One Big Car Park?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Mark Thompson, Jan 26, 2004.

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  1. I think this may even be on topic. Found at

    http://www.newscientist.com/lastword/article.jsp?id=lw1065

    Concrete jungle

    Question

    How much of the surface area of the UK is taken up by roads?

    Answers

    The area of the hard surface of roads is difficult to estimate precisely because they are so
    narrow in comparison with the rest of the area in which they sit, and have a very small level
    of resolution on a map. I don't have figures for the UK, but a study by Anne Worrell and
    myself using point intercept on high-resolution photographs taken from the air gave the
    following estimates for Greater London: roads 8.5 per cent, footpaths and pavements 3.7 per
    cent and car parks 5.1 per cent. Each of these figures has a standard error of less than 1 per
    cent. Interestingly, the amount of land devoted to road travel in London is greater than any
    other single category of land use, except for suburban gardens, which take up 19.3 per cent.
    The figures for the UK as a whole must be very much lower, given that London is largely
    suburban and so has an extensive road network.

    Dave Dawson , UK


    The short answer is that the concrete jungle of roads covers less than 1 per cent of the UK's
    surface area. The small size of this amount is particularly apparent when our green and
    pleasant land is seen from the air.

    The internet community called SABRE (Society for All British Road Enthusiasts) has been hard
    at work to arrive at this figure. Our best estimate, derived from various and sometimes
    conflicting government data, is that there are 425,121 kilometres of public roads, comprising
    3589 km of motorways, 56,696 km of A-roads (of which 7921 km are dual carriageway), 32,850 km
    of B-roads, 89,686 km of C-roads and 242,300 km of unclassified roads.

    Allowing average paved widths of 26 metres for motorways, 18 metres for dual carriageways, 12
    metres for other trunk roads, 8 metres for B-roads, 4 metres for C-roads and 3 metres for
    unclassified roads, gives a total area of almost 2200 square kilometres of road. The total
    area of the UK is usually given as 241,590 square kilometres, so about 0.9 per cent of the
    land area is road. A rather higher figure, about 1.3 per cent, is sometimes proposed if the
    total width of land occupied by roads, including verges and hedgerows, is included. This is a
    less appropriate measure because road verges contribute significantly to wildlife habitat and
    biodiversity, and cannot seriously be called roads.

    More detailed statistics can be found in the discussion on the SABRE message boards under the
    thread "road surface area" at http://groups.msn.com/TheSABRERoadsWebsite

    Biff Vernon , Louth, Lincolnshire, UK


    According to Road Traffic Statistics for Great Britain: 2002, published by the Department for
    Transport, "The total land area covered by all roads in Great Britain in 2001 was 3300 square
    kilometres." This represents about 1.4 per cent of the total land area. The report is
    available from
    http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_transstats/documents/page/dft_transsta
    ts_023319.hcsp.

    Tim Lovell , Bristol, UK


    The Department for Transport figure given in Tim Lovell's answer includes verges and hedges,
    which is why this figure is similar to the higher figure given by Biff Vernon

    Editor , UK
     
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  2. Martinm

    Martinm Guest

    "Mark Thompson" <[email protected] (change warm for hot)> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I think this may even be on topic. Found at
    >
    >
    >
    > http://www.newscientist.com/lastword/article.jsp?id=lw1065
    >
    >
    >
    > Concrete jungle
    >
    >
    >
    > Question
    >
    > How much of the surface area of the UK is taken up by roads?
    >

    >
    >
    >
    > Answers
    >
    > The area of the hard surface of roads is difficult to estimate precisely because they are so
    > narrow in comparison with the rest of the area in which they sit, and have a very small
    > level of resolution on a map. I don't have figures for the UK, but a study by Anne Worrell
    > and myself using point intercept on high-resolution photographs taken from the air gave the
    > following estimates for Greater London: roads 8.5 per cent, footpaths and pavements 3.7 per
    > cent and car parks 5.1 per cent. Each of these figures has a standard error of less than 1
    > per cent. Interestingly, the amount of land devoted to road travel in London is greater than
    > any other single category of land use, except for suburban gardens,
    >
    Snip-ola

    I read once somewhere that if you took the commuting space into any major city in the UK taken up by
    one rail passenger as 1 unit, pedestians entering the same space took 2 units, bus passengers took
    about 9 and car drivers (on average occupancy which is probably
    1.0001) took 35! no mention of cyclists, but as they use the road probably very low.
     
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