Evaluating changes in undergraduate travel

Project details

Full project title: Evaluating changes in undergraduate travel

Sponsors: Department for Transport

Principal Researcher: Dr Ben Clark

Principal Investigator: Dr Steve Melia

Start date: 1 February 2015

Finish date: 30 September 2016

Project briefing sheet: Download the project briefing sheet (PDF)

Final project report: Download the final report (PDF)

Project summary

UWE Bristol has created a natural experiment by progressively removing parking permits from most undergraduates at Frenchay Campus. The third years in 2015 were the last cohort allowed to apply for parking permits. This research project compares the travel to campus and other travel behaviour of the third years of 2015 with those of 2016.


Prior to September 2013 all students living off-campus were able to apply for a parking permit or to park on an occasional basis on Frenchay Campus. Following a change in policy (linked to the expansion of activities at Frenchay) a new policy was introduced. Undergraduates who started after that date are not allowed to park or bring vehicles onto Frenchay campus if they live within a defined area covering most of Bristol and parts of South Gloucestershire (a large majority of students live within that area). The undergraduates who started in 2012 were the last cohort allowed to park on campus, regardless of their home address.

At the same time as the change in UWE Bristol policy, Bristol City Council also introduced residents' parking zones in several of the areas where students tend to live. This has been an ongoing process; a few remaining areas were implemented during 2015. The project will also offer the opportunity to study the impact of those changes on student travel behaviour.


  1. To measure the mode share of the 2015 and 2016 third year undergraduates and to identify any changes in mode share following the implementation of the new parking regime.
  2. To measure any changes in car ownership and mode choice for personal travel since the change following the implementation of the new parking regime.
  3. To examine the impact of the spread of residents' parking zones on student travel behaviour and car ownership.
  4. To assess whether the combination of changes to parking rules has changed the pattern of student term-time locations.


Two comparable cohorts of third year undergraduates will be surveyed through questionnaires handed out during lectures at the same time in the academic years in 2015 and 2016.