Arup, with Accent and the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds were jointly appointed by Transport Scotland to explore the effect of park and ride parking supply and pricing on public transport demand.
The study objectives were:
- to investigate the extent to which (if at all) changes to park and ride supply and pricing affect public transport patronage and what alternatives would be used in the absence of formal parking facilities (Objective 1)
- to assess the extent park and ride can influence modal shift to public transport, plus the impact on emissions and congestion (Objective 2)
- to assess the relative importance of the factors which influence the use of park and ride facilities (Objective 3)
- to establish the extent park and ride leads to undesirable outcomes including increased car usage (Objective 4)
- based upon the analysis to support the above aims, to provide metrics to assist the development of guidance for appraising the impact on rail and bus demand and revenue of changes to park and ride parking policy and provision (Objective 5)
- to identify the optimum pricing policy to maximise rail station car parking revenue (Objective 6)
The availability of parking spaces at bus park and ride is fundamental in influencing the travel behaviour. If bus park and ride was not available or constrained there would be a significant switch among users to making their entire journey by car. Several other factors must be addressed including proximity to the strategic road network, and frequency of bus departures.
In contrast, the relationship between parking and rail demand is less conclusive. If parking availability is increased, the level of new rail demand is relatively small and the subsequent change in car distances is negligible. As a result, the case for delivering improvements must be linked to other objectives and a wider assessment will be needed.