“With the arrival of a new set of acronyms, LEPs, SEPs and LTBs, the transport planning map has been re-drawn, and the route to transport funding re-formulated.
The new geographies of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are a significant feature of this changing landscape, and whilst some relate neatly to longstanding partnership areas and PTEs, many are entirely new entities.
Against a back drop of challenging timescales imposed by Central Government, Local Transport Boards (LTBs) were charged with prioritising a number of major transport schemes. These were to be ‘shovel ready’, with a clearly demonstrable link to promoting economic growth. The introduction of Strategic Economic Plans (SEPs) has become a key route to securing major investment in transport.
Given these developments, there is a clear risk that a disparate selection of transport schemes will be thrust forwards, each with a compelling economic rationale in its own right perhaps - but to what end? After all, transport investment has a far broader remit, and longer term mandate, than simply providing a shot in the arm to an ailing economy.”
Matt Croucher, TPM 2014 presenter.
With the new Local Growth Fund offers anticipated in July, many practitioners will be eager to learn how coherent transport visions are being successfully embedded within this new system and how investment in transport systems has been proven to deliver growth and regeneration.
Matt Croucher, a Principal Consultant at SYSTRA Ltd, is one of the many practitioners who will be providing insights into the latest developments affecting the transport planning industry at this year’s TPM. His paper, quoted above, delves into the challenges presented by the new world of transport funding, presenting practical steps to ensure that transport considerations are a key part of long term vision for an area, as opposed to becoming a fragmented afterthought.
Matt’s paper sits amongst a number of papers considering the links between transport investment, economic growth and regeneration. Anyone involved in strategic transport planning will find that the “Transport for Growth” sessions provide a rich seam of supporting evidence for transport investment, whilst the “Moving Towards Prosperous Places” sessions illustrate how transport projects can help regenerate local areas, highlighting unintended outcomes that can arise from well-intentioned projects.
There are lots of interesting papers in the conference for practitioners involved in LSTF funded projects, with sessions explaining how psychological factors can be exploited to motivate people to change their travel behaviour (Game Changers for Sustainable Travel); others demonstrating the value of non-motorised transport systems and several workshops allowing practitioners to explore topics in more detail.
There’s also a wealth of papers for people interested in the current debate about the value of time savings being used in scheme appraisal and a couple of data-tastic sessions (not just for modellers, by the way!).
All in all, it looks like TPM 2014 is going to be an excellent event and a great opportunity to tick off some of those annual appraisal objectives, such as keeping up to date with industry developments and learning more about subject “x”.
We’ve slashed the fees this year and sourced inexpensive accommodation for delegates staying for at least two nights* to make the conference much more affordable in the era of shrinking training budgets. The pre-conference events will make the most of London’s unique offer, with very special study tours being planned as I type.
I hope this little taster of what’s to come has whet your appetite for knowledge, and look forward to seeing you in July.
Head of Technical Development, PTRC
*we’re aware of another big event taking place in London in the first week in July, which could be a perfect match for TPM. It can be found a few stops down the district line at Wimbledon. Why not book Friday off and take advantage of the excellent value 2+ nights accommodation rates to have a capital weekend?