Reporter 426, 2 November 1998

Commuter culture questioned as Government changes gear

A survey of University commuting patterns - including car parking - is to be carried out later this month in response to Government calls to reduce city traffic and pollution.

The University is also hoping to identify demand for parking places and deficiencies in public transport.

Leeds City Council has warned all city centre employers that 'green' measures are on the way to reduce car commuting and increase public transport use by around 20 percent.

Transport and Environment Secretary John Prescott has called on local authorities to consider ways of deterring vehicle commuters, including premiums on city centre parking spaces. Leeds City Council has been discussing its response with several major employers, including the University, over the last twelve months.

To aid discussions about transport policy, the University has asked MVA Consulting to carry out a comprehensive review of current travel and parking habits of University staff and students. The last such survey was in 1972.

One day later this month, all staff and around one in five students will be asked to log their journeys on a questionnaire. The consultants will also be carrying out traffic and pedestrian counts to get a full picture of travel arrangements.

Consultation with groups of staff and students to identify current travel and parking issues is also taking place. The review should be completed by next spring.

For more information, contact Michelle Troughton on ext 5937.

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