Independent study – What Light Rail Can Do for Cities


Extract:  “Tyne & Wear Metro
4.14 The initial monitoring studies of the Metro18 noted that use of the new system by
former car users, together with the accompanying large-scale reduction of bus
movements in central Newcastle, had helped to reduce congestion. Between 1980 and
1984, average vehicle speeds in Newcastle City Centre increased by about 20%. “


“Manchester Metrolink
4.19 The monitoring studies for Metrolink20 used information from user surveys and
household interviews to ascertain changes in travel modes for people making the same
trips before and after the opening of the system. Table 4.1 shows how many users of
each mode switched to Metrolink for journeys to Manchester city centre, as reported
from the household interviews. This shows, for example, that 21% of people
interviewed in the Altrincham corridor said they had switched from car use to
Metrolink during the morning peak. Obviously, the majority of former rail users
switched to Metrolink given the replacement of one by the other. Similar findings
were obtained from the user surveys: the proportion of Metrolink users to central
Manchester who previously travelled by car ranged from 11% to 21%.
4.20 The highest levels of transfer from car to Metrolink were observed in the Altrincham
Corridor, probably reflecting higher levels of road congestion in that corridor and
greater competition from express bus services in the Bury corridor. The level of
transfer was also greater in the off-peak than peak periods, reflecting the
attractiveness of Metrolink for non-work trips to and from the city centre.
4.21 The observed levels of mode-shift from car are lower than if Metrolink had not
replaced a well-used rail service: public transport mode share was already high. ”