In response to Mr Dalglish’s contribution in which he raises some doubts
as to the value of providing P&R facilities, may I offer an alternative
effect of P&R and trams?
The P&R facilities at Ingliston, near Edinburgh Airport, were little used
when introduced as a car park for commuters to take a bus into the city
and its office areas. There were always plenty of spaces. However, after
introduction of the trams, they are now used well beyond capacity,
probably 120% most days. Parking takes place on the pavements, over double
yellow lines, and anywhere a car can be squeezed. Parking is free all day,
and the buses on different routes still stop there, for a miniscule number
of passengers. The number of tram passengers using the P&R is huge.
The cars left there during the day do not contribute to Edinburgh
congestion or pollution, fall into the numerous potholes, or add to wear
and tear of the roads. There is a drastic need to extend the P&R
facilities, and also to run shuttle buses to it from outer residential
areas of the city.
Obviously the Edinburgh experience of P&R for a tram hub is very different
and probably much more productive than in Portland.
The experience with Ingliston demonstrates two points which the conference
has discussed, Firstly that car drivers will abandon their cars for a
reliable fast tram service in preference to bus services, no matter how
varied the routes are for the buses. Secondly the environmental and health
impact of trams is so much more acceptable, with fewer needs for road
repairs and health service costs. Check out the road condition near stops
where buses apply the thrust through their rear wheels when setting off.
But expect a demand for more tram routes once people get used to them.