Demonstrating the Regeneration Impacts of Transport Investment



Demonstrating the Regeneration Impacts of Transport Investment

Authors

HILL E C, WENBAN-SMITH A, The MVA Consultaney, SIMMONDS D, David Simmonds Consultancy, GRANT M, Merseytravel and SIDEBOTHAM J, Centro, UK

Description

Historically it is clear that past transport changes have had enormous affects on urban form and function. For a number of reasons, this influence has not featured significantly in the formal evaluation of most recent transport schemes. The development of

Abstract

Historically it is clear that past transport changes have had enormous affects on urban form and function. For a number of reasons, this influence has not featured significantly in the formal evaluation of most recent transport schemes. The development of means of mass transport played a major role in the trend of urban concentration in the nineteenth century, and increasing dominance of car and lorry have played an equally large part in the dispersion of people and activity away from cities since 1945. The importance of Wansport has however tended to be taken as read, and transport proposals have been judged primarily by how efficiently they perform in transport terms - on measures such as time- savings to users, reductions in accidents and financial performance of operators.

Increasing concern about the wider effects of transport investment mean that this is no longer tenable, It is now..re~ognised that, in congested conditions, road-building may generate additional traffic, making meeting demand ('predict and provide') a hopeless task, and that the balance of investment between public and private transport may critically affect the achievement of urban policy aims.

Policies on urban regeneration have evolved in important ways over the last few years, and may be expected to continue to do so. At all levels there has been increased recognition of the interdependency of the many different aspects of urban regeneration and the need therefore to pursue synergies in a purposeful manner. A wide range of economic and social processes are involved: good transport may be a necessary condition but is unlikely to be sufficient. Recognising this, colaboration is increasingly the norm, with action directed by (and often through) partnerships between public, private, voluntary and community agencies.

Three main tendencies are of particular relevance in the UK:

* a decline in 'protected' transport budgets;

* a move from needs-based.to programme-based funding;

* a shift to focus multi-purpose spending programmes on small areas; and

* an increasing stress on partnership.

These developments create significant problems for the proper consideration of the transport contribution:

* an inherent characteristic of a transport improvement is that its benefits are not necessarily found in the same locality;, better access from a neighbourhood to a distant source of employment may depend on a network improvement in between, which would be excluded from a small-area based bid;

* disbenefits from transport improvements (eg noise, severance, visual intrusion) may be disproportionately concentrated in the locality; and

* transport can be a double-edged weapon: better local access to distant jobs will usually also mean better access from a distance to local jobs.

In the light of these considerations, The MVA Consultaney has been commissioned to lead two related studies, in collaboration with Segal Quince Wicksteed and the David Simmonds Conmfltancy. The Merseytravel study I is concomed with all aspects of the relationship between public transport investment and the social and economic regeneration of Merseyside. The objectives of the study are:

* to examine the ways in which public transport provision can affect and contribute to the economic and social regeneration of Merseyside and, from this;

* to develop guidelines for assessing the regeneration effects of specific public transport proposals.

The second study, commissioned by a consortium of local authorities and the Government Office in the West Midlands 2, is both wider and narrower in its scope. It is concerned with evaluating the impact of all transport proposals (not just public transport) on the area, but focuses specifically on the objectives and requirements of the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF). The main objective is to improve the justification, appraisal and monitoring of transport proposals seeking ERDF support, through a re-examination of the strategic role of transport in meeting the aims of ERDF.

Based upon an analysis of the ways in which transport activities lead to economic, social and environmental outputs, and hence to impacts upon ERDF objectives, our aim has been to consider how evaluation procedures might be extended so as to be able to take account of the very major economic, social and environmental effects that transport can have in the longer term.

Publisher

Association for European Transport