In this section, I will be explaining how I conducted my investigation and why I chose this method. Firstly, to perform my investigation, I chose to ask people in Birmingham City Centre, questions about traffic congestion and its effects. I also did a traffic count on Broad Street, to see what kind of transport went into Broad Street and how many was there of each type.
I used one primary collection technique. This was asking questions to the public in the City Centre on 2 consecutive days. I asked 12 questions regarding traffic congestion. I gave them choices of answering ( A,B,C,D e.t.c) for only a few questions such as Age. I asked these questions in places such as Coperation Street and around Broad Street. Since these places had a vast number of people compared to other, I used this method because it was the easiest and quickest way of asking the allotted people I had. But aswell as this, I asked people for their own views such as this question, ” How do you think the problem can be solved?”. I asked questions like these so that I could get a cross reference of what people would most likely think overall would solve the problem of congestion. In this way I would use the answers to give thoughts about traffic congestion and I’d give solutions to cutting down congestion.
I planned my questions carefully and thought about keeping it simple. I gave a variety of open and closed questions method, I chose to use the closed question method because I wanted to write answers down quickly. This meant that I could ask people more quickly. In addition, I used open questions because I wanted the public’s view on congestion. I used questions which were fairly simple but answered key questions relating to the coursework question. In my questionnaire, I asked the questions about traffic congestion such as, 1. Do you think Birmingham City Centre is congested? 2. Do you think Congestion Charges are a good idea?
3. How did you travel to Birmingham City Centre? I asked these kinds of questions because this way I could attract simple answers and also answer other questions like which transport did the people think congested the most, and what was the most popular reason why people were coming into Birmingham. I structure by questionnaire in a specific way. First I would ask why, where and how people had come to Birmingham. Also in this section I would ask the compulsory questions such as age and gender. The next section would contain questions on congestion and what causes it. Then, I would ask questions on public transport, to gain a more general view of the public on this subject. Then I would ask questions about common schemes put in to tackle congestion such as congestion charges, to see the positive negative view of them. I will now give a brief justification of why I used my respective questions:
1) Age: I chose this question so that I could get a good cross reference of all ages of people who went to Birmingham City Centre.
2) Gender: I chose this so that I could get a good cross reference of opinions of males and females.
3) Where did you travel from: I chose this question so that I could get an idea of where they travelled from and some knowledge about that area.
4) How did you travel to Birmingham City Centre: This was a closed question, so that I could get my answers quickly and still get an idea of how they travelled to Birmingham City Centre.
5) Why did you travel to Birmingham City Centre: I chose this question so that I could get an idea of what the public did at Birmingham City Centre but more importantly why they came to Birmingham City Centre.
6) Do you think Birmingham City Centre is congested: I asked this question as this was part of my hypothesis and help me to put forward the overall result of this question towards the investigation, and to use it as evidence to answer my hypothesis
7) What do you think is the main cause of congestion: I left this as an open question due to the fact that I wanted the public’s views on what they thought was the main cause of congestion.
8) If so, how do you think the problem can be solved: I chose this question yet again to get the public views and opinions as to what solutions can be used to solve the problem.
9) What do you think of Public Transport: I asked this question because I wanted to know whether people used the service, and what they thought about the service.
10) Do you think congestion charges are a good idea: I asked this question because I wanted to know whether the public would like this idea, and also then it would give me an idea of how big or less of a problem congestion is in Birmingham City Centre.
11) Do you think public transport needs to be improved: I asked this question because of two things. Firstly I wanted to know whether people used Public transport or not. Secondly, whether people would be interested in using public transport if it was improved, this would apply to people who used cars on a regular basis not of those who used public transport regularly.
I also did a traffic count I did this because I could then calculate the numbers and types of transports that came into Birmingham via Broad Street. I could then use other results to work out a full days traffic count. This could then use other results to work out a full days traffic count. This would also help me a lot in proving traffic congestion because I could then work out which transports are used frequency and give solutions to narrow down the use of them. I did my traffic count at 2:00 PM. I counted the transports going into Birmingham from Broad street traffic lights.
I then could use the results to put the results into a graph to show the outcome of which transport was coming in the most and when the peak was, when it was most happening. I also marked on a map that was given to me by my teacher, the directions of which the traffic was coming from, the pedestrianised areas, areas for parking, bus stops and traffic lights. This would come in useful prior to the fact it would help me prove that congestion in Birmingham City Centre, is a big problem that is ever increasing.
I also decided to collect secondary data. This was data, which I would research by using other sources such as the internet, newspapers etc. I collected images, newspaper articles and maps which were related to the subject in question, which is to prove congestion occurs on the roads leading into Birmingham City Centre. I would have to analyze this data and say how it was relevant to my study, to help back up and give evidence for my answer for this investigation.