Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) Town Centre Evaluation
Emma Healy, Atkins, Jane Robinson, Atkins, Chris Heywood, Accent
Part of the DfT's Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund evaluation programme, this study aims to determine the impact of sustainable transport measures on town centres, and whether such initiatives can help town centres develop economically.
The aim of the research is to determine the impact of sustainable transport measures on town centres, and whether LSTF type initiatives can help town centres develop economically. It forms a central part of the UK Department for Transport’s LSTF evaluation programme.
The research is being led by Surrey County Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council, Atkins Limited and Accent Market Research Agency, and funded by the Department for Transport.
The study is based on two case study locations, Telford and Redhill, where the LSTF has been used to invest in sustainable transport interventions designed to encourage town centres.
The research aims to address the following:
• How accessibility and behaviour has changed, with reference to both mode and destination;
• What changes to case study town centre economies can be observed (e.g. improving retail confidence and growth, and supporting town centre development and investment); and
• How far can the observed changes to accessibility, travel behaviour and the wider economy be attributed to the LSTF interventions?
The evaluation approach has been informed by a “theory of change” which describes the assumed logic by which LSTF investment is intended to deliver changes in travel behaviour and associated benefits to the retail economy.
The evidence base comprises of a mix of quantitative and qualitative sources, which will allow us to identify a range of viewpoints and alternative explanations; test for consistency/divergence in findings; undertake in-depth investigation to identify causes behind conflicting evidence and explanations; and identify a best fit answer based on a range of evidence available.
Findings and conclusions will be derived from the following data sources:
• on-street town centre user & telephone-based residents questionnaire surveys;
• face-to-face retail business surveys
• focus groups with users of the town centres;
• pedestrian and cycle video counts on the approaches to each of the town centres;
• stakeholder interviews;
• secondary data sources
The study is due to report in April 2016. The report and this presentation will seek to address the following research themes:
• Determine the extent to which observed outcomes can be attributed to LSTF investment;
• Determine what works, why, for whom and in which contexts;
• Determine whether impacts are geographically transferable, and identify lessons learnt to inform the delivery of sustainable transport initiatives in other locations.
Association for European Transport