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Transport for London Increases Priority of Programs to Reduce Car Travel

TfL wants to reduce the percentage of car journeys from 41% to 32%—on top of a larger journey base. Click to enlarge.

Transport for London (TfL) will increase the priority it gives to Travel Demand Management (TDM)—programs that encourage people to reduce their reliance on the private car for short journeys. During the next year, TfL will increase funding for TDM from £5.5 million (US$10.7 million) to £30 million (US$59.5 million).

Travel Demand Plays an important role in the 20-year transport program introduced by TfL last year. (Earlier post.) Existing TDM initiatives include:

  • Personalized Travel Planning. Trials in Kingston, Sutton and Haringey in 2006/07 saw 56,000 households being given tailored travel advice, with at least 16% of respondents now using public transport more often and 24% walking and cycling more.

  • School Travel Plans. Based on analysis of 300 plans completed in 2005/06 an average reduction of 5.5% cent in single occupancy car trips was achieved in just one year (equivalent to 1.9 million fewer car trips per year).

  • Car Clubs. TfL research among car club members in 2006 saw 20% of users having given up their own car and 30% having deferred purchasing a car as a direct result of their car club membership.

  • Workplace Travel Planning. These plans support activities such as flexible working and teleconferencing. They typically achieve a 15-20% reduction in single occupancy car trips where employees are encouraged to change their travel to or during work. Employers that sustain plans over a prolonged period have seen even better results.

To reflect the importance of this work in tackling both congestion and climate change, TfL is creating an enhanced Travel Demand Management program, which will include:

  • Delivery and evaluation of existing programs such as School and Workplace travel planning.

  • Research to understand better why, when and how people travel and how these choices can best be influenced to reduce transport's environmental impact.

  • Engagement at a senior level with organizations in both the public and private sectors to identify the best way of reducing the travel demand of their customers and employees.

  • Dissemination of best practice from London, the UK and overseas

TfL faces a major challenge over the next 25 years in meeting the rising demand for travel in London while also tackling climate change. The results of our existing programs so far suggest that Travel Demand Management can play an important role in keeping London moving and healthier.

—Peter Hendy, London’s Transport Commissioner



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