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Reviews and Other Projects

Reviews of existing work and methods

In 1997 DSC were commissioned by the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA) to review a range of studies which attempted to forecast the economic impacts of transport changes. The resulting report was used by SACTRA in considering its advice about the future assessment of such impacts. These formed part of the Committee’s 1999 influential report on Transport and the Economy.

In 1998, DSC and ME&P were jointly commissioned by the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA) to carry out a review of available land-use/transport interaction models, so as to provide SACTRA with material to inform their discussions about the kinds of methods that should be used to assess the economic impact of road schemes and other transport changes. One of the findings of this review was that the label “land-use/transport model” substantially under-represents the extent to which models of this type represent the property, labour and product markets, rather than just the “land-use” market. Earlier, DSC carried out two separate reviews on broadly the same subject for the European Commission:

  • at the urban level, as part of an APAS project led by MVA, 1995, and

  • at the regional level, as part of research on the induced traffic effects of TENs improvements, led by HCG.

W S Atkins and DSC were jointly commissioned in 1996 by the Government Office for London to carry out a validation of the LASER land-use/transport model of London and the South-East, developed by Marcial Echenique & Partners (ME&P). DSC were responsible for assembling data on observed changes from the 1981 and 1991 Censuses, for agreeing with ME&P the LASER model runs which attempted to reproduce these changes, and for analysis and reporting of the results. The findings of the validation were used by DfT and ME&P in decisions about subsequent changes to the LASER model. (That evolved into the version of LASER which DSC were commissioned in 2006 to enhance using DELTA to replace the MEPLAN land-use model.)

DSC led a study for the DETR to look at the likely futures of multi-modal passenger modelling, for all aspects of transport planning and at all scales from local to national. The study addressed the question from both ends: what are the foreseeable trends in the information which transport planning processes may require from modelling, and what forthcoming developments in modelling methods can be identified in present research and innovative practice? A report assessing these issues and recommending possible courses of action for DETR and others to support the future needs of transport planning was produced in early 2001. DSC were assisted by MVA, the University of Leeds Institute for Transport Studies and John Bates Services; in addition, reviews of particular topics were commissioned from a number of other leading academics and consultants. A paper summarising the study was presented to the European Transport Conference.


Contributions to modelling and appraisal guidance

DSC were responsible for drafting advice on the use of land-use/transport interaction models as input to the DETR’s Guidance on Methodology for Multi-Modal Studies (GOMMMS). This has since been incorporated into the DfT’s WebTAG. (As of December 2017, the WebTAG version reflects little if any of the development in LUTI modelling since the original drafting in 1999.)

DSC reviewed the draft WebTAG guidance on Wider Impacts when it was originally drafted in 2008. Advice on the assessment of wider impacts has also been provided for other clients including Transport for London.

DSC contributed to National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) project 02-24 on “Assessing Productivity Impacts of Transportation Investments”, intended for the use of federal and state transportation officers in the USA. The guidance addresses data needs, availability, and sources to support the analysis; agency staff capabilities; and audiences for information on productivity improvements. The report is available here.

Training courses

DSC has run training courses in land-use/transport interaction and modelling for:

  • University of Seoul, South Korea

  • Department for Transport, England

  • Communities Scotland

  • Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive.

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