MEDC Urban Development Problems

Case Study: Congestion and Traffic Management in Chelmsford

Causes:

  • There is fairly poor public transport so many prefer to use their own means of transport instead.
  • Chelmsford is a thoroughfare to get to other places such as Colchester as the A12 and A414 run through it, meaning there are more cars on the road.
  • There is an increase in car ownership as cars are becoming cheaper to buy second-hand.
  • Chelmsford is built on old road systems that only allow one lane each way with no room to expand as there are too many buildings, and so the roads cannot cope today’s volume of traffic.
  • Chelmsford is the county town of Essex and is a big town so many people are moving here in the hope of employment.
  • People are travelling further to reach work as they have car access instead of taking local jobs to them in walking/cycling distance so there are lots more cars.

Effects:

  • People may become consistently late to work as they struggle to get through the town to their work amidst all the traffic
  • It increases the amount of road-rage experienced by frustrated drivers stuck in long queues.  
  • There may be an increase in the amount of collisions/rashes as there are more cars on the road. Also, people who become fed up with being stuck in traffic jams may drive more dangerously such as performing
  • All the traffic on the roads means it becomes very difficult for local businesses to transport their goods or have other companies deliver goods to them.
  • There becomes tension between car owners and environmentalists as car owners want to drive but environmentalists are angered by this as it is damaging the environment. 
  • There also becomes tension between locals and commuters as the commuters are causing a great deal of the congestion, and the locals cannot get around their own town easily or have to wait for long periods of time to park their car in their driveway.
  • The total amount of money spent on petrol increases as more is used sitting in traffic, and local companies can exploit the high demand by increasing prices.
  • The fumes from all the cars cause vast amounts of air pollution. For example, these gases can cause illnesses and potentially cancer, especially in high risk groups such as the elderly or the asthmatic. Also a lot of carbon dioxide is produced, which is one of the gases contributing to global warming.

Solutions:

  • Some roads have become pedestrian orientated to keep cars away from high risk area e.g. in the town centre the high street isn’t used for any vehicles, and also they cannot make any pollution here.
  • Hybrid cars could be developed and promoted. These would cut down on the carbon emissions as well as other detrimental gases.   
  • Smaller cars and car sharing could be promotes which would cut down on emissions and the amount of congestion on the roads.
  • Park and ride/park and cycle schemes could be promoted cutting down on traffic and pollution in the main area of the town.
  • Congestion charges could be enforced around the town centre to discourage people from driving there, encouraging them to find alternative means of transport.
  • More bus lanes could be built to improve the flow of public transport. Or cycle lanes to encourage cycling and keep cyclists out of pedestrian’s and cars way.
  • More tax could be put on petrol and diesel to discourage drivers from using their cars all the time.
  • Buses could become free or a lot cheaper to encourage more people to use them on a regular basis.
  • Parking costs in the town could be increased to encourage people to use public transport, walk or cycle to wherever they need to go if possible.
  • Alternative means of transport need to be explained and promoted such as walking to school (walking bus)
  • Cycling should be promoted as it is very environmentally friendly and also has health benefits.
  • Traffic calming measures such as speed bumps, speed cameras and 20mph speed limits should be introduced to reduce accidents by cars. 
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