What is a Transport Assessment?

The recently reviewed and published National Planning Policy Framework, (NPPF) states that ‘All developments that will generate significant amounts of movements should be required to provide a Travel Plan, and the application should be supported by a transport statement or transport assessment so that the likely impacts of the proposal can be assessed.”

Transport Assessments are normally produced by specialist transport planning professionals such as Sanderson Associates on behalf of developers and are used by decision makers to determine if the proposal is in keeping with the relevant planning policy framework and transport strategy.

A Transport Assessment is a comprehensive and systematic process that sets out transport issues relating to a proposed development and it identifies what measures will be taken to deal with the anticipated transport impacts to improve accessibility and safety for all modes of travel, particularly for sustainable transport alternatives to the car such as walking, cycling and public transport.

In some cases, dependant on the Local Planning Authority guidelines, the transport issues arising out of a development proposal may not require a full Transport Assessment, in these instances, it has become common practice to produce a simplified report in the form of a Transport Statement. There will also be situations where the transport issues relating to a development proposal are negligible, and no formal assessment is necessary , again this is dependent upon the Local Planning Authority and varies throughout the Country. At Sanderson Associates, we have a broad knowledge of the requirements for many Local Planning Authorities and can help you in deciding which option is best.

Transport Assessments should consider the impact of the development on all transport modes, set out proposals to minimise the impact of the development on the transport network and promote measures to encourage sustainable and environmentally friendly transport. The assessment should be developed through consultation with the relevant stakeholders. This is an iterative process that often requires a number of revisions to the development proposals before it is agreed that the transport impact of the development has been reduced to a minimum. At this point the residual transport impact is assessed and mitigation measures are designed as necessary. Figure 1 below outlines this approach:-

Iterative Transport Assessment Process

This iterative approach to the Transport Assessment ensures that improvements to sustainable modes of transport are always considered first whereas measures to increase the capacity of roads or junctions are only considered at the end of the process mitigating the traffic impact of the development.

Transport Assessments identify the impact of the development in ‘person trips’ these are then broken down by transport mode. This normally involves the use of the nationally accepted TRICS database which challenges and validates assumptions about transport impacts of new developments” and provides trip generation models for analysis. Alternatively the use of bespoke survey data from other development sites can be used. This can give a more accurate estimate of trip generation if a suitably representative site can be found in close proximity to the new development proposal.

Once the trips have been estimated, their distribution on to the network can be predicted. This can be carried out though various techniques, including gravity models or using existing travel pattern information or other empirical data. Information is also gathered on any existing person/vehicle trips from the site and these are deducted from the model to produce a net increase or decrease in trips, agreed assessment periods normally considered are weekday AM/PM and weekend peak hour periods.

Now the net trip predictions are known, the local transport network is examined to establish whether capacity exists that can adequately accommodate them. Assessing the traffic impact on the highway network usually requires an assessment of the highway links and junction connections where the potential impact is anticipated. The traffic assessment will normally include junction modelling of current traffic movements plus movements for when the development is complete and then for future design year scenarios, which are normally at least 5 years hence. Surveys of existing traffic flows on the local network are required to establish the base situation, with traffic growth factors applied to predict future design year conditions. These are derived through the National Trip End Model (NTEM) forecasts used in the TEMPro software package (developed by the Department for Transport) or other empirical data.

Where the traffic assessment identifies that the level of additional traffic movements cannot be accommodated by existing infrastructure, then off site highway improvements need to be considered to ensure that the impact of the development is neutral. Similarly pedestrian/cycle routes and public transport facilities are examined and if improvements are necessary to accommodate development trips, then improvements need to be considered to these facilities to encourage access by sustainable modes.

The operational safety of a development is a key consideration and a detailed appraisal of the recorded personal injury accident records for the local highway network is usually required, determining casualty, linked factors and common problems that may need to be addressed as part of the development.

The assessment concludes with a summary of its findings and recommendations outlining the developments compliance with National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Local Plans.

Local Plans are produced by each local planning authority and is the key to delivering sustainable development that reflects the vision and aspirations of the local community. Planning decisions must be taken in accordance with the plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Local Plans are designed to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. To this end, they should be consistent with the principles and policies set out in National Planning Policy Framework, including presumption in favour of sustainable development. The National Planning Policy Framework also indicates that the development should not be prevented or refused on highway grounds unless there is an unacceptable impact on highway safety or the resultant impact on the road network is severe.

Require Assistance with a Transport Assessment?

Sanderson Associates have extensive experience in providing Transport Assessments, Transport Statements and Travel Plans for a wide variety of major and minor developments throughout the whole of the UK, Isle of Man and Ireland.

We would be pleased to provide you with our competitive fee proposal for the provision of our Transport Assessment Services, please call us on 01924 844080 or click here to complete our secure online form.


What our Clients' say:

Construction Traffic Management Plan

Mon 15 April 2019

Sanderson Associates have been very helpful for us and our clients. They proved efficiency and competitive pricing. Thank you for your services. Andreea Raicu, Architect, Tang & Associates Ltd

Flood Risk Assessment, Testimonial, Industrial Development, Sheffield

Tue 19 March 2019

Sanderson’s were a great in helping us with our planning application for a new material silo at our manufacturing base in Sheffield. Darren was efficient and swift in his discussions with the council on the need for a flood risk assessment on the site. Darren’s knowledge of the site and surrounding area and consequent discussions […]

Travel Plan

Wed 21 November 2018

We have worked with Ashley, found the service very professional, efficient and cost-effective. We received the surveys and reports on time and were kept fully appraised with everything, excellent service all round. Recommend using Sanderson again in the future. Thank you, Al Ihsan Trust

Access Appraisal in Support of the Reinstatement of Access to a Residential Dwelling

Tue 7 August 2018

Brett, I would just like to pass on my personal thanks for the assistance you offered us in our planning application to reinstate an unused driveway into our renovation property. From the initial contact with the office staff, through the quote and the carrying out of the road survey, drawings, and associated work through to […]

Highway Technical Letter in Support of Residential Development – Testimonial

Thu 25 January 2018

Excellent service, very professional and enabled a very positive response back to the Highways Agency with a site plan we were having difficulties with. I’d highly recommend Sanderson’s. Peter Wilson, Individual

Transport Statement and Access Advice, Residential Development Circa 60 Dwellings – Testimonial

Fri 5 May 2017

During the course of the compiling the report for submission to planning I found Adam Darwin’s attitude and approach was very professional and supportive. We had several issues to resolve and I found him to respond very quickly and produce revised drawing for discussion with an excellent turnaround time. His phone manner and advice were […]

Flood Risk Assessment, Data Centre, Keighley

Wed 8 March 2017

Good communication and persistence coupled with a high level of professional expertise, has enabled what looked initially to be an insurmountable objection to be overcome. J O Steel, J O Steel Consulting, Bingley

Swept Path Analysis, New Build House, Testimonial

Wed 15 February 2017

Sandersons were appointed to conduct our swept path analysis study for a modern new build house in London. We found the service personable, attentive and thorough. Further, when confronted by a design problem, they were creative and positively contributed to its resolution. Ben Kirk, Associate, Edgley Design

Transport Statement – Proposed Residential Development, Shipley

Thu 8 December 2016

You were recommended to us for a housing site where you had previous experience of the neighbouring land. Every part of the experience was simple and positive and we have no problem recommending your services and consider you for further works. From us at Lumia Homes part of Incommunities Housing Association we would like to […]

Transport Statement, Proposed Residential Development, 6 Detached Dwellings

Wed 23 November 2016

Mr Greenwood is a highway wizard and worked his magic on the Hardingham scheme, without Sandersons input I am confident this scheme would have not passed… Henry Isotta-Day – Architectural Design Engineer, Clayland Architects

Transport Assessment, Anticipated Transport Impacts, Transport Statement, Transport NetworkSustainable Transport, Travel Plan, National Planning Policy Framework, NPPF, Department For Transport Person Trips, TRICS, Gravity Models, Local Transport Network, National Trip End Model