4. Definition of Park and Ride & Existing sites
4.1 Park and Ride may be defined as an integrated transport option that allows private transport users to park their vehicles at a dedicated car park and travel onwards to another destination, usually an area for economic activity (for example a city centre), using public transport or other mode. In the large majority of cases, the public transport services used are dedicated bus services.
4.2 In most cases, the user either pays for the bus services and can park their car free of charge, or pays for their car parking and travels free of charge on the bus. The bus services, which are normally dedicated to the Park and Ride site, tend to consist of modern low floor buses that are branded. They also tend to operate a high service frequency throughout the day, especially during the morning and later afternoon peak periods. Park and Ride facilities may additionally be classified according to their location. There are also Park and Ride sites which operate with non-dedicated services or a mix of dedicated and non-dedicated services.
Areas of Economic Activity - Inner Park and Ride
4.3 These are Park and Ride facilities located just outside the centre of areas of economic activity (usually urban areas) and are served by shuttle bus / frequent bus services to the centres. The challenge in these cases is to ensure that the benefits clearly offset any usage of cars to and from the site, and that they are good value uses of the site location. These issues can be overcome through good planning, and mitigation of any such effects.
Areas of Economic Activity - Outer Park and Ride
4.4 Many existing Park and Ride sites are situated further out, located on the edge of areas of economic activity (usually urban areas) and are designed to relieve road congestion along the roads leading into and located within the centre itself (often a city centre). For example, in Edinburgh, these have proved to be very popular and usage rates are increasing at circa.10% per month (where capacity permits). In recognition that not everyone wants to travel to the city centre, the provision of orbital bus services linking the various Park and Ride sites on the city edge is being considered: such linkages can also serve other needs or locations on an orbital route.
Case Study: Castleview Park and Ride, Stirling
The facility provides a direct link to the City Centre from an outer urban location. The site was selected for several reasons. Being conveniently located adjacent to the M9 J10, the site is proving to be attractive for Stirling bound commuters, and visitors travelling on the M9 (from north and south) and the A84 before they enter Stirling City. The connecting route into the City from the site enables quick and reliable bus access. Also, the site has the capability of future expansion. Its proximity to the key employment destinations of the Prudential at Craigforth and the Castle Business Park may offer future service opportunities.
Best practice has been pursued in site design and construction. The new site has 200 free car parking spaces and high quality landscaping and facilities, including an internal waiting area, toilets and baby change facilities, site attendants, CCTV coverage and the site has been awarded "Park Mark" safer parking status ("Park Mark" is an award given by the Police to car parks that have achieved the standards of the "Safer Parking Scheme" which is designed to reduce crime and the fear of crime in car parks). Also, the site incorporates energy efficient technology, aimed at reducing the carbon emissions of the site and includes solar panels and a ground source heat pump providing heat and electricity, sun pipes to maximise natural daylight, sustainable construction materials and energy efficient lighting for the car park.
The site was funded in partnership between Stirling Council, Tactran and the Scottish Government and aims to contribute to meeting key objectives of Local and Regional Transport Strategies, including supporting economic prosperity, improving access to key facilities and encouraging modal shift to public transport.
Initial patronage, following opening, has exceeded Business Plan estimates. To increase attractiveness payment is for the bus service and not for parking and is much cheaper than City centre parking. Season tickets are available. An information leaflet is available via the following link: http://www.stirling.gov.uk/p_rleaflet_2009.pdf.
Inter-urban Park and Ride
4.5 These encourage drivers to Park and Ride using inter-urban express bus services and are adjacent to sections of the strategic road network that experience peak period congestion; for example, the provision of a Park and Ride site at Livingston on the Edinburgh to Glasgow M8 and at Kinross on the M9. For such sites to be potentially viable, overall journey times need to compare favourably with the equivalent journey time by car. In this regard, Authorities may wish to consider plans which also take into account the benefits of bus priority measures, such as hard shoulder running during congested periods in association with a Park and Ride option.
Estuarial Park and Ride
4.6 Congestion is not restricted to towns and cities and, where reliable journey times by public transport can be achieved, Park and Ride may also be considered at congested estuarial crossings. An example here is a site at Inverkeithing in the area of the Forth road and rail crossings.
Case Study: Ferrytoll Park and Ride, Inverkeithing, Fife
Ferrytoll Park and Ride is conveniently located directly adjacent to the A90 and just north of the Forth Road Bridge. Its purpose is to encourage modal shift to bus on the medium and long distance trips from the South of Fife to Edinburgh. It is a joint initiative - developed between Fife Council and Stagecoach - and was implemented as part of the Cross Forth Transportation Plan.
The site opened in November 2000 at a cost of £4.2m. A phase 2 expansion was completed in 2006 at a cost of £8m. This increased car capacity from the original 500 spaces to 1040 places by inclusion of a multi-storey car park. In addition, the opportunity was taken to improve access by the provision of a dedicated lane on the A90 approach and improvements to bus flows in Inverkeithing.
Purpose built high quality facilities include: a modern heated building with seating, toilets, baby changing facilities, television, hot drinks and snack dispensers, an automatic ticket machine, cash dispenser, comprehensive information and free newspapers, CCTV control room and supervisor's office. There are also secure cycle lockers, dropping-off and pick-up points; covered walkways from the multi-storey car park to the facilities building; shelter with seating adjacent to the bus stop and CCTV coverage across the site. The car park has been awarded "Park Mark" safer parking status and the site is staffed from the first bus arrival until the last bus departure each day.
Ferrytoll is presently Scotland's largest dedicated Park and Ride site and has won many awards since opening. The site has a dedicated website which contains information on facilities and current fares and timetables ( http://www.ferrytoll.org/). Car sharing is actively encouraged through the website, dedicated parking for car sharers and fare incentives. The Ferrytoll Transportation Partnership has a Customer Charter and supports the principle of continuous improvement, as demonstrated through passenger surveys.
Small scale rural Park and Ride
4.7 In rural areas there can be opportunities to develop small Park and Ride sites. These can be considered, for example, at nodes on rural bus corridors or in and around small villages and communities. Such sites can be developed in consultation with operators and local communities. Because they can be developed on a small and relatively inexpensive basis, there is an opportunity for Authorities to examine innovative approaches alongside other measures to improve accessibility such as demand responsive public transport and car sharing.
Park and Choose
4.8 Although, as noted earlier, this particular Framework focuses primarily on Park and Ride facilities for onward travel by bus, in many circumstances the infrastructure can be located and planned to facilitate onward travel by train, car pool, cycling and walking too, in addition to by bus. Such Park and Ride facilities might be more appropriately termed Park and Choose. The provision of a choice of modes for completing onward journeys may increase the attractiveness of a site to potential patrons.
4.9 Proposed Park and Ride or Choose sites should be easily accessible by pedestrians and cyclists and should be appropriately integrated with the cycling and walking routes in the local area.
Multi- modal Benefits
4.10 Park and Ride developments can work well with wider multi-modal options, such as "car sharing" and "bike and ride", all of which should be considered as excellent opportunities to develop multi-modal options beside bus-based Park and Ride schemes. These are also opportunities for encouraging car sharing and cycling, so the Bus Park and Ride options should be seen as opportunities to build in other multi-modal ideas and options. These can be actively encouraged and should be considered at the earliest possible stage of considering possible sites.
4.11 There has been a notable increase in Park and Ride provision in recent years. For example, in the Edinburgh area alone, a new major site has been developed in the South West of the city at Sheriffhall in addition to existing infrastructure in place at Ferrytoll, North Queensferry and at Edinburgh Airport. Details of some of Scotland's existing dedicated Park and Ride sites are listed below. 1
Bridge of Don
Perth & Kinross
Perth & Kinross
Perth & Kinross
4.12 Bus services are delivered both strategically (inter-urban) and at a local level. It is anticipated that transport strategies of Authorities will seek to identify solutions to address local transport problems and opportunities that will contribute to delivering a bus network that meets local economic and social needs.
4.13 Growth in patronage has been encouraging for some existing Park and Ride sites, including many of the sites included in this Framework as case studies, such as Ellon.