The use and abuse of accessibility measures in UK passenger transport planning


Derek Halden

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, planning - service improvement


Accessibility, Appraisal, Joint working, Social inclusion


This paper reviews accessibility concepts and illustrates the use and abuse of these within UK practice. No single organisation is responsible for accessibility, but measures of access are used as a shared language to allow passenger transport service providers to communicate effectively with transport users and non transport service providers. The use and abuse of measures is derived from how effectively the indicators are used to support effective communication, or confusion, between people, places and service provision.

Using accessibility measures as the basis for dialogue and action, transport authorities and community partners are increasingly managing the organisational networks to facilitate access for people, adding a stronger human dimension to transport planning, and complementing well established roles managing physical passenger transport networks. The flexibility offered within accessibility planning continues to be abused, and many authorities have yet to find an optimal balance in the range, choice and calculation approach for indicators.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Research in Transportation Business & Management