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Transport planning and social aspects of transport
Personalised Travel Planning, a form of mobility management planning targeted at the trip-origin (in other words at residential areas), has proved to be a reliable and cost-effective means of reducing car usage in favour of other more sustainable travel forms. These direct-marketing schemes, which target communities with individually tailored travel information materials, succeed in reducing car usage with no investment in hard infrastructure. The concept, when subjected to rigorous academic and other independent scrutiny, has reportedly achieved consistent mode transfers away from car-usage of five to fifteen per cent. This has often taken place in lowdensity areas of high car ownership rates and results have been maintained over time. In Australia, every major city has commissioned personalised travel planning programmes. In the UK, the government has, on foot of successful pilot studies, recommended the implementation of such schemes across all local authorities. Recently, three “Smarter Travel Town” initiatives in the UK – where suites of “soft” transport planning measures were piloted – suggested that personalised travel planning can be a core and successful component of any such program. This study seeks to assess the applicability of such concepts within the Greater Dublin Area. Initial evidence suggests the methodology is applicable with potentially high benefit : cost ratios. A pilot survey, undertaken as part of earlier research, revealed that within five selected newly developed areas individuals’ response to the concept is comparable, if not more favourable to that revealed in other travel markets. A benchmarking study carried out in Drimnagh during March 2010 – as part of the Dublin City Council Smarter Travel Town bid – demonstrated high levels of community receptivity to such a scheme. The context and revealed market response indicates that such schemes are likely to achieve a successful outcome within Dublin. Indeed, one recent pilot, at Adamstown, yielded very positive results after a thorough programme was piloted to more than 200 households. Assessment of the initiative in other markets suggests certain cautions. A groundbreaking UK study, “Smarter Choices”, which thoroughly assesses all “soft”, or behavioural transport planning initiatives in the UK, warns that such initiatives should only be implemented alongside complementary demand-management measures. Otherwise, gains in reduced congestion will only be lost to alternate users not targeted by the scheme. Nevertheless, the evidence suggests that Personalised Travel Planning, when combined with demand management and introduced to areas where available public transport capacity exists, has the potential to make significant impacts on car usage within the Greater Dublin Area.
O’Connor, D. “The Potential for Origin-based Mobility Management Plans in the Greater Dublin Area”, Proceedings of Irish Transport Research Network 2010