Stuart Farthing, John Winter and Tessa Coombes
The debate over the importance of land use planning measures in reducing transport emissions and energy use (see Newman and Kenworthy, 1989; Gordon et al., 1991; Newman and Kenworthy, 1992) has highlighted a good deal of uncertainty about the characteristics of intra-urban travel behaviour and of its determinants, and also a relative lack of empirical research into the issue. This chapter assesses the importance to intra-urban travel behaviour of accessibility and focuses on accessibility to local facilities and services. Such a focus has been given recent importance by the endorsement in Planning Policy Guidance 13: Transport (Departments of the Environment and Transport, 1994) of neighbourhood planning, integrating both housing and service provision, as a way of reducing the demand for travel and of encourging environmentally friendly forms of travel. The issue is also important because accessibility is likely to be particularly important for the sorts of discretionary (non-work) trips made to such facilities. After a review of the existing literature on the topic, the chapter reports the results of some empirical research based on new urban developments in Avon.
As part of measures to reduce fuel use and emissions of greenhouse gases, the debate about local facilities and services highlights the importance of two aspects of travel behaviour. First, there is the mode of transport used for journeys. In particular there is an interest in encouraging trips on foot or by cycle rather than by car since the former are more energy efficient than the latter (Banister, 1992; Banister et al., 1994). Second, there is the length of journeys themselves, particularly of course by car. Most journeys seem to use little fuel (Banister, 1994), but the shortening of car journeys can contribute to energy saving even though car engines do not work most efficiently on short trips.
What does the literature say about the importance of accessibility in affecting these aspects of travel behaviour? There appear to be two stances on the importance