Kent Permit Scheme: Benefits Assessment and Monitoring
S Srivastava, Jacobs Engineering, UK
The introduction of a Permit Scheme in Kent allows its Highway Authority to be proactive in their co-ordination of their own street works activities and those of others.
Road works carried out by statutory undertakers, local authorities or other bodies frequently lead to disruption and delay. This affects all road users - the general public, local businesses, public transport operators and passengers. The introduction of a Permit Scheme allows the Highway Authority to be proactive in their co-ordination of their own street works activities and those of others. Kent is the first local authority in the UK who has got the go-ahead from the Transport Minister to bring in a roadworks permit scheme.
The introduction of a Permit Scheme in the UK is a new concept and was never applied anywhere therefore there was a lack of any empirical data to work from. As a result it was not only difficult to estimate precisely the various benefits that can be realised through the introduction of a Permit Scheme in Kent, but also difficult to quantify some of these benefits. This is already recognised by the DfT in their consultation report for the Permit Scheme Traffic Management Regulations. Any Local Transport Authority (LTA) pioneering the introduction of a Permit Scheme application within their area must commit to the evaluation of costs and benefits, through monitoring, during the running of their scheme after the initial years of operation.
The first step to enter into a detailed benefit assessment was to analyse the possible benefits that may arise due to the introduction of the Kent Permit Scheme. Once completed, this was followed with work to quantify and assess them based on guidelines provided by DfT through Webtag scheme assessment guidelines. During this process, the objectives were kept at the core of the analysis and attributes or criteria of costs and benefits were determined after considering how these objectives could be realised. Due care was given to determine benefit criteria in terms of mechanisms and the metrics by which achievement could be measured.
Nationally, the Permit Scheme process is in the early stages of implementation. Because of this, there was no defined methodology available for estimating the impact and assessing the performance of the Kent Permit Scheme. A methodology was therefore developed specifically for the assessment of the Kent Permit Scheme which combined a traditional approach based on tangible benefits to which monetary values are assigned, and a multi-criteria approach for the intangible benefits. The assessment of Intangible benefits was done using a fuzzy logic approach. The results from the appraisal demonstrated that the introduction of the Permit Scheme into Kent has positive economic and social benefits.
The Permit Scheme introduced in Kent is now being monitored for the realisation of its benefits e.g. journey time savings and journey time reliability improvements. The monitoring results will further demonstrate the positive benefits to the community and economy of application of a permit scheme.
Association for European Transport