Hampshire County Council

North East Hampshire Area Transportation Strategy Panel

13 February 2002

North East Hampshire Transport Strategy - Monitoring

Report of the County Surveyor

Item 7

Contact: Julie Jarvis, ext 6592

1. Summary

1.1 This report sets out details of the monitoring exercise undertaken in February and September 2001 as part of the North East Hampshire Transport Strategy (NEHTS). This involved an extensive programme of surveys covering road traffic, cycling, pedestrian activity, bus and train use, and air quality. The County Council's Travel Attitude surveys (Transpol) were also conducted. The data included in the report are presented on a comparable basis with previous data collected so that the monitoring is consistent with other surveys. The report details the surveys undertaken and the results obtained. Some comparisons are made between the data collected in 1999 and 2001. However, until there is a comprehensive data set, trends in transport use and travel behaviour cannot be analysed fully.

2. Introduction

2.1 NEHTS requires considerable survey work and monitoring to meet the requirements of the Hampshire Local Transport Plan (LTP) 2001-2006 and to ensure that the strategy and its component schemes fulfil the objectives set down. The Road Traffic Reduction Act 1997 places further requirements on local authorities to assess levels of traffic in their area.

2.2 While a number of transport surveys were undertaken previously, notably in 1999, the surveys undertaken in September 2001 have been the most comprehensive to date. A similar round of surveys is planned to be undertaken biennially. The County Council's Travel Attitude surveys (Transpol) took place in February 2001 to gain a fuller picture of travel patterns and attitudes in the Rushmoor and Hart areas. Transpol was last undertaken in 1995 and some comparisons can be drawn between the two sets of data.

2.3 The comprehensive nature of these surveys indicates that considerable resources need to be deployed to achieve the level of monitoring required in support of the LTP Annual Progress Report and the Road Traffic Reduction Act.

3. Local Transport Plan Annual Progress Report

3.1 The County Council's first Annual Progress Report (APR) was submitted to the Government Office for the South East (GOSE) in August 2001. The APR provides the main mechanism for reporting back to Central Government on how the LTP is being implemented, as well as providing an opportunity to show progress made in working on the objectives and targets contained in the LTP. The APR also enables a report to be made on particular achievements in delivering the LTP to residents, interest groups and other stakeholders. It is proposed to use the NEHTS transport monitoring results as part of the 2002 APR submission.

4. Surveys Undertaken

4.1 A range of sources were used to provide information, including the following:

5. Survey Results - Transpol Household Questionnaire Surveys

5.1 The Transpol household questionnaire surveys are undertaken throughout Hampshire, designed to collect information on travel behaviour and public attitudes towards various transport related issues. The surveys for the NEHTS area were undertaken by consultants URS Thornburn Colquhoun. Respondents are asked to provide information regarding the nature of their household, their own travel patterns, the factors influencing their travel choice and their perceptions of different modes of transport and travel options in the county.

5.2 Transpol surveys were undertaken in Rushmoor and Hart in February 2001. A total of 4,973 questionnaires were distributed with a response rate of 29%, an encouraging rate for this type of postal self-completion questionnaire. A previous round of Transpol surveys was undertaken in 1995 and some comparisons have been drawn between the two data sets. The main results of the 2001 surveys were as follows.

5.3 The average daily trip rate for the week for all journey lengths was 2.6, with older people making fewer journeys than younger people. Most journeys were made on Friday and Monday, and least on Sunday and Saturday. A direct comparison with the 1995 data is not possible due to changes in the travel diary information, the 1995 data being far less detailed.

5.4 Around 82% of journeys were made by car, with a higher proportion (by around 10%) in Hart compared with Rushmoor, reflecting the wider spread of settlements and more rural nature of the area. Comparison of the results with the 1995 survey reveal that there is little change in the proportion of journeys made by car in 2001. Of the total, 2.6% of journeys in Hart and 7.4% in Rushmoor were made by bus, by walking 5.7% in Hart and 9.1% in Rushmoor, and by train 3.8% in Hart and 2.6% in Rushmoor. A small proportion of journeys was made by cycle (1% in Hart and 1.8% in Rushmoor). Comparison with the 1995 survey suggests that the proportion of journeys made by train and walking has increased whilst cycle and bus use has decreased slightly. The proportion of respondents not owning a car was similar in 2001 compared with 1995 (8% compared with 9%) although the proportion of households owning two or more cars has risen from 53% in 1995 to 58% in 2001, with a corresponding fall in the proportion of those owning only one car.

5.5 Nearly half of respondents in Rushmoor live and work within the district's main towns of Aldershot and Farnborough whilst a quarter travel across the Surrey border to work. Workplace locations are more dispersed for residents travelling from Hart, with a much higher proportion of respondents travelling out of the district to work in Basingstoke, Aldershot, Farnborough and other locations in Surrey and Berkshire. Approximately 9% of Rushmoor respondents work in London compared with 12% for Hart.

5.6 Age and gender characteristics of users of each travel mode have been tabulated and compared. Buses were most used by the 18 to 24 age group and by females in all age groups. More females walked and used taxis, but many more males cycled.

5.7 A higher proportion of respondents `never' travelled by bus in 2001 compared with 1995 and this may be attributable to the small increase in car ownership. There has been a slight decrease in the number of respondents who `never' cycle, perhaps due to wider ownership and use of cycling for leisure journeys. In 1995, and in contrast to 2001, a higher proportion of positive attributes for bus services was cited, including convenience of stops, and cheaper and frequent service. The main reason for travelling by car was journey time, although respondents also identified poor travel alternatives as a factor in their travel choice. 'No other means of travel' was far more significant in Hart than Rushmoor where journey lengths are likely to be, on average, shorter and a greater range of travel alternatives is available. Trains were considered to be `less stressful than a car' in 2001 compared with 1995. In 1995 the reasons for choosing to travel by train were convenience of stations, to avoid congestion and quicker journeys, however these were given as less significant reasons in 2001. The majority of those who cycled and walked chose to do so for health reasons and enjoyment.

5.8 The least satisfactory aspects of bus services were waiting facilities, frequency, cost, information and overall service quality. Rail users identified fares as the least satisfactory aspect of their journey. Links with bus services, parking costs and facilities at stations were also seen as negative attributes. However, ease of boarding/alighting, frequency and ease of finding a train seat were seen as relatively positive attributes. Regular cyclists cited the safety in cycle lanes as the greatest attribute compared with the least satisfactory attributes of safety on roads and security of cycle parking.

5.9 Thirteen transport options were ranked by respondents in order of their perceived importance. These are ranked in order of priority as follows:

5.10 It is noteworthy that people place great importance on improved public transport, and yet are much less willing to concede road space to buses in order to provide for more reliable services.

5.11 Walking is by far the most popular mode of travel for distances under half a mile. Bus travel becomes significant at distances of one and a half to three miles, with a further increase for journeys over three miles. A high proportion of children cycle to school, with the percentage of cycling against other modes of travel ranging from 3% for journeys of one and a half to three miles to 14% for journeys under half a mile.

6. Survey Results - Traffic Data

6.1 The location of the survey sites in the NEHTS area are shown on attached Figure 1. Table 1 shows data from the permanent traffic count sites 1996 to 2001, except at the M3 sites where data are not yet available for 2001. Where comparable to 1999 flows the 2001 traffic counts have increased by 3%. Comparison of the two sites on the M3 from 1999 to 2000 indicates a slight increase in traffic flows of 0.02%. Traffic flows have fallen on the A30 Hartley Wintney and A3011 at Farnborough from 1996-2001.

6.2 Table 2 shows the traffic flows recorded at each traffic survey site in 1999 and 2001. Where comparable to 1999 flows, the 2001 figures are up by 3%. Although there has been a general increase in traffic volumes, flows have fallen on the A30 (junction with A327) and A323 Fleet to Aldershot.

6.3 The daily morning peak flows (8-9 am) were collected for these traffic count sites. Table 3 shows the peak traffic flows recorded at each of the survey sites for 1999 and 2001. Compared to 1999, morning peak flow in 2001 is up by 15.8% (this comparison includes Site 2). The morning peak flow has decreased on the A30 east of the junction with A327.

6.4 The surveys recorded car occupancy levels at B3013 Beacon Hill Road south of Church Crookham and A325 north of Farnborough station. Table 4 shows the car occupancy results from the 2001 surveys compared to 1999. Car occupancy has increased slightly from 1999.

Bus Passengers

6.5 Table 5 shows the number of passengers recorded on bus services. Comparisons can be made between 1999 and 2001. Where comparable, bus passenger numbers have fallen, this may be in part due to the loss of the services provided by the Tillingbourne Bus Company.

6.6 Table 6 shows the level of rail patronage in Fleet, Farnborough and Blackwater. The number of passengers boarding trains between 0700-1900 was recorded. The number of rail passengers from Fleet and Farnborough travelling towards London has increased by 13.4% whilst towards Basingstoke there is little change. The number of passengers boarding trains at Blackwater and Farnborough North going towards Guildford has decreased slightly by 3.2% but towards Reading has increased by 31.4% between 1999 and 2001.

6.7 Table 7 shows the level of rail patronage at these stations during the morning peak hour (0800 to 0900) during the 2001 surveys. The number of passengers boarding at the four stations during the morning peak hour accounted for 16.4% of the total number of passengers boarding at these stations during the 12 hour period of the surveys. At Blackwater station the morning peak hour accounted for 27.2% of the total number of passengers boarding the trains during the survey.

6.8 Table 8 shows the carriage of cycles on trains. The 2001 figures for cycle carriage on trains can be used as a baseline for future comparisons. The number of cycles parked at the stations surveyed has increased by 8.1%.

6.9 Table 9 shows the number of cars parked at the stations and provides baseline data for future comparisons. Both car parks at Farnborough and Fleet stations were approximately 90% full at the time of the survey.

6.10 Cycle use was monitored at each of the cordon sites and shows the number of cyclists over a 12 hour period (see Table 10). The table shows a decrease in the number of cyclists between 1999 and 2001, although these surveys are only a sample of cycling activity.

6.11 Surveys were undertaken at selected sites to measure the usage of cycleway and footway developments in North East Hampshire. Table 11 shows an increase in the number of pedestrians at these sites between 1999 and 2001(see Table 11). The number of cycles counted at each of the sites has decreased, apart from A327 Elles Road. At this site the number of cycles in 2001 increased by 11.6% compared to 1999.

6.12 Heavy commercial vehicles (HCVs) were recorded as part of the manual classified counts (see Table 12). The figures show a decrease in the number of HCVs by 5.6% between 1999 and 2001. In all cases where the figures are comparable the HCV proportions are low compared to the national average which is in the region of 6%. The number of HCVs has increased on the B3013 and A3013 between 1999 and 2001.

6.13 The Environment Act 1995 (3) sets out a system of local air quality management, with local Councils having the lead role. In particular, it requires district councils to carry out periodic reviews of the air quality in their areas and to assess present and future air quality against the seven objectives in the Regulations. Where the objectives are not likely to be met by the end of 2005 the authority is required to designate an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), and to prepare an action plan for improvements in air quality.

6.14 The Government expected that local authorities would adopt a phased approach to their reviews and assessments so that the complexity and detail of the work is consistent with the risk of failing to achieve the air quality objectives.

6.15 Within the NEHTS area Hart District Council completed its review at the third stage and concluded that all the air quality objectives would be met throughout the authority's area. Within Rushmoor however, the Stage 3 review showed that for the year 2005 an area close to the M3 motorway was in danger of exposing the public to NO2 exceeding that set in the Regulations. As required, in October 2000 Rushmoor designated this as an AQMA and proceeded to a Stage 4 review to confirm the findings of the earlier stages and to develop an Action Plan outlining the action necessary to improve air quality in the AQMA.

6.16 The Stage 4 review was published in January 2002 and considered in detail the likely levels of NO2 in the vicinity of the M3 for 2005. This was achieved through detailed predictions modelling and the work concluded that the levels of NO2 in the Stage 3 work were too high. Therefore, Rushmoor Borough Council is currently considering revoking the AQMA and will no longer need to produce an Action Plan.

6.17 Rushmoor Borough Council has three continuous monitoring sites. One is located near the M3 (junction 4) measuring NOx and PM10. The other two stations are located in Farnborough town centre. These stations measure NOx, PM10 and Ozone. Hart District Council has one continuous monitoring site on the A30 which is shortly to be upgraded This station measures NOx and PM10. It is anticipated that an air quality web site will be made available to the public later this year and that the data from these monitoring stations will be made available directly to the County Council in the near future.

7. Development of Approach to Monitoring and Evaluation

7.1 The Transpol surveys will be repeated in 2005 and the area strategy monitoring in September 2003 and again in September 2005 to coincide with the Transpol surveys.

7.2 To develop a comprehensive monitoring approach, information on town centre trade activity, car parking, crime and disorder, shopmobility, etc will be required not only from the County and Borough Councils but also other stakeholders, such as transport operators, the business community, local cycling groups and special interest groups. The implications and arrangements for this comprehensive monitoring will need to be county-wide.

8. Conclusion

8.1 The extensive survey work undertaken provides a wide range of indicators for transport activities in the NEHTS area. The Transpol household questionnaire surveys give an indication not only of travel patterns but also attitudes to transport. While the 2001 results indicate that car ownership is high and the number of households owning two or more cars has increased, there is little change in the proportion of journeys made by car as compared with the 1995 survey. The survey also suggests a change in attitude to public transport, with respondents feeling that public transport improvements are a priority. Against an increase in traffic flows on the strategic and local roads in the NEHTS area, both the Transpol and monitoring surveys suggest an increase in rail patronage and walking. However, both surveys also indicate a reduction in bus use and cycling. The former may be in part due to the loss in the services provided by the Tillingbourne Bus Company. The data obtained will be compared with future surveys to establish trends and changes in transport behaviour and levels of activity and provide a strong base for comparison with future surveys. Data will be used in assessing the impact of NEHTS initiatives over a longer time period and in reviewing progress for LTP and Road Traffic Reduction Act purposes.

Recommendation

That the Panel notes the results of the 2001 North East Hampshire Transport Strategy surveys and the Transpol household questionnaire surveys.

Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

NB the list excludes:

1.

Published works.

2.

Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.

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