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Public Transport and Urban Environment in Birmingham

  • 13 Pages
  • Published On: 06-11-2023

Methodology:

The research methodology was based on the case study of Birmingham city, UK, because of the availability of data, the presence of significant and popular railway network, lack of footpath or walk-able places mainly in the suburban train station. Where there is a large discrepancy in the number of users of various the train station. It has encouraged the author to study it in depth to get comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the use of public transport and the surrounding environment.

The main aim of this research is to to find out what are the elements of the built environment and the quality of public transport service those encourage the use of public transport and particularly walking to the train station. This study is based on the comparison and analysis between suburban train stations, which have varying number of users. To accomplish this, the author will objectively measure train station hub characteristics that, according to the available literature, may contribute to the walk-ability to the train station.

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1. Public Transport quality:

Inclusion criteria in the study for public transport quality included all residential train stations within the city of Birmingham. Exclusion criteria included stations located within the city centre. Likewise stations on the edge of the city are also excluded as they are outside of the selected administrative borders. Other exclusion criteria for train stations included catalyst train station such as University Station, Tyseley Station and Aston Station as they are, which dominated by non-residential use.

1.1 Transit Reliability & Efficiency:

This part covers the study of the quality of public transport which is divided into two parts.

The first part studies the rail network for the city level and how effective they are. In this part the researcher discussed and used the information from the Department of Transportation reports .However, this part is mentioned has provided a general understanding of rail network in Birmingham before moving on to train station level.

The present research deals with evaluation in the walk-ability issues at train station hub by explicitly taking into consideration such distinguishing feature of transit services.

The public transport evaluation perspective that we have considered here is related to day-to-day operations rather than to planning, capital investments and other strategic decisions.

Evaluation activities of the service operation can be carried out through several different methods. In order to fully meet our research goal and truly embrace the point of view of the decision maker, we have built a more general framework, in which several different kinds of indicators are needed, in order to cover the above mentioned relevant aspects. To meet our objectives, we will propose some indicators that are relevant to such evaluation perspective. As been mention above, scheduling of transit services, which is one of the major tasks for transit operations and service planning, has been recognized as an effective solution to study public transport quality. Indicators as the flowing:

1.1.1. Train numbers:

Number of trains arriving at the station divided as week days and weekend days. Each one of them has been subdivided according to the time, “peak time and off peak time” and each one has been subdivided into two categories. First is the number of train that stop at the train station, and the second is train that pass from the stations and not stop at the train station. Indicators are as the following:

1.1.0.1 Week days

1.1.0.1.1 Off Peak-Stop-train M-F

1.1.0.1.2 Peak-Stop-train M-F

1.1.0.1.3 Peak-Stop-train M-F

1.1.0.1.4 Off Peak-No-Stop-train M-F

1.1.0.1.5 Peak-No-Stop-train M-F

Peak-No-Stop-train M-F Weekend days

1.1.0.2.1 Peak-Stop-train Sa-Su

1.1.0.2.2 Peak-No-Stop-train Sa-Su

1.1.0.2.3 Off Peak-Stop-train Sa-Su

1.1.0.2.4 Off Peak-No-Stop-train Sa-Su

1.1.0.2.5

1.1.2 Coaches numbers

Number of coaches of the train arriving at the station divided as week days and weekend days and each one subdivided according to the time: peak time and off peak time, and each one is subdivided into two categories. First is the number of coaches of the train that stop at the train station and the second is coaches of the train that pass from the stations and not stop at the train station. Indicators are as the following:

1.1.2.1. Week days

1.1.2.1.1 Week days Peak-Stop-coach M-F

1.1.2.1. 2Week days Peak-No- Stop-coach M-F

1.1.2.1.3 Week days off Peak-No- Stop-coach M-F h

1.1.2.2 weekend days

1.1.2.2.1 Peak-Stop-coach Sa-Su

1.1.2.2.2 off Peak-No- Stop-coach Sa-Su

1.1.2.2.3 off Peak-Stop-coach Sa-Su

1.1.2.2.4 Peak-No- Stop-coach Sa-Su

1.2. Station Facilities Availability elements:

In this part, the researcher has studied the relationship among all the elements and information available at train station building and train station use to identify the impact of each element in the usage of train stations in Birmingham. Elements have been classified on the basis of onsite observation and a National Rail station's facilities classification. Indicators are as the following:

  • pick up points availability
  • Waiting Rooms availability:
  • Toilets availability:
  • Accessible ticket machines availability
  • Pay phones -availability
  • Ticket machines availability
  • Ticket Office availability:
  • Storage spaces:
  • Shops availability:
  • CCTV- availability:
  • Information available from staff availability:
  • Bicycle parking availability
  • Car Park
  • 1.2.0.1 Car Park Availability
  • 1.2.0.2 Car Park Spaces Number

1.3 Feeder Transit Availability elements:

In this research we focused studying the suburban stations. The selected stations for this study are located in suburban area, where there are no tram or metro services and there are no dedicated cycling paths, and only bus services are available. Consequently, in this research we have only found buses as station feeder to study. The methodology has followed two indicators in this study. .

First, number of bus stations in the vicinity of 500 meters to 800 meters from each station and compared with the numbers of train station users.

The second, the number of bus routes in the vicinity of each station (in the vicinity of 500 meters and in the vicinity of 800 meters) and compared it with the number of users of the train station. Indicators are as the following:

  • Bus station number:
  • Bus stop No 800:
  • Bus stop No 800/500
  • Bus routes

2. Built Environment:

2.1. Macro _ Built Environment:

Inclusion criteria for the study for public transport quality and macro built environment included all residential train stations within the city of Birmingham. Exclusion criteria included stations located within the city centre. Likewise stations on the edge of the city are also excluded as they are outside of the selected administrative borders. Other exclusion criteria for train stations included catalyst train station such as University Station, Tyseley Station and Aston Station as they are, which dominated by non-residential use.

Ordnance Survey will provide the built environment data and this will be retrieved from their website (ordnancesurvey.co.uk 2017) The website also serves as the national mapping agency for UK, which includes the road network and land use. Demographic data included the total population that is retrieved from Birmingham city council website (birmingham.gov.uk 2017)

In this part researcher has focused on studying the impact of the elements of the macro environment on walking to the train station at train station hub. Based on what was discussed earlier in the literature

This part of the study will examine macro built environment aspects covered by the 800 circular buffers around all selected stations. Indicators are as the following:

  • Density:
  • Population Density
  • All Resident_D_km
  • Age- 0_15_D_km
  • Age- 16_64_D_km
  • Age- 65_and_ove D_km
  • Ethnic Density:
  • White_ D_km
  • Chinese_D_km
  • Pakistan_D_km
  • Black_D_km
  • Banglade_D_km
  • Indian_D_km
  • Building Density
  • Built Up Area%
  • Open Spaces %
  • Mix land use/ Diversity
  • Commercial Residential
  • Public use
  • Open specs
  • School
  • Hospital
  • ……….
  • Street Connectivity
  • Street pattern
  • Gridiron
  • Fragmented parallel
  • Warped parallel
  • Loops and lollipops
  • Lollipops on a stick (cul-de-sac)
  • Road Hierarchy
  • Highway
  • Local road
  • ………………

2.2. Micro _ Built Environment:

This analysis is to be made at the micro level to assess the train station walk-ability at a transit level, using Google Map and Google Street View.

The indicators come in different units, according to the type of variable they represent. Some measurements are the number of occurrences of a certain physical attribute, i.e. a sum, represented in Figure -- by the symbol ‘#’. These are calculated through observations using Google Street View.

Other variables are distances, expressed in metres (m), and there are drawing form Google Earth’s and export to GIS for measurements and analysis using GIS tool.

Similarly, ratios of distance per distance (m/m) were made using Google Earth, some of them in relation to the width of the street’s cross section, others referring to the observable distance. Some indicators measured the percentage of a certain characteristics that we can observe in a certain vista, and are expressed as ratios of area per area (sqm/sqm).

Finally, some variables are of binary, yes/no type (y/n), where no is represented as 0 and yes is 1.

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A more detailed explanation on what each indicator means and how it is measured is provided in Annex A.

Collected data was analysed using ESRI’s ArcGIS suite version 10.2. GIS data will be aggregated from publicly available data sources. Indicators are as the following:

  • Street Design
  • Curb-to-Curb:
  • Curb Extension
  • Curb Extension_ No 800
  • Curb Extension_ No 500
  • Traffic
  • Traffic Speed
  • Traffic 800
  • Traffic Type 2 500
  • Traffic Volume
  • 800
  • 500
  • Median
  • Median_Leng M 800
  • Median_Leng M 500
  • Bicycle line
  • ……..
  • Width of roads and lanes
  • Traffic Calming
  • Chicanes
  • Sidewalks
  • Sidewalk Area Km – 800
  • Saidewalk Area Km - 500
  • Path
  • Path Leng M 800
  • Path Leng M 500
  • Roads Junctions
  • Roads Junctions number 800
  • Roads Junctions number 500
  • Pedestrian Crossing:
  • Push Button pedestrian lighting
  • Buffer Zone
  • Street Trees
  • Tree Number 800
  • Tree Number 500
  • Divider Fence:
  • Divider fence 800
  • Divider fence 500
  • Buffer Strips
  • Place Making:
  • Street Furniture
  • Outdoor Toilet
  • Outdoors table:
  • Recycle box
  • Salt box
  • Mailbox
  • Utility box
  • Light
  • Bench
  • Traffic lights
  • Telephone box
  • Sign
  • Parking sing
  • Advertisement sign
  • No ball games sign
  • No ball games sign
  • Bicycle sign
  • Train station sing
  • Outdoor commercial sing
  • Cleanliness
  • Rubbish bin
  • Street graffiti
  • Nearby Property:
  • Edge
  • Edge -front yard
  • Edge – fence
  • Edge- commercial
  • Shops_N
  • Edge –Industrial
  • Edge –parking
  • Edge -house winds
  • Edge – wall
  • Floor
  • Floor – 2
  • Floor -3
  • Floor – 4
  • Floor – 8
  • Floor – 11

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