Smart Transport

TRICS launches new approach to infrastructure planning

TRICS, an interactive transport database led by a consortium of six councils, has launched new guidance on its approach to transport planning.

The TRICS database holds a large number of transport survey records of individual developments across Dorset Council, Hampshire County Council, East Sussex County Council, Kent County Council, Surrey County Council, and West Sussex County Council.

The TRICS consortium has put together its new free guidance document after identifying that  “now more than ever, we need to reassess approaches to transport and development planning.”

TRICS had been accused by some of promoting car-based development in the past, but this new guidance makes a specific note of the reduction in vehicular trip generation during the pandemic and the need to adapt to a new way of infrastructure development.

This includes using more data on walking, cycling and public transport to better influence future planning decisions.

The guidance has been prepared at the start of an anticipated period of transition heralded by the publication of Planning for the Future White Paper in August 2020.

The Planning White Paper presents a series of proposals for the wholesale and radical reform of England’s planning system.

This transition is also heralded by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP), which is anticipated in Spring 2021 and will set out an ambitious plan to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport.

A statement from the TRICS consortium said: “There will be a great need for a new environmental approach as we emerge from the pandemic, especially when it comes to the decarbonisation of transport.

“We live in an uncertain world, and the question of uncertainty can clearly be extended to transportation and the future of development planning.”

The “Decide and Provide” guidance has been put together by members of the TRICS team, local highway authorities, the academic profession, the DfT and independent consultants.

TRICS added: “The collaboration behind this project has allowed us to present the idea of the new Decide and Provide approach, while also providing strong evidence, using the wealth of historic survey data within TRICS, of trip generation trends over time, which themselves illustrate that the principles behind this new approach are grounded in hard data.”

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