New research on walking distances

Recent research from Tetra Tech Transport Planners, Gareth Wakenshaw and Nick Bunn, reveals that current guidance on how far people walk to public transport is too rigid for the practicalities of bus service operation. In an article published by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the team suggests that assessments should be evidence based rather than relying on “traditional” values used in current guidance.

The distance people walk has significant impact in transport planning, particularly in urban redevelopment projects and large scale residential developments. However, there is little evidence to support the use of the traditional 400m guideline walking distance to a bus stop used in policy documents from the Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation.

Gareth and Nick’s research demonstrates that actual walking distances outside of London are notably longer than the 400m recommended in guidance. Their findings also identify the influence of region, urban/rural distribution, purpose of travel and gender on walking distances, suggesting a more bespoke assessment is needed for each development scenario.

This more accurate data will allow more practical and informed decisions on bus stop locations and the need to divert services and ensure that there is a realistic and balanced approach to determining routes.

The full research report, as presented to the PTRC Transport Practitioners’, can be downloaded here. For further information please contact Gareth Wakenshaw (0191 255 7320) or Nick Bunn (0191 255 7314).

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