Overcrowding Problem in Tonbridge

Overcrowding Problem in Tonbridge
Overcrowding is when there are too many people (or cars) in a specific area so that the environment or services cannot cope. Bad town planning can cause overcrowding. Like having too many traffic lights in a certain area that slow down the flow of traffic and increase the congestion in an area. Narrow pavements also bottleneck many people into a smaller area and this can cause health and safety issues as people could be pushed into the roads if there are too many people for the pavement to handle. Also if a town is old in historic terms, as Tonbridge is, overcrowding can also occur as it was designed for a much lower number of people when it was designed. When rush hour comes around as well, a street or area that does not normally suffer from an overcrowding problem can become congested and so very busy. This can also be the case if at weekends or bank holidays if there is an influx of tourists or out-of-town shoppers. Another cause of overcrowding in these times is if a small town like Tonbridge is used as a through road by commuters, see map overleaf (Fig. 1.1). Cars parked along the side of a road can also bottleneck some roads into sometimes one-lane wide roads, also slowing down the flow of traffic and causing congestion, this problem is down to a lack of adequate parking facilities off of the roads of a town. Overcrowding is also most prolific in the cbd (central business district) of a town; this is because it is in the centre of town that has the largest catchment area. A catchment area is an area that is accessible to a certain point of a town easily, i.e. the town centre. The cbd is made up of high-order stores. These sell clothes, furniture, and electronic goods or are clubs, bars or theatres, but more importantly need large threshold areas. Threshold areas are the amount of people in an area which shops need to keep running, for instance a electronics store needs a large threshold area because people do not buy electronic good very often, but a corner shop, does not need nearly as many people to be sustained as many people visit it everyday. The cbd can be seen alongside all other zones of a typical town in a Burgess Model. It shows us that the cbd is in the centre (and so with the largest threshold), with a twilight zone which is a mixture of high residential and light manufacturing, then comes the low-class residential and then medium then high-class. The Burgess Model however has its flaws in that it was designed in 1924 and was rather too specific for 1924 Chicago and it does not allow for the rise in the popularity of the car and so the springing up of commuter towns because of the new motorways. However the Burgess model remains useful for approximation of concentric urban development and as a way to introduce the complexity of urban land use. (Burgess Model on next page). [image] The problems of overcrowding are that the pollution of the area that is overcrowded increases, in all visual, air and sound aspects. This leads to the deterioration of the environment in that area. The area can become unpopular because of this and people may move out and/or shop elsewhere. The rise in the number of people in an area also makes it easier for crime to take place, such as pickpockets and car theft as the police force is stretched. Overcrowding also cause an increase on the demand on public transport and services. There is an increase in littering as well and an increase in accidents as people can be pushed off of the crowded pavement into the road and also the roads become a lot busier and so it is easier for crashes to happen. All of this all leads to the area eventually being run down or suffering from urban decay. Solutions for overcrowding can range vastly, in both ideas and cost. One solution is to pedestrianise certain areas so as to allow more space for pedestrians and get rid of road congestion in that area. Another is to build new roads such as by-passes which ease the traffic in the centre of the town by allowing motorist who normally use the town as a through road to instead use this and avoid the town?s streets. Roundabouts can also speed up the flow of traffic on roads and so these can replace traffic lights at cross roads. Also making public transport better and cheaper would encourage people to use it and so reduce the amount of cars on our roads, easing congestion and freeing up our roads. The building of multi-storey car parks or just more car parks can get the parked cars off of the sides of our roads and so increase the room for cars to manoeuvre. Park-and-ride schemes can also be used to reduce the traffic in the centre of town as people leave their cars in car parks on the outskirts of a town and use public transport to for the leg of their journey into the town centre. Tonbridge is a market town in Kent that can be dated back to pre-Norman times. The town lies on the river Medway, this river splits into two channels as it passes through Tonbridge necessitating two major river bridges. This provides the c-from-l.jpg (16554 bytes)town with many riverside walks and it has a large, well-maintained public park bounded on all sides by the River. Tonbridge has many shops and restaurants as well as having top class bars and restaurants. Tonbridge?s well known public school is situated at the top of the town and is seen by some as a tourist attraction as well because of it?s historic design and it?s national recognition of being a top school. There are three markets in Tonbridge as well, including a flea market, and a sports ground in the north of the town with multipurpose, floodlit, all-weather pitches. All of this and more can all be viewed at http://www.tonbridge-kent.com. All of this as well as the Norman Castle all makes Tonbridge a quaint, picturesque town. Being a quaint, picturesque town, however, attracts tourists. Indeed many tourists come to Tonbridge as an escape from the City and they enjoy Tonbridge?s rivers and lakes. All of these excess people flocking to Tonbridge and Tonbridge?s old layout see map over leaf (fig. 1.3) may lead to problems of overcrowding (especially in the town centre). Overcrowding in Tonbridge is of particular concern because of Tonbridge?s linear development Northwards and Southwards. This was to avoid the Medway?s flood plain to the east. However, recent flood protection systems have finally allowed the town to slowly move eastwards. Even the town?s old high street is linear, being basically one street with limited side street access, which may lead to everyone who visits the high street into a bottleneck. objectives. The nature of our problem is that we do not know whether Tonbridge suffers from an overcrowding problem yet. We have set out these objectives to see whether or not it has when we get there: 1. To establish the pattern of pedestrian density and flows in the town centre, relate this to the pattern of land use, and use the information to ascertain whether the commercial mid-point of the town has moved from the historical mid-point (the castle) of the town. 2. To map the pattern of road traffic flows, using this to relate congestion to the pattern of land use, parking previsions and feeder roads. 3. To determine the pattern of road saturation, as measured by the Department of the Environment ?CPU?s, and evaluate the impact of traffic in various parts of the town centre, relate this to the provision or otherwise of traffic management schemes, evaluating whether any schemes are successful. 4. To determine whether there is correlation between the number of people and the condition of the environment. 5. To determine whether overcrowding is caused by locals shopping or out-of-town shoppers. methodology. 1. A pedestrian count has been carried out in 42 different census points; the pedestrians were counted travelling in both directions. The results were recorded in a tally chart. This was carried out between 11 am and 3 pm on the 14th July 2004. This is compared with the land use survey to see if there is a correlation between the no. Of people and the land use. This will help us to find out objective 1. 2. A traffic flow count was carried out between 11 am and 3 pm on the 14th July 2004 at 24 census points. Vehicles were counted travelling in both directions. This result are recorded in a tally chart and are compared with the traffic management schemes to establish the flow of traffic and to search for places where there may be safety issues. This helps us to find out objectives 2 and 3. 3. A land use survey was recorded on a Goad map of Tonbridge High Street. The different land uses were recorded by using a land use classification for a cbd by letter coding all buildings. This is compared with the pedestrian count to see whether pedestrian densities and overcrowding are related to particular land uses. This is also compared to the traffic flow count to see which areas would benefit from some form of traffic management. This was carried out between 11 am and 3 pm on 14th July 2004. This is carried out to find out objectives 1 and 2 4. A shopping quality survey was carried out at 18 census points between 11am and 3pm on 14th July 2004. This is recorded in a survey and is compared with the traffic flow count to see whether the quantity of traffic or congestion points relate to clustering of shops of a particular quality, or whether parking provision or take-up of spaces is linked to the distribution of shops of different qualities. This is carried out to help find out objectives 2 and 5. 5. A car park survey at designated car parks was carried out on the 14th July 2004 and the number of full and empty spaces was counted. This is compared to the pedestrian count to form a judgement on whether pedestrian density is related to car parking availability. This is also compared to the traffic flow count to see if the availability of car paring appears to affect the traffic flow or congestion. This was done to help us with objective 2. This survey was carried out between 11 am and 3 pm. 6. A traffic impact evaluation was carried out at Tonbridge on the 14th July 2004. It was carried out at 42 census points and recorded on a survey that indicates whether the traffic has a positive or negative impact on the surrounding area. This is compared to the pedestrian count to see if negative or positive scores relate to high population densities. This is also compared to whether there are traffic management schemes in place to draw judgements on changes to the traffic management strategy. This was carried out between 11 am and 3 pm. This evaluation is to help us with objectives 3 and 4 7. A questionnaire was filled in by 20 people from Tonbridge between 11 am and 3 pm on 14th July 2004, asking them amongst over things whether they lived in Tonbridge or had travelled in. This was to find out whether out-of-town shoppers or locals caused overcrowding. These results can be compared to the pedestrian count to determine where most out-of-towners shop and where most locals shop and thus whether these areas are overcrowded. These results can also be compared to the traffic count to see whether these out-of-towners cause congestion. This questionnaire helps us with objective 5. 8. A survey was filled in at 8 different locations to see whether there was a correlation between the number of people and the condition of the environment. This was carried out between 11 am and 3 pm on the 14th July 2004. These results can be compared to the traffic impact survey to see whether the number of cars and pedestrians benefits or degrades the surrounding area. This helps us to find out objective 4. data presentation. Over the next few pages I have presented all the data that I collected on my visit to Tonbridge. questionairre results. 20 people answered the following questions when we went on our day trip to Tonbridge and they gave the following answers: 1.Where have you travelled from? Tonbridge 12 Out of Tonbridge 8 2.How did you get here? Car 16 Public Transport 4 3.Are these shops your local shops? Yes 12 No 8 4. How often do you come here? Everyday 8 Every working day 4 less than that 8 5. How many people are you here with? On there own 20 other 0 data analysis. The car park survey (Figure 2) shows that there were very few spaces in the car parks that are in the south of Tonbridge?s high street (see Figure 2.1). This area is close to the high street as well as the river, sports ground and the railway station. These car parks are in the area where there is medium pedestrian density and are the closest car parks to where there is the highest amount of pedestrian density (750+); this is shown in Figure 4. Also the car parks with the least empty spaces are the ones that are close to roads that are saturated, that is more than the Department of Environment?s recommendation for that road?s size (see Figure 10). This survey helps us to find out objective 2 and shows us that car parks that are close to being completely full are generally close to the high street and are also close to roads that are saturated. These car parks that are close to their limit are all noticeably on feeder roads to the main high street, telling us that many of the people in these car parks use the high street to either work or shop. Also relating to objective 2 the car parks to the south which are nearly at capacity are all relatively close to the railway station, telling us that many of these cars may only be here on weekdays (when our field investigation was carried out) and not on weekends or even in the evenings when many of the workers will have returned from the city. So it is important to note that our survey was carried out between 11am and 3pm, thus when many of these commuters would be at work. Figure 3 shows the Traffic Impact Evaluation Survey. The evaluation survey gives a mixture of results with there seemingly no pattern in it. Although what can be noted is that the negative scores are mainly recorded on rather large roads telling us that the greater the volume of the traffic the more of a negative impact it has on the surrounding area (as shown in Figure 3.1). Also the majority of the negative scores are in the area that was recorded as having the most pedestrians in it, this is shown in Figure 4; this helps us with solving objective 1. The Traffic Impact Evaluation helps us with objective 3 and the evaluation shows us that the area most badly affected by the traffic is the area around the River Medway and the High Street; this is shown in Figure 3. Also objective 4 is also partly answered, as the areas that are badly affected by the traffic and so are given a negative score are areas that have a bad condition of environment and vice versa for the ones with the larger scores. The pedestrian count (Figure 4) shows that the highest number of pedestrians is found just south of the direct centre of Tonbridge?s High street. The area with the highest number of pedestrian?s (750+) is small in comparison to other numbers of pedestrians, such as below 100, which covers a much larger area. When the pedestrian count is compared with the land use survey (Figure 5) you can tell that where there are the most pedestrians the shops are made up mostly of clothes and shoe shops. In relation to objective 1, where there are the most pedestrians is not in the castle grounds but is along the high street as I just said. This shows a change in the commercial mid-point of the town, even though it is still in close vicinity to the old, historical mid-point of the town (the castle). Where the most pedestrians occur, along the high street around the River Medway, there were definitely issues of pavement overcrowding but most of the pavements in this area had railings that protected the pedestrians from the traffic (see Figure 4.1), although some busy roads, by traffic count, off of the high street did lack in pedestrian safety (see Figure 4.2). The Land Use Survey is shown in Figure 5. The land use survey shows us that Tonbridge High Street is mainly made up of professional services such as banks or doctors to the north and is mainly made up of specialist shops such as sports shops and jewellers in the south. This is because in Tonbridge the majority of the houses were in towards the north and there was a large housing estate there. Towards the south there were not so many houses and so there are specialist shops that people do not visit daily or regularly. When the Land Use Survey is compared to the pedestrian density it show us that where there are the most pedestrians (shown in Figure 4) there is a great mixture of shops (see Figure 5.1 over leaf) but in the 750+ area there is a large concentration of shoes and clothing shops. When compared to the traffic flow as well the largest volumes of traffic (shown in Figure 6) along the High street, just past Lyons Crescent, the large make-up of the shops is of professional services and offices. This helps us with objective 2 and tells us that the high numbers found on this part of the High street is linked to the land use in that area. The Land Use Survey helps us with objective 1 by telling us the make-up of the land use and that the commercial mid-point, by the number of pedestrians and so possible shoppers, has now changed from the old castle to the part of the High Street that is just south of the River Medway. Figure 6 is the Traffic count. The Traffic Count shows us that the highest traffic counts were found along the actual high street, even though this is not the largest road in Tonbridge (see Figure 6.1 over leaf). This tells us that these parts of the High Street were saturated. This is useful when looking at objective 2 as Figure 6 maps out the traffic flows. When compared with the traffic Impact Evaluation (Figure 3) we can see in which areas a safety issue may arise. One area that stands out especially is at census point 19 (shown in Figure 1.4) where the road is badly saturated and where the area receives a -4 mark on the Traffic Impact Evaluation. There are many areas when comparing these two surveys of areas that are both safe and unsafe. The traffic count can also be compared to the pedestrian count (Figure 4) to help us with objective 1 and it shows that the roads with the highest count are surrounding, but not in, the area with the highest pedestrian density. Telling us that people use the area as a drive through and do not get out of their cars or drive their nearby car parks and shop in the area with the highest pedestrian density. [image][image][image][image][image][image][image]survey point traffic count saturated yes/NO? [image][image][image]1 618 yes 3 942 yes 4 948 yes 5 702 yes 6 1008 yes 7 1116 yes 11 204 NO [image]12 2130 yes [image] 13 240 NO 15 234 NO 18 276 NO 19 1566 yes 21 1758 yes 22 62 NO [image] 24 1428 yes [image]25 306 NO 32 1545 yes 34 318 NO 36 36 NO 38 1866 yes 39 528 NO 40 831 NO 41 894 NO [image] 42 366 NO [image] The Shopping Quality Survey is Figure 7 and tells us the quality and selection of shops at certain points in Tonbridge. When looking at the Shopping Quality Survey around the actual High Street is where most shops are found. The shops that are clustered together have similar scores; with most shops immediately south of the River having a quite even score. Whereas the cluster of shops further north of the river having a more fuller score. These areas with a more full result are often near houses and so the shops are mainly convenience goods and are small and independent. The opposite is true is the scores that are low, for instance, census point 5 (shown in figure 1.4). This area will be dominated by department stores and be mainly shops in the area and the shops will be selling good quality, highly priced goods. This survey is related to objective 2 by seeing whether the quantity of traffic (shown in Figure 6) relates to the clustering of shops of a certain quality. When looking at this it becomes apparent that the higher traffic counts are around the areas that have shops that have fuller scores. Like the northern cluster of the High street. There are high scores as well for the shops wither more even scores and a better rule would be that there are higher traffic counts where there are a lot of shops in general. This survey also helps us to find out objective 5 by comparing this with the traffic count again. When looking at the location of the shops and the traffic count you can assume where the shoppers come from and go. Like by looking at the Northern cluster. By looking at Figure 6 you can see that the numbers are rather small on the feeder roads (see Figure 1.1) and accumulate on the high street. Telling us that people travel in using these feeder roads and then travel down the high street, as numbers along the high street remain particularly high. This could alter however at weekends. The survey on the Condition of the Environment (figure 8) shows us whether there is a correlation between the number of people and the condition of the environment, or objective 4. Figure 8 shows us that there is definitely this correlation and that it is a negative one, as the more people there are in an area the worse the score it gained. This gives a clear indication that there is a correlation as on the out skirts of Tonbridge on the map the census points have gained a much more positive score (see Figure 8.1). When compared with the Traffic Impact Survey (Figure 3) it also supports our argument when it shows that most of the negative scores handed out are in the area that has the highest density of pedestrians. The Questionnaire results (Figure 9) show us that the people that were in Tunbridge on the day that we went (a weekday) were actually from Tonbridge and that they mostly all travelled by car. This tells us that an answer for objective 5 would be that the overcrowding, at least on weekdays, is caused by people who live in Tonbridge as well as people who travel in. The results were quite even for the question ?where have you travelled from?? were 12 people who had come from Tonbridge and 8 who had travelled in from somewhere else. When compared to the pedestrian count (Figure 4) it shows that most of these people shop in the central area of the High street and I believe that weekends the number of out-of-towners travelling in will increase, and these areas that are already very busy will become dangerously so. Nearly all of these people we asked, out-of-towners and locals alike travelled in by car, leading to fears of congestion and overcrowding. The effects of this can be seen in the Traffic Count (Figure 6) where roads already are saturated one can only think that this situation would be much worse at weekends or in the rush hour. conclusion. The main aim of our study was to find out whether or not that Tonbridge, Kent suffered from an overcrowding problem. We set ourselves five objectives (see figure 1.5) to find out whether or not Tonbrige was overcrowded. In relation to these our findings showed: When looking at objective 1 we discovered that the area just south of the River Medway was the most densely packed with pedestrians. The pattern then radiated outwards in a burgess model style, only not as strictly structured. This, we said, was dew to the fact that this area had the most shops as it was on the High street and had shopping promenades as well. Leading to the shops being densely packed as well. Obviously then this density has resulted from the land use. When looking at the land use, in this area there make up of the buildings is entirely commercial and the buildings were all shops, with no residential and hardly any office space. So we have found the pattern of pedestrian densities and found that it does relate to the land use. As the further you radiated out form this epicentre of people the less and less shops you found. All of this also tells us that the historical mid-point of the town has changed from the castle to this new area stretching along the high street to the south of the River with shopping promenades and department stores. Objective two was accomplished and we mapped the pattern of road traffic flows on our map with proportional bar graphs. This showed us that the main area of congestion and the largest amount of traffic flow was found on the actual high street of Tonbridge. This we concluded wad down to the fact that all of the traffic from the many feeder roads accumulated here. With regards to parking previsions the most full car parks were on feeder roads to the busiest section of the High street, (see figure 1.6). The busy car parks were all round this area of high pedestrian density and so some of the cars on the high street could have cars looking for a car park, as there were not good parking previsions on the side of the high street (see Figure 1.8). With Objective 3 in mind the main concentration of road saturation was found to be in the far north of Tonbridge C.B.D. This not to say that the largest number of cars were counted here in our survey overall but these numbers that we counted in this area (the north) were too large for the roads that they were counted on. The Traffic Impact Evaluation (Figure 3) was needed to be looked as well for objective 3 and we found that the areas that suffered badly from the traffic were all recorded along roads that were large. Thus telling us that the larger the volume of traffic the larger the negative impact was on that census point. Also where there were most pedestrians there generally was a more negative impact on this survey. Objective 4 was mainly found out by looking at the Condition of the Environment (Figure 8) survey, this survey showed us that there was definitely a correlation where the more pedestrians there were, the more negative the score was. This gives a clear indication that the area towards the centre of Tonbridge was the worst area when it came to the condition of the environment. Objective 5 gave us a result that was about 50-50 ratio between people who lived in Tonbridge and those that had travelled in for various reasons. This is sure to fluctuate however at weekends when people have time to travel in to shop, visit, etc. People had travelled in for various reasons such as to shops or even just to watch certain birds. The fact that they nearly all travelled in by car showed that they would contribute significantly to the traffic enough on the day that we travelled to Tonbridge on (a weekday) without the expected rise of out-of-towners that would travel in on a weekend or a bank holiday. I believe that my investigation was successful in achieving it?s objectives because we have been able to draw on a reasonable conclusion in, as just shown, in all of our objectives and the way that the data is presented I feel is more than satisfactory in the way it goes over all of the aspects of our study in detail that recorded accurately. The results were nothing too unexpected and most of these could have been hypothesised to a relative degree before the investigation, if you had a decent knowledge of human geography. In relation to the main question of the study, ?Is there an overcrowding problem in Tonbridge?? I believe that there is. I have drawn this conclusion because of the numbers on the roads and the number of saturated roads and the number of pedestrians on the pavements. The numbers are substantially large when you think of the size of the roads and pavements, being small as Tonbridge is some 400 years old. I think that the cause of this overcrowding epidemic is mainly down to the small winding roads of Tobridge?s old style layout. These roads cannot cope with the more common use of cars by the residents and people in general. Another factor is the people who travel in for various reasons or activities. On the weekday of our visit they made up half of the pedestrians we asked, but more noticeably they all travelled in by car. This must have an effect n the traffic enough on weekdays, let alone on weekends. I would have liked to have travelled to Tonbridge again on a weekend to conduct the same investigation and to compare results; sadly this was not possible for personal reasons. So in short, Tonbridge is overcrowded and some sort of management needs to be installed to stop this situation getting worse, and maybe even leading to urban decay in one of Kent?s most prestigious towns. If I was a shopper I would definitely avoid Tonbridge if you do not wish to bump into people every few minutes, to queue in shops, to hear the constant noise of traffic and to smell the pollution; and that is what really matters isn?t it? evaluation. I think that my investigation was successful in the way that it looked at the many different aspects of whether or not an area, such as Tonbridge, was overcrowded or not. Though there was definitely room for improvement if I was going to carry out this investigation again. The car park survey success was limited as not many car parks were surveyed and the amount of cars in a car park can fluctuate tremendously throughout the course of the day. This is problem with the data but the data collection method was sturdy enough. If I were to repeat this investigation I would have carried out the survey three times on each car park at different times and see how that distorted my data. I would also do it on a weekend as well as a weekday, to compare results. The traffic impact evaluation left a lot to be desired I felt, the way it marked an area with certain questions was not totally accurate and did not leave me with an accurate picture of whether an area was good or bad. If I were to repeat this I would have had different questions with a greater scale than just -5 to +5, like -10 to +10. This left me with not reliable data I feel and this was because the method was poor. The goad map for pedestrian density was a good method of data collection but I would have to carry out another one at a weekend to see what happened to the pattern of density. The land use survey was too specific I felt. I would much rather of had a larger map of Tonbridge, not just the high street, and the specifications of the buildings was much broader, such as just differentiating between residential. Commercial and industry for example. The data that it gave me was accurate though, even though it was only for a small area. The traffic count is another thing that could fluctuate a lot. I would like to have carried this out at least twice in one day, for instance one in the morning and another in the evening. This data was also inaccurate, maybe not in the pattern it gave but the numbers would be a lot higher at weekends as more people would travel in. The shopping quality survey was not very accurate and I felt a poor way of presenting data as it showed the mark as a total, so, for instance, you would not be able to tell if there was a department store in a residential area. I would rather have taken pictures at the various locations and gave a small written summary. This would be much more accurate and would create a much clearer picture of an area, literally. The Condition of the Environment survey was very accurate as it specified on a certain objective and could so give a more refined answer. The use of the goad map in the background was a feature that I would also have liked to use in many other data presentation techniques but instead I just compared it off screen. The questionnaire was not detailed enough, I thought, and needed bar graphs to present the data in a much more sophisticated way. Pie charts would be another sophisticated way of presenting the data to show all the different types of answers given. This was perhaps the most accurate as it asked people their opinions and they all were at different locations but maybe we could have increased on the number of people asked from 20 to something like 50 or 60. All of these inaccuracies in the data collection methods and the fluctuations would obviously affect my conclusions but that is something that cannot be changed unless we carry out all of the data collection methods that we have just talked about. After saying all of this I think that the investigation has been fairly successful in that we was only in Tonbridge for one day and that was the only opportunity that we got. The results and resulting conclusions are accurate for the times and dates that they were carried out in and the information that I have presented is all that I had to work with.

Overcrowding Problem in Tonbridge 8 of 10 on the basis of 4411 Review.