What is a Transport Scoping Study?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 2012) requires the provision of a Transport Assessment where a new development is likely to have a material transport implication and the Department for Transport has produced specific guidance on the issues so that a consistent approach is followed.

The Department of Transport requires an iterative approach to the issue of additional traffic generation and the improvement of sustainable modes of transport must always be considered before measures to increase the capacity of roads or junctions. It is usual for the scope of the assessment to be discussed with the Local Planning/Highway Authorities prior to commencement to ensure the area of study is appropriate to the impact of the development.

A Transport Scoping Study is an initial appraisal consultation with the local highway authority designed to set out background data and to agree the methodology for the subsequent Transport Assessment or Transport Statement.

The data gathered at this stage will form the basis of the Transport Assessment/Transport Statement. Each Transport Scoping Study is unique to the specific development proposal and existing site conditions. Preliminary work in developing a Transport Scoping Study and Transport Assessment/Transport Statement will require a site visit to observe existing highway conditions and to record critical highway measurements. Photographic and other records are usually made. As part of this preliminary work, information may be gathered (depending on the scale of development) including:-

  • Existing sustainable transport infrastructure in the vicinity of the site including walking, cycling and public transport provision.
  • Vehicle speed survey used to determine appropriate visibility requirements.
    • Vehicle speeds are recorded on site using radar or laser vehicle detection devices.
    • At least 100 vehicle speeds are usually required in each direction.
  • Traffic survey of vehicle movements on the highway network at key locations and junctions.
    • Traffic surveys are either manual using enumerators or automatic using video or automatic traffic count (ATC) methods.
    • Traffic surveys usually cover the network peak hour periods for a typical weekday AM and PM and sometimes the weekend peak hour scenario in the case of retail and some leisure developments.
  • Identify highway development constraints both from on site assessment and using council records including highway boundary records, limits of adoption and definitive/public rights of way information. All these are usually obtained from the Local Authority and have an administrative charge. 
  • A more detailed assessment would also include a consultation with utility companies (BT, water, gas, electric etc.) to identify equipment in the vicinity of the development site. Utility equipment can be prohibitively expensive to move if affected by a development access or design and early consultation can help to inform the design process. Obtaining utility information usually incurs administrative charges for the supply of plans and budget costs to divert affected equipment may also be provided if necessary by the relevant utility companies.

Require Assistance with a Transport Scoping Study?

Sanderson Associates have extensive experience in producing Transport Scoping Study reports 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 Scoping Study Services, please call us on 01924 844080 or click here to complete our secure online form.

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