Does car ownership increase car use? A study of the use of car parking within residential schemes in London

There has been very limited research undertaken between car ownership and car use associated with residential developments. This study is intended to assist the Berkeley Group in seeking to deliver the appropriate balance within its developments between the provision of residential car parking and sustainable transport strategies in accordance with national and regional planning policy.

The report highlights relevant factors from each development such as PTAL rating, trip rates, car ownership and daily trip profiles for the various developments. In respect of trip profiles, information
on both car and all-mode trips are provided as comparison for each development as is the ratio of car use/car ownership. Findings of the resident travel behaviour surveys carried out at The Hamptons development on behalf of St James (part of the Berkeley Group) are also presented.

Findings of the research have found that there is no relationship between car ownership and peak hour car use. Daily trip profiles highlighted from recent development surveys show consistently low levels of car use throughout the day. For example, at St George Wharf results show that only 1 in every 32 residents cars is being used during the peak hour and at The Hamptons development only 34% of residents use their cars to travel to work (compared to 60% in the local area) even though car parking
provision is higher than one space per dwelling. It would appear that many residents who own cars decide not to use them for peak hour travel and will instead walk, cycle or use public transport. This supports objectives behind planning policy which seeks to ensure residents have access to a range of sustainable transport choices available in the places where they live.

Overall, the study confirms that residential traffic is not sensitive to car ownership or parking levels. Whilst many residents wish to own a car, they do not use one for peak hour travel and overall use
throughout the day remains low. Therefore, the application of car parking policies within the London Plan 2011 should allow parking provision to be agreed at a level which supports the viability of new developments, alongside the delivery of sustainable transport initiatives.

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