Title

IMPACT OF TRAFFIC CONGESTION ON TRADE AND STRATEGIES FOR MITIGATION

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

operations - traffic, planning - surveys, land use - impacts, land use - planning, ridership - commuting, policy - congestion, mode - bus

Keywords

Traffic congestion, Trade, Telecommuting, Surveys, Strategies, Strategic planning, Service industries, Relocation (Facilities), Priorities, Outsourcing, Objectives, Modal shift, Ireland, Impacts, Gridlock (Traffic), Goals, Flexible hours, Flex time, Contracting out, Commerce, Businesses

Abstract

Traffic congestion is proving to be a major cost and inconvenience for many businesses and companies, particularly those whose activities demand high levels of transport per unit of production. Following the recent period, from the mid-1990s to today, of heightened economic activity against the background of years of underinvestment in transport infrastructure, Irish businesses are no exception. Analysis was conducted on the results of a survey conducted on Irish businesses in three sectors--manufacturing, distribution and sales, and services--to estimate the impact of traffic congestion. The opinion of the companies was also sought on how they believe transport strategies by the government under the National Development Plan and new infrastructure, either under construction or proposed, will relieve traffic congestion. Finally, the survey investigated what type of strategies companies had used or would consider using to mitigate the negative impacts of traffic congestion. Those policies examined included relocation, flexible working hours, teleworking, and provision of alternative transport for staff. The findings indicated that traffic congestion has an impact on a large proportion of companies to a major degree, particularly when one considers road haulage costs, delivery schedules from the company, and staff punctuality. To mitigate the negative impacts, the strategies that have been used most by companies are flexible working hours, teleworking, and contracting out the distribution function--with relocation and moving the distribution function to the rail mode being less popular than other approaches.