successful in their own ways and have somewhat benefitted the areas surrounding them from reducing congestion to decreasing journey times. However, it seems sustainability in terms of transport can only be achieved if the local people are in the correct frame of mind, if they want to do something about the issues in their area, they will do so.
In my opinion, and from reports and case studies, Curitiba has proven to be the most successful as it has incorporated everybody in the city into their transport schemes and ensured that they all have access to reliable, congestion-free, efficient and plentiful public transport. They have produced rates of outstanding reductions in congestion and fuel congestion rates in such a short space of time and these rates are highly comparable with those of most MEDCs and other westernised countries.
It is unlikely that such schemes can be replicated across into other more developed countries as we are reliant on our own personal transport to get around and public transport is often deemed unreliable or too expensive. The only way we can change these issues is by targeting public transport directly using some of the schemes in this essay; this has been fairly unsuccessful however. The determination shown by the people of Curitiba has really set the bar for the level of sustainability that we should all aspire to achieve and they should be very proud to lead the way into the future of sustainable cities.