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The social impact of transport

01 May 2008

Understanding the relative need for affordable public transport enables decision-makers to understand the social impacts of both proposed and existing transport schemes.

This kind of information, which was hitherto difficult to obtain, can be quickly and accurately determined using the internally-developed Transport Needs Index.

The index uses census data in the form of Output Area Classification and various travel surveys and provides a ranking of every output area in England and Wales in terms of its relative need for affordable public transport and can be used to support with:

  • evaluating alternative alignments for a new tram or rapid transit route;
  • examining the social and distributional impacts of a road pricing scheme;
  • assessing the social value of a new station;
  • optimising a supported bus network; and
  • designing a demand responsive transport service

The results can be presented in a variety of ways, including a two-dimensional graphical map (illustrated top right). This map shows the relative need for affordable public transport across the West Midlands, with the red patches showing the places where the need is highest.


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