The Multi-modal Studies Process in England:- Lessons for the Next Stages
A Brett, WS Atkins, UK
h4. COMMON ISSUES
Areas identified will include:"Role of the Problem Statement": this underpins the study and is vital to achieving early consensus as to the study aims and objectives;"Consultation": Managing the scale of the consultation exercise to ensure that it is effective and represents vale for money. Effective media management has been vital on studies with a high public profile. The consultation tasks must be an integral part of the study process with defined linkages to other study elements and key decision points;
* "Modelling": the need to balance the typically high level nature of the studies with the requirement for detailed information for the appraisal process;
* "Freight": the processes associated with establishing robust methodologies for analysis of freight related issues and ensuring that freight issues are given appropriate prominence in the plan development process; and
* "Plan identification": the need to construct consistent packages that enable testing of all potential policies and schemes, providing an ?audit trail? for the Preferred plan.
h4. ISSUES RAISED BY INDIVIDUAL STUDIES
* The decision making process where the technical analyses are inconclusive;
* Value for money assessments for rail schemes- is there a bias towards road schemes when undertaking VFM appraisals?;
* The role of the rail network and the allocation of capacity and scheme costs and benefits between local passenger, long distance passenger and freight movements;
* Goods vehicles: should these be subject to restrictions or allocated priorities?;
* Travel behaviour change: the so-called ?soft measures?, there is a lack of knowledge on the impacts of such measures but on an area wide basis these may be more effective than major schemes;
* Transport and land use interaction/integration: what is the reality of the linkages and our ability to forecast? How to balance local and national needs?
* The degree to which plan options should be constrained by likely short/medium term funding levels and the potential impact of revenue generating options such as road user charging;
* Procurement processes, the role of local authorities and the need for multi-party partnerships; and * ?Selling? the study findings to key stakeholders and the public.
h4. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SUBSEQUENT STUDIES
It is clear that the output from the current MMS programme will require further studies in order to take major policies and schemes through the statutory processes required for implementation. These subsequent studies will take the output from the current MMS as their starting point. There will be someurgency attached to many of these studies in order to be seen to progress the Government Ten Year Plan. Recommendations for these studies include:
* Establishment of a body (ies) to progress and monitor plan implementation.
* Ensuring the rapid, consistent and holistic implementation of minor works and smaller schemes;
* Carrying forward the consultation mechanisms and structures already established to ensure the retention of support during the implementation process;
* Recognition of the need for, and scale of, the preparation costs for major new schemes;
* Maximising the use of the modelling established for the preceding MMS whilst ensuring sufficient detail for full scheme appraisal and any consequent Public Inquiry; and
* Establishment of a realistic funding framework to enable maximum achievement of the MMS recommendations.
Association for European Transport