The importance of understanding perceptions of accessibility when addressing transport equity: A case study in Greater Nottingham, UK

Angela Curl

Abstract


To deal with issues of equity in transport, increasing attention is being paid to addressing inequalities in accessibility. Existing approaches to measuring accessibility tend to focus on objective measurement, often using journey time as an indicator of spatial separation of people from places. However, using objective measures of spatial accessibility could obscure inequities in accessibility that occur due to differences in perceptions of accessibility among (groups of) individuals.

This paper uses data from a case study in Greater Nottingham, UK, to demonstrate that there are differences between self-reported and objective measures of journey time access to destinations. Self-reported journey times to a number of destinations by walking, public transport, and car are compared with a nationally available dataset of accessibility indicators. Then, factors associated with self-reported journey times are investigated to understand what accounts for differences between individual’s self-reported understanding and objective measures of journey time accessibility.

Results show that there is a difference between self-reported and objective measures, and that objective measures usually underestimate journey time accessibility. These differences occur because of demographic factors (e.g., age), trip familiarity, and destination definition. If accessibility metrics are to be used to address issues of social inequity related to transport, then there is a need to consider how diverse perceptions of accessibility relate to objective measures and to develop approaches that can account for social as well as spatial variation in accessibility.

Keywords


accessibility; social inclusion; equity; perceptions

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ball, K., Jeffery, R. W., Crawford, D. A., Roberts, R. J., Salmon, J., & Timperio, A. F. (2008). Mismatch between perceived and objective measures of physical activity environments. Preventive Medicine, 47, 294–298.

Caspi, C. E., Sorensen, G., Subramanian, S. V., & Kawachi, I. (2012). The local food environment and diet: A systematic review. Health & Place, 18(5), 1172–1187. doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.05.006

Curl, A., Nelson, J. D., & Anable, J. (2015). Same question, different answer: A comparison of GIS-based journey time accessibility with self-reported measures from the National Travel Survey in England. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 49, 89–67. doi.org/10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2013.10.006

Curl, A., Nelson, J. D., & Anable, J. (2011). Does accessibility planning address what matters? A review of current practice and practitioner perspectives. Research in Transportation Business & Management, 2, 3–11. doi.org/10.1016/j.rtbm.2011.07.001

Curtis, C., & Scheurer, J. (2016). Planning for public transport accessibility: An international sourcebook. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Delclòs-Alió, X., Marquet, O., & Miralles-Guasch, C. (2017). Keeping track of time: A smartphone-based analysis of travel time perception in a suburban environment. Travel Behavior and Society, 9, 1–9. doi.org/10.1016/J.TBS.2017.07.001

DfT. (2009). 2008 Core accessibility indicators. Retrieved from http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/ltp/coreaccessindicators2008

Farrington, J., & Farrington, C. (2005). Rural accessibility, social inclusion and social justice: Towards conceptualization. Journal of Transport Geography, 13(1), 1–12.

Farrington, J. H. (2007). The new narrative of accessibility: Its potential contribution to discourses in (transport) geography. Journal of Transport Geography, 15(5), 319–330.

Gebel, K., Bauman, A. E., Sugiyama, T., & Owen, N. (2011). Mismatch between perceived and objectively assessed neighborhood walkability attributes: Prospective relationships with walking and weight gain. Health and Place, 17, 519–524.

Geurs, K. T., & van Eck, J. R. R. (2001). Accessibility measures: Review and applications. Evaluation of accessibility impacts of land-use transportation scenarios, and related social and economic impact (RPRT). RIVM report 408505 006. Bilthoven, Netherlands: National Institute of Public Health and the Environment.

González, R. M., Martínez-Budría, E., Díaz-Hernández, J. J., & Esquivel, A. (2015). Explanatory factors of distorted perceptions of travel time in tram. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behavior, 30, 107–114. doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2015.02.006

Halden, D. (2011). The use and abuse of accessibility measures in UK passenger transport planning. Research in Transportation Business & Management, 2, 12–19.

Handy, S. L., & Niemeier, D. A. (1997). Measuring Accessibility: An exploration of issues and alternatives. Environment and Planning A, 29, 1175–1194.

Hine, J., & Grieco, M. (2003). Scatters and clusters in time and space: Implications for delivering integrated and inclusive transport. Transport and Social Exclusion, 10(4), 299–306.

Holst, O. (1979). Accessibility as the objective of public transportation planning: An integrated transportation and land-use model. European Journal of Operational Research, 3(4), 267–282.

Humphreys, J. S., & Smith, K. B. (2009). Healthcare accessibility. International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, (pp. 71–79). doi.org/10.1016/B978-008044910-4.00337-0

Jones, P. (2011). Developing and applying interactive visual tools to enhance stakeholder engagement in accessibility planning for mobility disadvantaged groups. Research in Transportation Business & Management, 2, 29–41.

Krizek, K. J. (2010). Measuring accessibility: Prescriptions for performance measures of the creative and sustainable city. International Journal of Sustainable Development, 13(1–2), 149–160.

Krizek, K. J., Horning, J., & El-Geneidy, A. (2012). Perceptions of accessibility to neighborhood retail and other public services. In K. T. Geurs, K. J. Krizek, & A. Reggiani (Eds.), Accessibility analysis and transport planning: Challenges for Europe and North America (pp. 96–117). Cheltenham, England: Edward Elgar.

Kuz, T. J. (1978). Quality of life, an objective and subjective variable analysis. Regional Studies, 12(4), 409–417.

Lättman, K., Olsson, L. E., & Friman, M. (2016). Development and test of the perceived accessibility scale (PAC) in public transport. Journal of Transport Geography, 54, 257–263. doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2016.06.015

Lotfi, S., & Koohsari, M. (2009). Analyzing accessibility dimension of urban quality of life: Where urban designers face duality between subjective and objective reading of place. Social Indicators Research, 94(3), 417–435.

McCrea, R., Shyy, T.-K., & Stimson, R. (2006). What is the strength of the link between objective and subjective indicators of urban quality of life? Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1, 79–96.

Metz, D. (2008). The myth of travel time saving. Transport Reviews, 28(3), 321–336.

Morris, J. M., Dumble, P. L., & Wigan, M. R. (1979). Accessibility indicators for transport planning. Transportation Research Part A: General, 13(2), 91–109.

Nazari Adli, S., & Donovan, S. (2018). Right to the city: Applying justice tests to public transport investments. Transport Policy, 66, 56–65. doi.org/10.1016/J.TRANPOL.2018.03.005

Pacione, M. (1982). The use of objective and subjective measures of life quality in human geography. Progress in Human Geography, 6(4), 495–514.

Peer, S., Knockaert, J., Koster, P., & Verhoef, E. T. (2014). Over-reporting vs. overreacting: Commuters’ perceptions of travel times. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 69, 476–494. doi.org/10.1016/J.TRA.2014.07.005

Pereira, R. (2018). Ex-ante evaluation of the accessibility impacts of transport policy scenarios: Equity and sensitivity to travel time thresholds for bus rapid transit expansion in Rio de Janeiro. doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/SUT7R

Pereira, R., Schwanen, T., & Banister, D. (2017). Distributive justice and equity in transportation. Transport Reviews, 37(2), 170–191.

Ross, W. (2000). Mobility and accessibility: The yin and yang of planning. World Transport Policy and Practice, 6(2), 13–19.

Social Exclusion Unit. (2003). Making the connections: Final report on transport and social exclusion (RPRT). London: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

van Acker, V., van Wee, B., & Witlox, F. (2010). When transport geography meets social psychology: Toward a conceptual model of travel behavior. Transport Reviews, 30(2), 219–240.

van Exel, N. J. A., & Rietveld, P. (2009). Could you also have made this trip by another mode? An investigation of perceived travel possibilities of car and train travelers on the main travel corridors to the city of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 43(4), 374–385.

van Wee, B. (2016). Accessible accessibility research challenges. Journal of Transport Geography, 51, 9–16. doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2015.10.018

Vreeswijk, J., Thomas, T., van Berkum, E., & van Arem, B. (2014). Perception bias in route choice. Transportation, 41(6), 1305–1321. doi.org/10.1007/s11116-014-9552-3

Wang, D., Brown, G., Liu, Y., & Mateo-Babiano, I. (2015). A comparison of perceived and geographic access to predict urban park use. Cities, 42, 85–96. doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2014.10.003

Witlox, F. (2007). Evaluating the reliability of reported distance data in urban travel behavior analysis. Journal of Transport Geography, 15(3), 172–183.

Ziegler, F., & Schwanen, T. (2011). “I like to go out to be energized by different people”: An exploratory analysis of mobility and wellbeing in later life. Aging & Society, 31(5), 758.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5198/jtlu.2018.1003


Copyright (c) 2018 Angela Curl