Mobility Management


Long Term Development of Accessibility

In a long-term perspective, technological characteristics of the transport system determine spatial development over long periods.

The last 150 years had been characterised by at least two fundamental "transportation infrastructure revolutions": railways and motor vehicles (cars, ships, planes). A next phase is appearing on the horizon by the extension of high-speed rail networks, the further cost reduction of air transport and the development of the Trans-European road network.

Development of Accessibility Patterns in Austria from 1830 to 2020

HIESS et al. (1999) analysed the long term development of accessibility in Austria from 1830 to 2020:
  • The average accessibility is 30 times higher today than 1830 (referring to accessibility inhabitants within 3 hours travel time)
  • The average accessibility will increase due to the extension of the Transeuropean networks and cheaper flight fares by the same amount from 1995 to 2020 as from 1830 to 1995.
Important for the rural areas is the fact that motorisation and local road network support cohesion effects while the railway system and high speed networks favour the regions with existing high accessibility. Due to the concentration on Transeuropean Networks (TEN) the disparities will increase again in the next years.
Accessibility of Austrian Regions 1830 – 2020: The number of people who gain access to the respective villages within 3 hours has increased substantially in the last decades (Source: HIESS et al. 1999)
Further Readings & Links

A best practice example taken from the newest Alpine report published in 2007. It tells Inficon, a business in Liechtenstein, that rewards its employees if they do not take the car to work.

This special edition of the "State of the Alps" series focuses on transport and Mobility in the Alps.

Development of Accessibility Patterns in Switzerland During the last 50 Years

The accessibility of Swiss municipalities has changed substantially in the last 50 years:

  • The extension of the motorway network combined with the population growth after 1950 resulted in a significant increase of accessibility. Although the population numbers of large cities decreased, negative effects on accessibility were compensated by an increase in travel speed as well as by growing population numbers in the agglomeration of larger cities.
  • The period between 1960 and 1970 shows the biggest increase of accessibility of individual motorised transport due to the finalisation of major motorway sections and the improvement of vehicle technology (+4,5%).
  • In public transport the introduction of synchronised timetables in the 1980ies led to the highest increase of accessibility (+2,1%). The ratio between motorised individual transport accessibility and public transport accessibility remained constant at around 1.3 to 1.4, meaning that motorised individual traffic accessibility is around 30 to 40% higher than public transport accessibility.
Accessibility for both motorised individual transport and public transport in Switzerland in 1950 and 2000 (Source: FRÖHLICH et al. 2005)
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Compared to a topographic map of Switzerland, the figure shows that the accessibility for both motorised individual transport and public transport increased mainly in the agglomerations of the larger cities and along the roads and railway links between them. In Alpine areas only minor accessibility increases could be achieved. Mainly larger tourist destinations like Zermatt and St. Moritz profited from this development. Accessibility is significantly lower in Alpine areas compared to the cities, agglomerations and the midland.

The studies of FRÖHLICH et al. (2005) and TSCHOPP et al. (2005) confirm that central regions gain more profit from transport infrastructure development in terms of accessibility than peripheral regions.

Development of individual motor car traffic and public transport systems in Switzerland 1950-2000.

The Development of Accessibility in the Alpine Regions 1995 - 2020

The project REGALP analysed the accessibility within the Alpine region in 1995 and 2020 (including the TEN-infrastructure projects). REGALP shows a wide disparity of accessibility within the Alpine regions. In general, accessibility is higher in the Alpine border regions than in the inner parts of the Alps.

Accessibility of inhabitants in 1995 (Source: REGALP)
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Accessibility of inhabitants in 2020 (Source: REGALP)
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Between 1995 and 2020, the accessibility will increase significantly, especially if the high speed railway projects along the Brenner, Lötschberg-Simplon, Gotthard-axis, Mt. Cenis and San Bernardino corridors are realised. The average 3 hours accessibility in the Alps rises from 3.7 million inhabitants to 9 million inhabitants. Due to the high speed railway projects, accessibility will mainly increase around the nodes of high speed corridors.
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FAVRY (2004)
Summary report of the Regalp Project, a project concerned with the interrelation between regional development and cultural (i.e., man made) landscape change