What is a Transport Assessment?

The National Planning Policy Framework states that all developments that generate significant amounts of movement should be supported by a Transport Statement or Transport Assessment and submitted with a planning application for the development. It will then be used to determine whether the transport impact of the development is acceptable.

Transport Assessments are normally produced by specialist transport planning professionals such as Sanderson Associates on behalf of developers and are used by decision makers in the planning process.

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

In some cases, the transport issues arising out of a development proposal may not require a full Transport Assessment to inform the process adequately and identify suitable mitigation. 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 limited, and no formal assessment is necessary.

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 transport. To this end, it is a usual requirement that a Transport Assessment is accompanied by a Travel Plan that will be implemented as part of the development proposals upon occupation and sets out measures to encourage sustainable transport.

The Transport Assessment process and the development of measures to encourage sustainable travel should be developed through consultation with the relevant authorities. This is an iterative process that often requires a number of revisions to the development proposals and sustainable travel measures before it can be 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. The diagram below outlines the normal approach:-

Recommended Approach to a Transport Assessment

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

Transport Assessments identify the impact of the development in ‘person trips’, which are then broken down by transport mode. This normally involves the use of the nationally accepted TRICS database that enables the calculation of person/vehicle trips rates for different forms of development. Alternatively the use of bespoke survey data from other development sites are used, which can give a more accurate estimate of trip generation if a suitably representative site can be found in close proximity to the development site being considered.

Once development trips have been estimated, the distribution of trips can be predicted 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 existing use of the site and these are discounted from the network, to produce a net increase or decrease in trips within agreed assessment periods, which are usually considered during weekday AM/PM and weekend peak hour periods.

Once the net trip predictions are known, the local transport network is examined to establish whether capacity exists that can adequately accommodate development trips. When assessing the traffic impact on the highway network, this usually requires assessment of the immediate highway links and junction connections, with the scope of assessment limited to the highway network where the potential for material impact is anticipated. The traffic assessment will potentially include junction modelling of traffic movements in existing, opening and 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, derived through the National Trip End Model (NTEM) forecasts or other empirical data.

Based on traffic surveys undertaken by Sanderson Associates at various locations throughout the United Kingdom between 2005 and 2011, it is clear that traffic volumes have not increased to the extent previously estimated. In some cases base traffic levels have decreased by up to 10% over this time period, resulting in improvements in network performance rather than capacity problems that were previously forecast. These changes in traffic growth forecasts have now been recognised by the Department for Transport and can be calculated using TEMPro software.

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, i.e. that it is no worse than existing circumstances. 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 Updated February 2019) 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 development.

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 to provide you with 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 Network, Sustainable Transport, Travel Plan, National Planning Policy Framework, NPPFDepartment For Transport, Person Trips, TRICS, Gravity Models Local Transport Network, National Trip End Model, PPG13 Transport