chapter  8.2
6 Pages

Sustainable Personal Urban Transport

WithRobert D. M. Cotgrove

Policies of urban consolidation and public transport have failed, and people continue to use cars despite the enormous personal, social and environmental costs involved. Traditional planning has misconstrued the nature of urban travel behaviour, and has underestimated the benefits of personal motorised transport. Industrial employment patterns were ideally suited to the economies of scale requirements of mass transportation. The new timeand space-dispersed travel patterns, and increasingly diverse lifestyles, can be served effectively by flexible, on-demand, personal transport systems. The traditional traffic engineering approach regards urban travel as a physical exercise in logistics. Public transport operates efficiently where travel demands are concentrated in time and space. Unlike public transport systems, personal transport systems are relatively ubiquitous in time and space and are available when people want to use them. The welfare enhancing benefits of personal transport are so great that car travel has continued to increase regardless of the private costs, or the quality and subsidisation of local public transport systems.