David Simmonds Consultancy Ltd was set up in 1990 and has carried out a wide variety of studies for public and private clients in the UK and abroad. These studies have ranged from brief reviews of particular subjects to major projects in forecasting and impact assessment. Many have been carried out in collaboration with other leading firms in transport, planning, economics and property consultancy.
One of our specialities is forecasting the impacts of transport on regional economies and on urban activities and development. In this we can consider the effects of public and private transport, passengers and goods, and changes in services and pricing as well as changes in infrastructure. We are also very much involved in forecasting the impacts of planning policies, that is, how plans for the physical development or redevelopment of an area will translate into numbers of households of different kinds, numbers of jobs, and so on, taking account of the impact that new developments will have on the occupancy of the existing stock. Much of our work is carried out using formal land-use models and land-use/transport interaction models. We are also increasingly involved in appraisal; that is, not just forecasting what will happen, but also analyzing who will be affected by the benefits and disbenefits involved.
March 2021: DSC, as sub-consultants on the ARUP-AECOM Highways England SPATS2 Framework, have recently been commissioned by Highways England, along with AECOM, to undertake a series of model enhancements to the DELTA based Economy Model. The Economy Model was originally developed in 2017/2018 to provide a strategic land-use model of Great Britain which could be driven by the combined outputs of Highways England’s five regional traffic models. It was used to test the Roads Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) package of transport improvements. The enhancements commissioned centre around four main objectives, to support continued use of the model in-house, better understand and improve the treatment of accessibility, build confidence in the model through improving the evidence base, and finally adding some flexibility around the deployment of variant scenarios. The work is scheduled to take place through to the end of the 2021/2022 financial year.
February 2021: DSC is currently undertaking some further work for Transport for the North (TfN) which enhances their Wider Impacts Calculator (WIC). WIC is a Python based analysis tool which calculates a number of wider economic impact measures using outputs from their NELUM land-use economic model. DSC completed the original WIC in Spring 2020. The core part of WIC replicates the calculation of standard impact measures including agglomeration, more people in work, and moves to more productive jobs, which were previously done in DfT’s WITA software. WIC aims to provide a more transparent and user friendly method for doing such calculations. Beyond the core measures, WIC also calculates land value uplift, labour market and social and distribution impacts. The enhancements work develops each of these areas further. The work will deliver a fully audited comparison to WITA to verify the calculator can accurately reproduce it, as well as improvements to calculation of labour market impacts and extending the land-value uplift calculations to include non-residential land-use types. The work is scheduled to run until April 2021.
February 2021: DSC has been commissioned by TfL to integrate their latest transport model “MoTiON" to DSC’s land use model "LonLUM" and deliver a new version of LonLUTI (3.0). This work will be done in collaboration with Jacobs and SYSTRA. The work will take around 4 months to complete and will enable the use of an updated LUTI model for Greater London in the future to assess and appraise the impacts of transport on urban activities, development and regional economies.
January 2021: DSC is currently part of a large team of consultants led by Atkins and including Jacobs, Avison Young and Cambridge Econometrics, who are undertaking a connectivity study in the Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet corridor. The work is being delivered to a consortium of stakeholders comprising the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet (C2E Partnership) with funding provided by MHCLG. This wide ranging piece of work will test a number of possible connectivity improvements alongside land development opportunities, to determine which combinations support economic growth and regeneration. The study will use the London land-use model (LonLUTI) to inform the interactions between accessibility change, development and wider economic impacts. The model outputs will help explain complex interactions and support the development of a business case for enhancing transport links in the area and reconcile those with ambitions around housing growth.
December 2020: Green Book - The 2020 edition of the Treasury Green Book sets out new requirements for “place-based analysis” as part of the appraisal of proposals for UK government investment and other interventions. It specifies that place-based analysis is required – if such analysis is proportionate to the proposal, and unless it can be shown that there is no need to do it - for proposals that are national in objective but are expected to have localised effects, and proposals that are targeted on particular localities or types of locality.
We have long argued that the spatial distribution of benefits from government actions is important. (We have been making this point from our very first project, which looked at the expected effects of the East London Line Extension – now part of the London Overground – on residents of the deprived areas it would serve.) We therefore welcome the changes to the Green Book and look forward to following them through in practice.
October 2020: Andy Dobson retired from working for DSC at the end of September. All his recent and former colleagues join in wishing him a long and happy retirement.