Former farm buildings reused as rural villa, building contractor or garden centre: consequences for traffic flows on minor rural roads in a changing countryside

C.F. Jaarsma, J.R. de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Agricultural production is on a larger scale than ever before. With fewer holdings, current agricultural production leaves former farm buildings (FFBs) unused and available for new economic functions. This has consequences for traffic on minor rural roads and may conflict with a new societal demand for recreational activities in today’s multifunctional rural space. Considering this, we explore the ability of the rural road network to absorb the newly generated traffic flows from FFBs. To do this, we investigate four underlying questions: (1) what are in practice the new economic functions of FFBs; (2) how can their traffic generation be estimated; (3) what is the capacity of the network of minor rural roads; and (4) how does spatial planning operate in this field? Specific statistical data are lacking, but research in Belgium and the Netherlands shows that redundant farm buildings have been changed to a residential or a non-agrarian activity, mostly belonging to the service sector of the economy. For most of these functions general trip rates are available. The new traffic generation strongly depends on the type of function. Commercial functions tend to considerably increase local traffic flows, including freight. Spatial planning should be alert for this. The capacity limits for minor rural roads must be respected to avoid damage to road and/or verge - prevention is better than cure!
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-51
JournalEuropean Countryside
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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