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Freight transport modal choice in North West England's Atlantic Gateway

Bury, A (2019) Freight transport modal choice in North West England's Atlantic Gateway. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

Overuse of the road network has led to greater levels of congestion, elevated levels of road surface wear and tear and an increase in transport related air pollution. When taken in combination with the failure of attempts to balance modal split the road network’s continuing slide towards breaking point seems to be beyond question. However, circumstances have conspired to present one particular region of England with a tabula rasa for the development of new policies to influence the modal split of freight transportation. England’s economy is currently based around a London-centric model. The current move towards developing what has become known as a Northern Powerhouse is aimed at rebalancing the economy of the nation for the betterment of all of its citizens. The Atlantic Gateway is an integral part of these efforts. The devolution of powers and responsibilities from national government to regional authorities may provide an opportunity for positive change the likes of which has not be seen in the North of England since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Different regions are influenced by their own geographical and infrastructure constraints. Devolution ensures that decisions are made locally and are therefore more able to meet local needs. A greater understanding of what influences modal choice within the Atlantic Gateway allows local policy makers to make better informed decisions on how to accommodate the increasing levels of freight transportation on the existing local transport infrastructure. Two different multi-criteria decision making analysis tools are utilised in this study. The first model uses the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to determine the weights of a range of criteria identified as influencing modal choice. The second model combines AHP with the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) to allow the modes of transport under consideration to be ranked. This AHP-TOPSIS approach was adopted to address the limited data made available by the freight transportation industry in support of this research and the inadequacy of the data which is publicly available from mainstream sources. With billions of Pounds having been spent over many years to balance modal split it was disappointing to find that today, in the North West of England, road is still, by far, the preferred mode for transporting freight. The margin by which road leads the other modes within this geographical region shows the degree to which modal shift policy has so far failed. It also shows the amount of work needed to be done if modal shift is to be delivered in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Modal choice; Freight; North West England; Atlantic Gateway; Analytic Hierarchy Process; The Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
T Technology > TC Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering
Divisions: Maritime & Mechanical Engineering
Date Deposited: 02 May 2019 08:18
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2019 12:41
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00010600
Supervisors: Wall, A, Ren, J and Wang, J
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10600

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