Traffic Essay Research Paper PUBLIC VS PRIVATE

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Traffic Essay, Research Paper PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE – THE PROBLEM OF CITY TRAFFIC. As disposable income has increased over the decades, and the cost, in real terms, of the mass produced vehicle has come down, the numbers of private cars on our roads has increased, whilst the public transport system has become under used, and under funded. Urbanisation in the latter part of the 20th century has caused the concentration of these vehicles within our cities. This project will use Edinburgh as an example of a growing, modern city, with, like many of our cities, an old infrastructure that is incapable of coping with the demands now placed upon it. Public transport is one of the main methods of easing congestion with in an urban area. What level dose public transport reach in the

city? What do the people who use it feel about it? How many cars use the roads in Edinburgh on an average weekday? Why is congestion and overuse of the roads a problem that needs to be addressed? These are some questions this report will attempt to answer. Finally, we will look at the plans currently being explored to improve the situation, and we will look abroad to see examples found there. The public transport system in Edinburgh. There are 37 commercial bus companies in the Lothian district, Lothian Regional Council contracts these companies to provide the services. They make the arrangements for routes, and for elderly and disabled passengers to travel at reduced rates on all modes of public transport, and fund this. According to Council figures, buses account for around 31%

of journeys to work in Edinburgh. Lothian public transport provides for 150million passengers a year (council figures). The council estimates that bus journey times are sometimes 60% longer for the same car journey. Congested streets mean that bus journey times increase and reliability deteriorates. Private Transport in Edinburgh: In 1991, 48% of journeys to work in Edinburgh were by car, 34% by public transport, 16% by walking and 2% by bike. Between 1981 and 1991, cars per 1000 in Edinburgh rose from 220 – 320, while bus passengers (millions) fell from 180 – 140 in the same period. Why is congestion a problem? Air pollution is a major problem particularly in cities, where the majority of pollution comes from vehicle exhausts. These contain chemicals such as: Carbon

Monoxide, which impairs brain activity and heart function, by combining with haemoglobin instead of Oxygen. Carbon dioxide, which is increasing global warming. Lead, which even at reduced levels, leads to brain damage in children. The lead, added to petrol as an anti cracking agent accumulates in the body and interferes with enzyme activity. Lead also creates a thin layer on the leaves of plants, reducing photosynthesis, and productivity. Particulates, Aldehydes and other volatile organic substances, which can cause cancer. Oxides of Sulphur and Nitrogen, which produces acid rain when mixed with water vapor in the high atmosphere, and creates toxic ground level ozone which, in turn, increases the levels of acids and free radicals in the air. These, when inhaled damage the lungs.

Chronic asthma, bronchitis and heart disease are common consequences of the air pollution. Many streets in Edinburgh have failed the air quality levels that were set by the government in 1995. This level includes the limit of 40micrograms of Nitrogen per cubic metre by 2005.This was trebled on some streets in Edinburgh when recorded in 1996, all streets that had the air quality test did have lower levels than those in 1995. Method: A survey of the numbers of cars traveling in to Edinburgh on Clerk Street, identified by Lothian Council as one of the busiest routs in to Edinburgh, was carried out. Six separate traffic counts, lasting one hour each, took place on the road, taken on weekdays, at separate times during the day. A short questionnaire was devised, directed at people