What happens to travel behaviour when the right to park is removed? This controversial question, fundamental to travel demand management and land-use planning, has only been partially addressed by the literature so far. The impacts on travel to the destination concerned have been studied, but not the impacts on wider travel behaviour. This study reports on a natural experiment related to destination parking, where a university removed the right of most new undergraduates living in an ‘Exclusion Zone’ (a large majority) to park on its main suburban campus. 927 undergraduates, who started before and after the change in policy were surveyed in two waves to assess the impact of the policy on travel to campus, travel elsewhere, car ownership and licence-holding. Observations were also made of overspill parking on surrounding streets and a nearby superstore car park. The policy change was associated with a fall in the modal share of driving to campus of 9 percentage points. Car availability also reduced, although countervailing factors (which may have included road space freed up by the policy change) encouraged modal shift towards driving between the two waves. The policy change also introduced a gender difference in driving to campus for the first time; males without parking permits were more likely to drive than females without permits. The study supports the policy recommendation that modal shift ‘carrots’ are more effective when accompanied by ‘sticks’. It shows that restricting parking at frequently-visited destinations may reduce parking pressures and traffic generation elsewhere in a city or region.
Melia, S., & Clark, B. (2017, January). What happens to travel behaviour when parking is removed?. Paper presented at 49th University Transport Studies Group Conference