Can measuring the benefits of accessible transport enable a seamless journey?
Keywords:Transport, Land Use
For disabled and older people, journeys need to be seamless – with no failures in access from origin to destination. Because the public transport environment, including walking and cycling modes, is not accessible, the use of private cars remains essential to social inclusion. Consequently, social goals relating to private car use in relation to health, environment and land-use will be harder to achieve. Greater attention needs to be paid to the detail of the “journey chain” with access consistently provided throughout, making for seamless journeys. This attention needs to be paid in all aspects of transport planning as well as delivery, including in the appraisal process. In transport projects appraisal, the costs of providing access are monetized, but not the benefits. The author undertook an experiment to value the benefits of step-free access for everyone and found significant economic benefit that enhanced the benefit:cost ratio. Until the benefits of accessible transport are properly considered for everybody across the whole planning process including appraisal, providing access will continue to be an uphill struggle and access throughout the journey chain will remain hit and miss.
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