Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by the Pedestrians Association (RT 46)


  The Pedestrians Association would like to make the following points:

    (a)  the vast majority of people using LRT (trams) will get to and from them on foot,

    (b)  the best illustration we know of this walk/rail/walk relationship comes from main line routes in Kent: in that County 60 per cent of peak period and 71 per cent of off-peak rail travellers arrive at stations on foot (see attached graphic from "Transport 93", Kent County Council Highways and Transportation),

    (c)  far more tram travel will accordingly be generated by creating good walking conditions around stations and by promoting station-related development than by providing car parks and park-and-ride interchanges,

    (d)  it follows that the fare-box income of new LRT systems will depend not just on the engineering of station-to-station routes, but on catering for door-to-door journeys that involve walking as well as tram travel: women, for instance, will be deterred from going to stations if routes to them are ill-lit or frightening,

    (e)  design for walking in the vicinity of stations needs to be done by teams of planners, traffic engineers and landscape architects with a remit to assess and upgrade walking routes radiating in all directions,

    (f)  this work will involve, traffic engineering (the provision or moving of Zebra crossings, improved street lighting and signing), the opening up of short cuts, and the promotion of new houses, offices, shops or other development,

    (g)  Old Trafford station on the Manchester Metrolink, with its tortuous routes, poor lighting and derelict buildings illustrates a location which is not good for walkers and where the creation of the station should have been combined with development,

    (h)  where new tram lines are planned to run through sites, whether brownfield or fringe-of-city, partnerships should be formed between tram companies and property developers to create transit-focused "urban villages" at stations.


  In the view of the Pedestrians Association tram building in Britain has hitherto been more engineering than passenger led. The Association therefore urges the House of Commons Transport Sub-Committee to take note of this problem.

  The Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions should be urged to ensure that careful, door-to-door planning for journeys and, where appropriate, development around stations, is part of all light rail transit schemes.

  Stations should only be used for park-and-ride where it can be demonstrated that this will generate more tram travel than by maximising access on foot.

  Making full provision for people on foot is the key to creating tram systems that attract travellers and increase cash flow.

Terence Bendixson


2 February 2000

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