Best practice examples offer routes which feel safe, are accessible to all, are unobstructed, have good surfaces, no directional conflicts and no overcrowding.
Natural desire lines should be identified and supported whenever possible - attempting to force passengers into unnecessarily long or circuitous routes can lead to recommended routes being ignored in favour of ones which may place passengers in danger or cause unnecessary pedestrian conflicts.
Design and operation should be orientated to provide short distances between modes, reducing journey times and, where possible, minimising level changes (although it may sometimes be necessary to direct or sign to longer routes for crowd control reasons). A detailed understanding of the likely demand for movement between each mode at different times of day is essential.
Design and operation of the interchange zone should cater for all required movements and be sufficiently flexible to deal with different conditions at different times.
The quality of movement to and from feeder modes should be maximised in the same way as movement between public transport modes, for example, the way in which exit routes are signed.
Access to one feeder mode should not be compromised by access to another and care should be taken to avoid this whenever possible. In particular, design and operation should minimise conflicting and crossing flows between, for example, pedestrians and taxis, or cyclists and cars in car parks.
Cycle parking and taxi ranks should be placed as close as possible to station entrances but not in locations that obstruct pedestrian movement spaces. Similarly, bus stops should be placed as close as possible to station entrances without putting pedestrians or cyclists at risk, be it through poorly located stop infrastructure, or providing insufficient space for waiting passengers, or restricting sightlines.
Interchange zones experience complex patterns of passenger movements between public transport, feeder modes and destinations. Interchange zones should be designed and operated so as to minimise the potential for conflicts between different flows.
In particular, provision should be made for those moving against the predominant flow and every effort should be made to minimise crossing flows at decision, entrance and exit points. Where movement spaces meet, such as at decision spaces, sufficient capacity should be provided and areas kept clear of unnecessary obstructions. In decision spaces, information should be provided in locations where passengers using the information do not obstruct the movement of others.
Conflicts can also occur when passenger flows are obstructed by passengers who are standing or sitting in a movement space. Stationary passengers (such as those queuing for tickets or waiting for friends) should be encouraged to stay out of movement spaces by clearly demarcating the boundary with the opportunity space. Conflict can be reduced by placing information facilities away from the key movement desire lines and by ensuring that advertising does not obscure directional information.
See also Wayfinding.
The main purpose of an interchange is to facilitate movement between modes. Performance is maximised by separating spaces for movement from spaces for other activities (see Zones).
Movement should be kept free of unnecessary obstructions such as temporary signs, retail stalls, cycle parking, newspaper vendors and so on. Ancillary equipment such as temporary air conditioning equipment, hose reels, and storage lockers should not be placed where they reduce capacity for movement, unless there is no alternative location available. Movement spaces in new interchange facilities should be designed so as to be free of physical or visual obstructions such as pillars.