Objectives - Accessibility
To improve access to facilities for those without a car and to reduce severance.
In general terms, accessibility can be defined as ease of reaching. The accessibility objective is concerned with increasing the ability with which people in different locations, and with differing availability of transport, can reach different types of facility. The term accessibility has been used in the past in several different, often overlapping ways, including the following:
- measurement of ease of access to the transport system itself in terms of, for example, the proportion of homes within x minutes of a bus stop or the proportion of buses which may be boarded by a wheel-chair user;
- measurement of ease of access to facilities, with the emphasis being on the provision of the facilities necessary to meet peoples needs within certain minimum travel times, distances or costs;
- measurement of the value which people place on having an option available which they might use only under unusual circumstances (such as when the car breaks down) - option value - or even the value people place on simply the existence of an alternative which they have no real intention of using - existence value; and
- measurement of ease of participation in activities (for personal travel) or delivery of goods to their final destination (for goods travel), provided by the interaction of the transport system, the geographical pattern of economic activities, and the pattern of land use as a whole.
These aspects of accessibility are expressed as:
- to increase option values
- to reduce severance
- to improve access to the transport system
Key Entry Points:
An Introduction to Transport Analysis, (TAG Unit 1.1) introduces the Governments Objectives for transport and their role in the appraisal process.
Guidance for the Project Manager
The Overall Approach: Steps in the Process ( TAG Unit 2.1) and Objectives and Problems (TAG Unit 2.2) provide an overview of how the identification of accessibility problems is integral to the study process and how the appraisal of options against the accessibility objective fits into the overall transport appraisal process.
The Appraisal Process (TAG Unit 2.5) explains the appraisal framework, including the Appraisal Summary Table (AST) that is used to assess the achievement of the Governments Objectives for transport.
Guidance for the Expert
The Accessibility Objective (TAG Unit 3.6) provides detailed guidance on appraising against the accessibility sub-objectives.
A full list of TAG Units is available on the Documents page.
For further information:
The policy background to the development of the Government's five objectives for transport is set out in more detail in A New Deal for Transport, The Government's White Paper on the future of transport (DETR, 1998) and A New Deal for Trunk Roads (The Roads Review) (DETR, 1998). These documents are available on the DfT website - see Transport Policy Links. Further information on how accessibility is affected by transport can be found on the web site of the Social Exclusion Unit - see Transport Policy Links.
Updated: April 2009