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A strategic approach to reducing the transport impacts of purpose-built football stadia

Lookup NU author(s): Simon Edwards


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Since the late 1980s a number of football clubs have moved to new purpose-built stadia, the largest of which have a capacity of 50, 000 people. Many incorporate a wide range of leisure and business facilities such as hotels, conference facilities and shops, leading to a more consistent flow of traffic than that generated by the seasonal fortnightly home games at the old grounds. One such ground is the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, which is used as a case study in this research. The Ricoh has a capacity in excess of 40,000 when used as a concert venue, and the transport infrastructure, despite being fairly new, struggles to cope. This paper will investigate the accessibility implications of purpose-built stadia, whilst also examining wider environmental impacts such as land take and trip generation. It will address the priority given to transport, not only in the initial planning process, but also in the planning and licensing of events that are held there after completion. Of most significance is the overwhelming dependence by those travelling to events on road transport, and in particular the private car. A range of problems arise, including severe road congestion, difficulty enforcing road safety practice, legislation connected with parking, taxi licensing, and pedestrian behaviour. A more coordinated approach is required, but can be difficult to implement due to the diverse nature of the events themselves, and hence of the people attending. Using the Ricoh Arena as a case-study, and gathering evidence from other UK stadia, along with examples of best practice from the USA, this paper will provide recommendations for the alleviation of problems at existing stadia, and a set of guidelines to be implemented at the planning stage in order to help similar developments in the future to achieve the desired balance between sustainability and accessibility.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Edwards S, Rackliff L

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 40th Annual UTSG Conference

Year of Conference: 2008

Publisher: Universities' Transport Study Group