How has Canterbury Managed the Traffic Going Into and out of the CBD Compared to the Outskirts of Canterbury?  Essay

INTRODUCTION:

Why did I choose the title and why is Canterbury a good case study?

I chose the title because I am interested in how Canterbury’s traffic management differs between the CBD and the outskirts of Canterbury and to find out what the residents and visitors think of the way traffic is controlled in the CBD.

Canterbury is a good case study because traffic and congestion in the area around the CBD of Canterbury is continuous. There are also lots of different examples of traffic management around the CBD of Canterbury. They use dual carriageways and large roundabouts around the CBD of Canterbury whereas on the outskirts of Canterbury they use single carriageways and much smaller roundabouts and ring roads.

Where is Canterbury?

Canterbury is in the South East of England in Kent and is near to the coastal towns of Whitstable, Herne Bay and Margate. There are main access and exit routes going into and out of Canterbury to the coastal towns. The main A2 road that is a direct route to London and is provides easy access for commuters. Also it feeds a direct route to the Euro Tunnel at Folkestone and the Dover to Calais ferries.

History of Canterbury:

Romans- Roman Canterbury was prosperous and contained many sizeable public buildings and private dwellings. Later during the Roman occupation, around AD 270, the combination of Saxon raiders and increasing conflicts within the Roman Empire itself led to the construction of a defensive wall around in the city.

Anglo-Saxons- Canterbury, known then as Cantwara-burh, or ‘the fortified town of the Men of Kent’, became the capital of the new kingdom from the 6th century onwards. It was the main residence of King Ethelbert from around AD 590.

Canterbury Cathedral- In AD 597, the arrival of St Augustine in England, on a mission to convert its inhabitants to Christianity, marked the beginning of Canterbury’s role as the centre of the Christian church here. The Cathedral’s history goes back to 597AD when St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great as a missionary, established his seat (or ‘Cathedra’) in Canterbury. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and ever since, the Cathedral has attracted thousands of pilgrims, as told famously in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

The A2- The Anglo-Saxons named it W�celinga Str�t which developed into the modern Watling Street. It was one of the most important Roman roads in Britain, since it linked London with Canterbury , and from there to three Channel ports: Dover, Richborough and Lympne. In which only Dover is still used.

This links in with the title of my project because it is one of the main access routes into Canterbury and has been in use since the Romans. From this we can see how Canterbury council has managed the traffic coming into Canterbury from a main road from London.

Aims of my Investigation:

* Accessibility: Canterbury has access routes via the main A2, from Ashford, from Dover, Sturry and the Thanet Way.

* Pedestrianised high street: Canterbury has opened its high street to pedestrians only. This is to add safety to the pedestrians and takes away the main traffic flow from the CBD of Canterbury.

* Priority bus / taxi lanes: this ensures that people traveling on the park and ride buses, public buses and taxis are not disturbed by the congestion / traffic at peak times.

* Park and ride: park and ride is a way of decreasing the amount of traffic in the CBD of Canterbury by having a bus collect visitors from a car park and transporting them, for a small charge, into the CBD.

Hypothesis:

My hypothesis related to this Case study of Canterbury is that Canterbury will concentrate on the types of traffic management strategies in the CBD of Canterbury more than the outskirts of Canterbury. This is because there will be much more traffic on the roads in the CBD and therefore more traffic management strategies than roads on the outskirts of Canterbury and more work is needed to improve the traffic management in the CBD of Canterbury. Having much more traffic in the CBD of Canterbury will result in there being many additional traffic management strategies and less traffic management will be needed for the outskirts of Canterbury.

There will be more congestion around the CBD of Canterbury because the roads are all major roads into the city centre and therefore, the congestion index will be slower around the CBD than on the outskirts of Canterbury. The more visitors there are to the CBD, the more congestion there will be and the use of the car parks will be increased. There will be more people walking at the survey points around the CBD and there will be less people walking if we were to collect data from roads on the outskirts of Canterbury. Asking the question ‘What are the problems caused by tourists?’ in our questionnaire, I predict that one of the answers we receive will be related to congestion and traffic around the CBD of Canterbury.

Geographical theories:

* Population increase � more houses built � more vehicles per household.

* More vehicles per household � more traffic and congestion during rush hours � more roads built � more pollution.

* Population increase � more shops opening � higher profits

* More vehicles per household � less use of public transport � more pollution.

Key Questions:

* How does Canterbury control the main access / exit routes into the CBD?

* How do the traffic management strategies differ as we move further away from the CBC of Canterbury?

* What do the residents / visitors think of the traffic management in the CBD?

* What traffic management strategies have been used around the CBD of Canterbury?

* Are there sufficient car parking facilities around the CBD of Canterbury and what alternatives are available to the public?

* What will be the negative effects of the traffic and congestion?

* What are the causes of the congestion in the CBD of Canterbury?

* Who is affected by the congestion?

* What are the proposed improvements to the roads around the CBD of Canterbury?

What Secondary Data can I Collect?

The secondary data that I can use for this Canterbury project is the Canterbury District Transport Action Plan called “Unlocking the Gridlock”. The action plan focuses on what can be done to improve alternatives to using our cars for journeys, to and from Canterbury’s CBD and in particular, where traffic congestion is at it’s worst during school, college and university term times. The areas that are the main focus of the plan is the A2 slip roads, better bus service with cheaper fares, more traffic calming, introducing a one way system in Wincheap in Canterbury, to have no more road building and more control on the developments that generate the traffic.

There is going to be an increase in the amount of car parks in or around Canterbury’s CBD which offer the ‘Park and Ride’ facilities. I am also going to visit an area on the outskirts of Canterbury, take photographs and see what traffic management strategies are being used. I could write a letter to the Canterbury council asking them to tell me what there aims are for improving Canterbury’s CBD congested roads in the future and ways of eliminating traffic in the future.

Limitations:

There were some limitations that I had on the fieldwork day. These were that out of the working day, I only had 6 hours to collect the information that I required. Another limitation that I had on the fieldwork day was I only had the chance to collect data at two different times of the day. These weren’t the peak hours and this was a disadvantage to me because I was unable to collect a wide range of results and was restricted to only two different times. The fact that it was a weekday was also a limitation. This was a limitation because it’s not the busiest time to collect data. On the fieldwork day, the weather was unsettled so the number of people in the CBD of Canterbury at the data collection times would have reduced

METHODOLOGY:

I am now going to set out my sequence of investigation which enabled me to gather information relating to my project. This will also enable me to test my hypothesis. In addition, I asked residents and visitors of Canterbury in a survey several questions relating to my project title.

It was necessary to divide into groups in order to collect the data on the field trip day. It was necessary to divide Canterbury into six grids of equal size in order to maximise the amount of data collected and ensure that most of the city was covered so that it could be compared to urban geographical theories. This is because we needed to collect the data from 12 survey points. We split up into groups of 3 at different roads around the CBD of Canterbury so that we can collate the results to enable us to

have sufficient data to present. Also, dividing into groups made it easier to collect the data at the location point at the correct times. The times were: 11:30-11:35 and 1:30-1:35 for the traffic count, 11:40-11:45 and 1:40-1:45 for the pedestrian count and 11:50-11:55 and 1:50-1:55 for the congestion index. This would help us analyse whether Canterbury has peak congestion times where the demand for the services and facilities in the city increased. This was the case and there was an increase in the amount of people in the CBD of Canterbury during the data collection times.

This was taking into consideration that our data collection times weren’t peak rush hour times. It was important that all the groups carried out the investigations at a certain times and at the exact same times. This also ensured that the widest possible range of results was collected and resulting in more comparisons. This ensured that the investigation was a fair test.

We were able to compare the geographical theories I mentioned in my introduction to what I found out. I found out that there was indeed more traffic and congestion at the times that I was collecting the data but we couldn’t prove that there was a further increase during rush hours because we weren’t in Canterbury during rush hours. As a result of this there was definitely an increase in pollution at the times we were collecting data because although the data collection times weren’t during rush hour, there seemed to be a large number of vehicles on the roads and a large number of people walking. Hence that there were large congestion index surveys and large pedestrian counts. At my data collection point it was clear that there was a lack of public transport which means there will be an increase in pollution because of the large amount of privately owned vehicles.

At each of the survey points, each group had to do a traffic count, pedestrian count, congestion index and how many cars and spaces there were in 2 car parks.

Data collected

How was it collected?

What key questions / part of the hypothesis does it help me answer?

How do I plan to present the data?

Any interrelationships?

Traffic Count

The survey was collected between 11:30-11:35 and 1:30-1:35. We collected the data by drawing a tally of the types of vehicles that are going into and out of the CBD at certain times. The count was tallied with counting how many cars, vans, lorries, bicycles, motorbikes, buses and other.

The part of the hypothesis this linked to is: The more traffic there is in the CBD results in there being many different traffic management strategies.

It helps me answer the key question of How does Canterbury control the main access / exit routes into the CBD?

I plan on presenting the data in a tally and produce pie charts to compare the types of vehicles going into the CBD and out of the CBD and what type of vehicles they are.

The traffic surveys is linked to the congestion index in a way that the amount of time that a vehicle takes to travel 100m depends on the size of the vehicles and the speeds they take to travel the 100m. The larger the vehicle, the longer it will take.

Pedestrian Count

The survey was collected between 11:40-11:45 and 1:40-1:45. We collected the data by counting the amount of people walking into the CBD and out of the CBD at the same times.

It ties in with the key question of What will be the negative effects of the traffic and congestion? People may be choosing to park there car further away from the CBD to avoid the congestion and therefore is an inconvenience for the residents / visitors.

I plan on presenting the data in a table and construct a graph of location to the CBD against the amount of pedestrians.

The pedestrian count is linked to how many cars are in the car parks in a way that the more cars there are in the car park, the more pedestrians there will be walking to and from the CBD of Canterbury.

Congestion Index

The survey was collected between 11:50-11:55 and 1:50-1:55. We collected the data by timing how long a car took to travel 100m. At our survey point, we timed how long it took vehicles to travel between 2 sets of pedestrian crossings. We timed 20 vehicles.

The part of the hypothesis this linked to is: There will be more congestion around the CBD of Canterbury because the roads are all major roads into the city centre. It helps me answer the key question of How does Canterbury control the main access / exit routes into the CBD? They have managed the flow of traffic by the use of a dual carriageway.

I plan on presenting the data in a table to compare the congestion index of the different roads that were surveyed. I will be plotting a graph to compare the congestion index coming into and out of the CBD.

The congestion index is linked to the traffic count in a way that the more cars that are travelling into and out of the CBD, there more congestion it will cause. Therefore, the congestion index will be slower because there will be more cars on the road and cars will be forced to travel slower.

How many cars and spaces in the car parks?

The surveys were collected at 11am and 1am at two different car parks close to the CBD of Canterbury. We took the data by counting how many cars were in the car park at the time, how many spaces were empty and how many disabled spaces were available for the public to use.

The part of the hypothesis this is linked to is: The more visitors there are to the CBD, the more congestion there will be and the use of the car parks will be increased. It helps me answer the key question of Are there sufficient car parking facilities around the CBD of Canterbury and what alternatives are available to the public?

I plan on presenting the data in a table and plot a graph to show what car parks are the busiest, how many spaces are available and how many disabled spaces are available to the publics use.

How many cars and spaces there are in a car park is linked to the traffic count coming into the CBD. This is because as more visitors come into the CBD of Canterbury, more car parking is needed and therefore, fewer spaces will be empty.

Within the groups, we had to fill out questionnaires. We had to first ask them if they were a resident or a visitor. It was difficult to get someone to answer the questionnaires because the times that we tried to fill out a questionnaire, a lot of people just said that they were busy. There was a debate as to whether they were actually in a hurry or they just simply didn’t want to answer the questionnaire in some cases. If they were a resident we asked them:

* How long they have lived in Canterbury for.

* Do they think Canterbury controls the traffic and congestion well?

* Do they think that Canterbury caters for tourists well?

* What are the problems caused by tourists?

* What do they think are the best bits about Canterbury?

* What do they think are the worst bits about Canterbury?

* What there occupation is.(if they have one)

We then estimated there age and stated whether they were Male or Female.

If they were a visitor to Canterbury we asked them:

* How long they are staying in Canterbury for.

* Do they think that Canterbury caters for tourists well?

* What they like about Canterbury.

* Do you think Canterbury controls the traffic and congestion well?

* How often do you visit Canterbury?

* How many times have you visited Canterbury?

* Are you likely to come back to Canterbury in the future?

We then estimated there age and stated whether they were Male or Female.

Collecting these questionnaires helped me to answer my hypothesis of: There will be more people walking at the survey points around the CBD and there will be less people walking if we were to collect data from roads on the outskirts of Canterbury. This is because the more people that we get a response from will indicate exactly how many people were around the area of the survey point.

Asking the question ‘Are you likely to come back to Canterbury in the future?’ Will say whether they are satisfied with Canterbury’s CBD and if they weren’t satisfied with the CBD, why is this? Asking the question ‘How many times have you visited Canterbury?’ will also show us what they think of Canterbury.

Asking these questions will help me to answer my project title because all the questions on the questionnaire all relate to the visitors / residents opinions.

From asking the question ‘What are the problems caused by tourists?’, will indicate what needs to be improved in Canterbury CBD to meet the satisfactions of the visitors / residents of Canterbury. This will give us an insight into whether they think that enough has been done to cater for tourists too.

I took photographs when I visited Canterbury and I have annotated them to indicate the traffic management strategies and the key factors to the photographs. Taking photographs will also help me to answer my project title because they all link in with ‘how has Canterbury Managed the Traffic Going Into and out of the CBD Compared to the Outskirts of Canterbury’. I have also annotated them to show the possible solutions to the congestion and traffic on the roads. They will show possible ‘danger zones’ for the pedestrians / other road users and I have annotated the photographs to show these and possible improvements to the road. It will help me to answer the key question of:

What traffic management strategies have been used around the CBD of Canterbury?, by the use of the photographs. They will also prove that my hypothesis that Canterbury will concentrate on the types of traffic management strategies in the CBD of Canterbury more than the outskirts of Canterbury. I have been able to compare the annotated photographs taken in the CBD of Canterbury to the additional annotated photographs that I took of the area that I visited on the outskirts of Canterbury. This will help me to answer the key question of ‘how does the traffic management strategies differ as we move further away from the CBC of Canterbury? This will also help me to answer my prediction that the congestion index will be slower around the CBD than on the outskirts of Canterbury.

To collect the secondary data that I described in my introduction for this Canterbury project is the Canterbury District Transport Action Plan called “Unlocking the Gridlock”. I would research there website for the relevant information for my project and write a letter to the Canterbury council asking them to tell me what they plan on doing in the future to improve the roads around the CBD of Canterbury. This will give me two different accounts to what the proposed plans are for the CBD of Canterbury’s congestion and traffic problems.

This will help me answer my key question of ‘What are the proposed improvements to the roads around the CBD of Canterbury? My letter will be asking exactly that question. It will help me to answer my hypothesis of ‘there will be much more traffic on the roads in the CBD and therefore more traffic management strategies than roads on the outskirts of Canterbury and more work is needed to improve the traffic management in the CBD of Canterbury. This will also help me to answer the section of my project title ‘How has Canterbury Managed the Traffic Going Into and out of the CBD?

Summary:

The data collected will help me to answer my hypothesis by proving to see if my thoughts on the project are correct and to have evidence that this is the case. The data collected will help me to answer my key questions by individually answering each of the questions with evidence. Most importantly it will help me to answer my project title questions in my conclusion to this project by treating them as key questions and also having evidence of my results to prove the answers.