Transport economics for UK: Problem Analysis and Solution - Economics Essay Example
Transport economics for UK: Problem Analysis and Solution
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Transport is a key necessity for specialization — allowing production and consumption of products to occur at different locations. Transport has throughout history been a spur to expansion. Better transport allows more trade and a greater spread of people. Economic growth in UK and around the world has always been dependent on increasing the capacity and rationality of transport. But in UK, the infrastructure and operation of transport has a great impact on the land and is the largest drainer of energy, making transport sustainability a major issue.
As per records acquired in 2007, the United Kingdom has got more than 34 millions of licensed vehicles with a total yearly kilometres travelled being 513 billions, whereas the total length of major roads and local (non-major) roads 50,000 kilometres and 345,000 kilometres respectively. Also, the average road space available for each vehicle tally up to a staggeringly low 11.6 metres. One is sure to be taken aback once one comes up with the mere fact this figure stood up at a quite healthy 23.9 metres per vehicle in 1970.
As mentioned by Banister, D. (2005), the average British people today rely quite heavily on personal mode of transport rather than availing public vehicles like buses or tubes. In UK, 84% of the entire road distance travelled in 2007 was travelled by private cars. While, in the same year, buses and trains contribute just 6% & 7% to the above mentioned tally respectively. So, evidently this is becoming a bigger problem by each day. Because, not only is this causing continuous congestion in busy city roads around UK, but at the same time, the increasing number of vehicle always keeps the environmental stability under huge stress, as more and more Suspended particles, Monoxides, Sulphur Oxides and Nitrous Oxides are being emitted into the air. This is indeed a threat that is looming large on UK, and the government along with civilians should put this to a conclusive end.
A solution to the above mentioned issue is highly solicited. As mentioned by Glaister, S. and Graham, D.J. (2004), the possible solution would include implementation of several policies on behalf of the Government. Obviously, the first and foremost measure should be building more roads, widening and remodelling of existing roads around the country. The surcharge for automobile fuel should be levied at a higher rate than existing. Processing charges for road vehicle license and road taxes should be increased. Parking in city centres should be made more expensive and access to the parking lot should be more restricted. Car parking in working spaces should also be restricted and expensive. More park and ride schemes should be deployed. Also, use of red routes on main roads into cities should be increased. Toll taxes should be raised for using motorways, and along with that, the Authority should also increase Congestion charges for private vehicles. Direct road user pricing system should be introduces throughout UK.
All the above mentioned measures will attract increase vehicle maintenance cost for private owners. Even though this seems a bit hush attitude from the Government, but still it is the need of the hour as, not only would it discourage people to own a private vehicle, it would also earn more revenue for Government transport systems, which could then be invested in better road management systems to regulate traffic, as well as a improved service for public vehicles like bus, train, trams or underground tubes. Also, the Government should plan for reserved lanes for public service vehicles and cars with higher occupancy levels. Along with all these measures, the Government should also look to organize mass awareness programs to spread consciousness among civilians so that they start preferring public service vehicles over private mode of transport.
The above discussion clearly highlights the issues in traffic management in UK today. And, the prospective solution that has been discussed above, if deployed by the Authority, is sure to solve these issues to a large extent and thereby leaving a healthy impact on the environment and aesthetics of United Kingdom.
Glaister, S. and Graham, D.J. (2004) Pricing our roads: Vision and reality [338.4131]
Banister, D. (2005) Unsustainable transport: City transport in the new century.
“Q&A: The congestion charge”. The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 2006-08-07. http://www.guardian.co.uk/theissues/article/0,,519534,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-05-26.
“Congestion Charge Through Roads”. BBC London. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2007-02-22. http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2006/11/09/congestion_through_roads_feature.shtml. Retrieved on 2007-05-26.