Missing links – Quantifying barrier effects of transport infrastructure on local accessibility
Journal article, 2020

Transport infrastructure can create efficient connections in traffic systems, yet it can also create barriers to movement on a local scale. In transport infrastructure projects there is a need for methods to quantify these barrier effects – also called severance – to assess their impacts on social inclusion, health and viability of businesses. This paper proposes four local accessibility indicators to measure direct barrier effects: Travel time, Choice, Catchment and Service efficiency. The indicators are tested in a case study where the consequences of placing a motorway and a railway in tunnels are assessed. The results show how local accessibility is affected in non-linear patterns. The paper contributes to accessibility literature by introducing direct barrier effects as an applied case of local accessibility, and demonstrates the potential of those indicators to quantify barrier effects. Finally, it offers accessibility as a theoretical framework for further developing theories on barrier effects.

Barrier effects


Transportation infrastructure

Assessment methods




Job van Eldijk

Ramböll AB

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Urban Design and Planning

Jorge Gil

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Urban Design and Planning

Natalia Kuska

Ramböll AB

Rashmita Sisinty Patro

Ramböll AB

Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

1361-9209 (ISSN)

Vol. 85 102410

Quantification of barrier effects of transport infrastructure

Centre for Management of the Built Environment (CMB), 2019-05-29 -- 2022-05-25.

Ramböll AB, 2016-01-06 -- 2022-05-25.

Swedish Transport Administration, 2016-01-06 -- 2020-02-05.

VINNOVA, 2019-05-29 -- 2022-05-25.

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Transport Systems and Logistics

Construction Management



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