Can Transport Planning really help sell sites?

03 Oct 23

Local authorities are often more engaged throughout the pre-app process, and can provide effective and constructive feedback when they have something of substance to consider at the earliest stage.

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Transport planning input is often represented by a vehicle access design and a map illustrating local bus stops.

By todays standards, that approach can significantly undersell a site’s potential, particularly in regard to sustainable travel. It doesn’t help with local consultation either, where impact on the network and parking are always key issues. This can lead to generic responses at the pre-app stage and additional, possibly avoidable, impact assessment work.

Over the last few years, we have seen positive gains by presenting more detail within a Sustainable Travel Vision document at the promotion stage. Local authorities are often more engaged throughout the pre-app process, and can provide effective and constructive feedback when they have something of substance to consider at the earliest stage. Essentially, we can provide the answers before being asked the questions, saving considerable time and demonstrating that the sustainability of the site has been considered fully from the outset.

To develop a transport vision for a site, we need to know where future residents or employees of a proposed development will travel to and from. Then, assess the routes and identify potential opportunities to improve walking, cycling and public transport, which often benefits the wider local population too. We do this by physically walking and cycling the routes, and through the preparation of connectivity studies.

There is also value in showing intent. Suggesting a bus service could be improved is one thing, engaging with bus operators before the pre-app is another.

We believe there are real benefits to identifying opportunities for improved connectivity and access to public transport at the earliest stages of projects, all of which can save time and help shape the narrative throughout the planning process.

So, if you have had poor feedback on the sustainable transport merit of one of your sites, we would be more than happy to have a look to see if there are any opportunities to improve the position.

Lastly, our new Transport Brochure is available at the link below, which includes information about what we do, how we do it and who we are. So please take a look and feel free to get in touch if you think we can help with any of your projects.

Transport Brochure

Rob Amey Director,Transport
Ryan Broom Principal,Transport