This paper describes how bus priorities are often favored by transport authorities in urban areas as a cost effective means of reducing traffic congestion and reliance on the car through promoting more sustainable travel. However, where their introduction involves the reduction in the availability of on-street parking in local shopping areas, opposition frequently arises from retailers concerned over the impact on car-borne trade. This paper reviews the links between transport policy, parking and the economy of local trade and considers the effects new bus priorities may have. There is strong evidence to suggest that car-borne and bus-borne shoppers are of fairly similar importance to trade, contrary to many retailers perceptions; furthermore the local nature of shopping in these areas and the consequent importance of the walking environment appears to be greatly underestimated.
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