Rail investment and wider regeneration

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tspaul26

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Not sure if this is the right forum, but here goes.

Can anyone think of any case studies/examples where rail investment has brought about wider regeneration for a town/area whilst also taking cars off the road?

Ideally UK based urban schemes, but overseas would be of potential interest
 
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Ianno87

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Not sure if this is the right forum, but here goes.

Can anyone think of any case studies/examples where rail investment has brought about wider regeneration for a town/area whilst also taking cars off the road?

Ideally UK based urban schemes, but overseas would be of potential interest

Canary Wharf?
 

Dr Hoo

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Corby has been hugely regenerated over the past 20 years, with population growing by around 1,000 per year, largely with massive house-building on brownfield sites (largely former ironstone quarries).

Although the re-establishment of passenger rail services is only part of the jigsaw, the full electric half-hourly service from next month will provide a genuine alternative for a significant number of journeys that would otherwise have to be made by road.

I realise that these are generally longer distance trips rather than strictly 'urban'.
 

Mikey C

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To me in most cases you either

1) Have rail led regeneration which generates population growth and economic activity, which then also generates more road traffic, or

2) You bring in rail schemes (especially light rail) to take cars off the road, but this tends to happen in areas which are already economically active

A "parkway" station for example may create new rail traffic, but also road traffic with people driving to the station
 

zwk500

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Without access to the data it'd be impossible to say for sure, but the North London Line and East London Line were part of rail and wider urban area regeneration, and have been hugely successful. Not sure whether it was people already on public transport or genuine modal shift, though.
 

Mcq

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To me in most cases you either

1) Have rail led regeneration which generates population growth and economic activity, which then also generates more road traffic, or

2) You bring in rail schemes (especially light rail) to take cars off the road, but this tends to happen in areas which are already economically active

A "parkway" station for example may create new rail traffic, but also road traffic with people driving to the station
Number 1 makes me think of 'Metro land' - perhaps new housing developments should be joint projects with the railway?
 

Horizon22

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Although not complete, without the extension of the Overground to Barking Riverside, the number of new houses would number in the hundreds / low-thousands as opposed to the 10,000+ planned there. Redevelopment of old industrial land.
 

tbtc

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I can't think of an answer that fits the OP's definition of "...whilst also taking cars off the road".

People like to big up regeneration when trying to justify re-opening some ancient route, it's a nice "sell", it ticks the kinds of boxes that politicians want to be seen to be ticking. People may argue against "gentrification" but it's hard to argue against "regeneration" - it's a handy unquantifiable argument in favour of whatever you want to try to justify.

But (whilst some lines have certainly increased overall travel) I don't remember seeing any suggestion that there has been a noticeable drop in cars on routes like the A7 from the Gala area towards Edinburgh. Whilst I'm sure you can point to isolated examples of people who no longer drive (or no longer use the car for every trip that they'd previously have made), I'd wager that the majority of train passengers are those who fall into the following brackets (using the Tweedbank line as an example*):

  • Borders people who have taken up jobs in Edinburgh as a result of the train service
  • Edinburgh workers who have bought/rented houses in the Borders because the train allows them to live somewhere with a garden/additional bedroom etc compared to the expensive property prices in the capital
  • Leisure journeys (people visiting the Borders because it's now more accessible for a day out for people who don't have a car)
  • People who'd previously have used the bus (a service which has reduced in frequency since the train service came along, in common with areas like Alloa - Stirling)

...whilst those are valid reasons for using the train, they aren't taking cars off the A7, they are just adding to the overall demand. Similarly, pinning the hopes of re-opening a route on the promise of building ten thousand houses may mean lots of people using trains who wouldn't have before, but car journeys also going up.

I'm sure that you could argue that the Tweedbank line has reduced the increase in future car journeys, but that's not the same as actually reducing the number of current car journeys.

So, to use a future example, I would imagine that the re-opening of the Ashington/Blyth line will encourage Geordies to consider living in Northumberland (since they may be able to commute into Newcastle in comparable journey times to being stuck on urban roads, benefitting from a bigger house due to lower prices outside of the city) or Ashington/Blyth residents to seek work on Tyneside - and will certainly have a big impact upon the frequent Arriva express buses in the area - but I doubt that we'll see the A19 downgraded to single carriageway because the train service has significantly reduced the numbers of cars on the road

(* - I'm using Tweedbank as there aren't a lot of purely "urban" projects outside of London, and I'm not familiar with the effects of the London projects on things like road traffic)
 

Bald Rick

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Ebbw Vale did a good job at both, as did (arguably) Luton Airport Parkway.
 

Purple Orange

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Not sure if this is the right forum, but here goes.

Can anyone think of any case studies/examples where rail investment has brought about wider regeneration for a town/area whilst also taking cars off the road?

Ideally UK based urban schemes, but overseas would be of potential interest

I’d like to see empirical evidence but I have not seen any specific reports. However we can draw correlations. Greater Manchester released the 2040 transport strategy report and there has been an increase in tram usage while car journeys in to the centre have decreased.
 

deltic

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It depends on how you define cars off the road. In simplistic terms if people have a choice they want to drive. Employment growth pre-Covid was mainly concentrated in major city centres. Roads/parking space were generally already at capacity so what we have seen is massive growth in rail commuting as that is the only way those extra trips could be achieved but car use remains at broadly the same level. But without rail either that employment growth would not have occurred or people would have sat in traffic for longer.
 

Mikey C

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Number 1 makes me think of 'Metro land' - perhaps new housing developments should be joint projects with the railway?
Metroland moved people out of central London onto green field sites.

By moving people out of central London where most of the decent work still was, it created more rail traffic, but probably more road traffic as well, as owning a car (once affordable) is much more appealing in the suburbs than in a crowded inner city
 

Mcq

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My point was about the value of 'joined up thinking' - good idea if the houses were built reasonably close to the railway station - so the natural thinking was to us it.
As opposed to some stations that seem to be at a disinfranchised distance from the relevant conerbation.
Letchworth and Welwyn are well served.
 

Bald Rick

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Number 1 makes me think of 'Metro land' - perhaps new housing developments should be joint projects with the railway?

Many are. East West Rail is a housing scheme. The Lea Valley upgrade was. So is (was?) Crossrail 2. Ebbw Vale was too. And Alloa. Many of the Restoring your Railway projects are.
 

mwmbwls

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Although not complete, without the extension of the Overground to Barking Riverside, the number of new houses would number in the / low-thousands as opposed to the 10,000+ planned there. Redevelopment of old industrial land.
Does anybody have a detailed overview of the progress of this project. For example have the changes to the HS2 interchange sidings, which being extended to accommodate 775m freight trains, been completed?
 

squizzler

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I can't think of an answer that fits the OP's definition of "...whilst also taking cars off the road".
At a national level, the combined effect of rail privatisation and transport policy (such as fuel duty escalator) are considered to have resulted in a decoupling of economic growth and motor traffic growth in the first decade of this century, a longstanding post war trend to that point. I feel this is sufficient grounds to challenge your implication that traffic is doomed only go up, but would agree if you had suggested that there needs to be plenty of sticks as well as carrots.

If decoupled growth in GDP and traffic is the experience of the country as a whole, it stands to reason that those areas which had specific schemes (such as new trams in Manchester and Sheffield) will have less growth in motoring than otherwise would be the case whilst enjoying more growth in economic activity. The growth in economic activity (and residual increase in motor traffic) is an indication of the success of Metrolink, etc, in making the cities more pleasant places to live, not an indication they failed.
 

Bald Rick

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For example have the changes to the HS2 interchange sidings, which being extended to accommodate 775m freight trains, been completed?

I think you mean the HS1 exchange sidings (CTRL).

No they haven’t been extended yet, not an easy job. And it’s not part of the Barking Riverside work anyway. And it’s off topic!
 

muddythefish

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Many years ago, the Bedford electrification led to huge housing growth and cummuters to London from that town and surrounding villages, especially in the north of the county
 
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