Leading from the Middle-Midlands Connect-The Genesis of a Sub-National Transport Body



Leading from the Middle-Midlands Connect-The Genesis of a Sub-National Transport Body

Nominated for The Neil Mansfield Award

Authors

Jago Penrose, Department for Transport(UK), Henry Kelly, Department for Transport(UK)

Description

This contribution will discuss the analytical process behind the genesis of Midlands Connect's Transport strategy,an example of a bottom up evidence based approach to transport planning.

Abstract

Leading from the Middle-Midlands Connect-The Genesis of a Sub-National Transport Body
Midlands Connect is a burgeoning sub-national transport body covering the centre of England, including the cities of Birmingham, Derby and Nottingham. This year in March they published their transport strategy which sets out their objectives for transport investment in the Midlands over the next 15-20 years.
This contribution will discuss the analytical process behind the genesis of this strategy, as an example of a bottom up evidence based approach to transport planning. The process behind the strategy’s development is of interest as rather than being an example of hierarchical centralised thinking about large scale infrastructure investment, it demonstrates how mechanisms can be developed which combine local stakeholder needs and rigorous analytical methods.
The paper will be structured to broadly follow the different stages of the development of Midlands Connect. For each stage a description of the analytical processes and policy challenges will be discussed including lessons learned.
Introduction-Background to the administration of transport investment in England; the rise, fall and stirring of a revival in sub-national planning.
Stage 1- The Formation of Midlands Connect-driven by Local Enterprise Partnerships. The identification of a gap in the archipelago of transport decision making at a regional level and the development of work packages addressing key concerns and the objectives of the strategy. These included a Hubs and Corridors approach, improving East-West connectivity and international gateways.
Stage 2- The sifting process. More than 500 transport problems were identified, during a comprehensive and pluralist process of stakeholder engagement, including sessions where relevant parties discussed their ideas with technical officers. In order to reduce these to a more manageable number a Common Appraisal Framework was developed. This will be discussed in detail.
Stage 3-Conditional Outputs- 4 Criteria schemes and packages should meet. 60 mph on the strategic road network, highway reliability, sufficient rail capacity and journey time.
Stage 4-Barriers to Growth-Criteria to access which schemes relieve future congestion and capacity constraints likely to hamper key economic sectors. This is based on forecasts of sectoral level economic and employment growth and impact of High Speed Rail on Midlands.
Stage 5-The Full Strategy and beyond. The modelling of sifted schemes and the development of Option Assessment Reviews and scheme sequencing.
In conclusion Midlands Connect provides an interesting example of an organisation developed in a bottom-up fashion, which identified a number of sub-national priorities and made use of an analytically driven evidence based approach to develop a strategy seeking to address these.

Publisher

Association for European Transport