RE: [New Mobility/WorldTransport Forum] WBCSD Mobility 2030 repor t - general commentary
Given the present economic policies of British Governments we have to do our
best within these constraints.
Hence, London has achieved circa a 4% modal shift from car to bus over 4
We now have 1.75 million extra bus trips each day since 2000 when our Mayor
was elected. (The London Congestion Charge has increased bus trips by 35,000
per day, useful, but the growth from 4.25m bus trips per day to 6m has has
mainly been caused by other factors - the Mayor's 40+ policies to promote
bus use). Now more than 16 months after the introduction of congestion
charge, and a fares hike in January 2004 we are still seeing over 6%
increase in bus patronage compared to the same time a year ago. The
encouraging signs are that over a half of these new paxs have access to a
car and many are from the higher icome groups who have in the past avoided
buses like the plague.
However, we could all do better and try to change the UK Govt's policies.
They currently plan to build new towns in the countryside. These will
require expensive infrastructure(piped water, telephone cables, electricity,
gas, drains, sewerage, roads, street lighting, etc. In addition a bus
operator will need a subsidy to operate say, one bus per hour (and as the
new town inhabitants will expect to use their cars for most journeys) the
bus will probably ony attract about ten paxs per journey and the bus
operator will require a big subsidy.
Land Value Tax offers an alternative scenario. The landowners of empty
buildings and sites in UK towns and cities currently pay no tax on their
brownfield sites. As these sites increase in value (from the community's
activities) the landowners can release this value by using the land as
collatoral for bank loans.
However, with LVT, every site (empty and with buildings on, town and
country, in use and not in use) would be valued for their annual rental land
value based on their optimum, permitted use, and a poundage charge. (Similar
to commercial rates on business premises where each commercial/industrial
building is valued for its annual rental income and a poundage applied).
With LVT the building or man-made improvements are ignored in the valuation.
The effect of this is that ALL landowners will make a repayment to the
community for the location benefit they receive arising from the communities
activities around their site.
In addition, the owners of brownfield sites in towns and cities will have an
incentive to use their land, providing more homes, jobs etc and relieving
the pressure for urban sprawl in the countryside.
This would make our towns more dense and better able to make good use of
public transport as an alternative to the car-born society.
In the example above with one hourly bus serving a new town. If instead,
these homes were built on an existing bus route in a town with brownfield
sites, then using the same bus subsidy and extra bus per hour could be
provided in the town on an existing route with a 20 minute service The new
residents would have a 15 minute service (instead of an hourly one in the
new town) but equally important, the EXISTING residents would find their new
15 minute bus service more attractive than the previous 20 minute on --
EVERYONE benefits (except the landowners in the countryside who do not see
their farms increase from £3,000 per acre in agriculutal use to over
£3000,000 per acre as residential development land. The taxpayers also win
because they do not need to fund all that new infrastructure!
From: Terence Bendixson [mailto:t.bendixson@...]
Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2004 7:15 PM
Subject: Re: International Peer Review of a major report - an example?
Dear Eric et al.
I am sure I am putting my head in the oven in sending you the attached
Independent Transport Commission report 'Suburban Future'. It refers
England, is based on research by Marcial Echenique at Cambridge, and
concludes that transport policy for the suburbs (pretty well
England) will have to be car based. Of course public transport has a
(currently 4 to 8 per cent of the trips [including walks] of English
suburbanites and exurbanites are made by bus and train) but getting a
on cars is top priority. What does this mean? Fiscal measures to promote
hyper-economical vehicles; variable road user charging to promote
travel behaviour; and company travel plans because firms like Vodafone
BAA at Heathrow show they can be made to work.
It is not radical but it could make a difference. Fuel at $50 a barrel
be a wonderful addition.
Terence Bendixson, Secretary
Independent Transport Commission
University of Southampton
c/o 39 Elm Park Gardens, London SW10 9QF
Tel 020 7352 3885