Transportation Planning & Infrastructure Design Consultants

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The Planning Process

SCP can advise and guide you through any highway and transport matters within the planning process for a development.

Any significant development requires planning consent. For example new housing, employment, healthcare or education developments.

To be accepted by the Local Planning Authority (Local Council) a planning application must be supported by the right documents. If your development has highway implications it is likely that you will require our services. Scroll down to see the range of services and documents we can provide.

These documents will vary by both the type and size of a development. Trigger levels for the following documents do differ slightly across the country and whilst details can be found on the relevant Council’s web site, alternately you are invited to contact SCP so we can advise you what supporting transport documents will be required.

A well-developed master plan allows for opportunities to be taken advantage of and any risks to be minimised and mitigated both before and throughout the construction phase, thus ensuring that the best value for your scheme is achieved.

SCP are highly experienced at site master-planning and regularly liaise with town planners, architects, landscape architects and developers to ensure that both non-motorised transport modes and vehicles are fully considered at the initial stage. SCP provide input on all infrastructure needs including highway layout, drainage strategy, flood risk assessments, site levels, utility investigations and all matters of phasing. Our involvement ensures efficiency in developing the site and minimises unavoidable costs and delays.

Site master-planning and the detailing of site levels is a complicated task which requires careful thought and consideration. This process requires a transport planner to provide layout and phasing advice and an engineer with capability to consider and manage the relationship between the geotechnical, structural, environmental and civil engineering disciplines.

SCP’s professionally qualified staff are able to offer sensible solutions to complicated site level problems. To do this SCP use the most up to date 3D modelling packages to review and present the data and results.

These services aim to minimise or mitigate the need for unnecessary earthworks and alterations to statutory undertaker services, which can be expensive, environmentally unfriendly and also programme heavy.

Transport Statement

A Transport Statement is a report which may be required to support a planning application. It demonstrates that a site can be accessed by different modes of transport and reviews the impact of a development on the surrounding highway network.

If your application requires a Transport Statement please contact SCP.

A Transport Statement supports modest size developments and looks at how accessible the development is by the different modes of transport (foot, cycle, public transport and car etc.). It will consider how people and goods will get to/from the site and the road safety record, the likely parking and traffic generation and how this will split by each mode, and assess whether the provision is adequate and aligns with policy, recommending improvement where necessary. SCP regularly prepare Transport Statements for clients.

Transport Assessment

A Transport Assessment is required to support a planning application for large developments when a Transport Statement is not sufficient. It is a report which demonstrates that a site can be accessed by different modes of transport and reviews the impact of a development on the surrounding highway network.

If your application requires a Transport Assessment please contact SCP.

A Transport Assessment is similar to a Transport Statement (see above) but looks at larger developments. It additionally considers the design and operation of the site access and the impact of traffic on the local highway network and junctions.

Where capacity is exceeded a Transport Assessment may recommend junction alterations and show how these changes enable the extra traffic to be safely accommodated. SCP regularly prepare Transport Assessments for both public and private sector clients.

Travel Plan

A Travel Plan is a document which sets targets for and encourages sustainable transport modes for new and existing developments. A Travel Plan can be used to accompany a planning application.

Travel Plans are strategy documents used to baseline how people get to and from a development site. Its role is to positively influence peoples travel patterns encouraging them onto more active and sustainable modes of travel, most typically walking, cycling and public transport, but can also cover encouraging car sharing, use of low polluting cars and home working.

Do get in touch with SCP if you require a Travel Plan or have a Travel Plan already and need help.

The aim is to actively take steps to reduce congestion, improve wellbeing and minimise the impact on air quality. Travel Plans are “active” in that they need monitoring and if not achieving targets steps are usually required to be taken to overcome barriers to achieving the Travel Plan’s targets. As well as the full Travel Plan, there are a number of variations of Travel Plan each used in specific circumstances, SCP can advise which type of Travel Plan you require but a brief explanation is given below:

  • Framework Travel Plan – these are prepared where there are numerous end users for the development such as a mixed-use development with retail, leisure and restaurant uses. The Framework Travel plan provides the context within which individual Travel Plans for each part of the larger development is prepared and actively managed.
  • Interim Travel Plan – This type of Travel Plan is usually prepared to accompany a planning application where the end user is unknown. A full Travel Plan will need to be prepared and is usually a condition of planning permission. The Interim Travel Plan provides the starting point for the full Travel Plan which would be prepared once the end user is known and baseline surveys of the site users can be undertaken, allowing accurate targets to be set.

Once a Travel Plan is active they are managed by a Travel Plan Coordinator who oversees the performance of the Travel Plan, proposes corrective action where targets are off track, fulfils the reporting obligations to the Planning Authority and leads any negotiations.

SCP have considerable experience in preparing Travel Plans and acting as Travel Plan Coordinators to many sites and clients.

Site Access and Internal Layout Design

A safe, practical and compliant design creates the front door to a development.

It is important to design the site access and the internal site layout so that they work both practically and safely. The layouts need to provide for pedestrian and cycle needs as well as service and emergency vehicles and of course the car. SCP’s approach to design is to develop a solution that best suits the site but also minimises cost through (for example) minimising structures and avoiding unnecessary statutory undertaker costs.

Depending on the type of development being planned the internal layout could be a road layout for adoption by the local Highway Authority or a private service road, service areas or car park.  SCP are experienced at designing all types of vehicular, pedestrian and cycle areas.

Please get in touch with SCP for help with your site access and layout.

Layout Design Modelling/Vehicle Swept Paths

Testing designs to make sure they work and are safe.

If you need a layout testing before you build it please contact SCP.

When designing for vehicles it is important to check that the junction, site or road layout works. It is very expensive to build a layout only to find out later you have operational problems. SCP can model any type of vehicle from the largest lorries, specific refuse vehicles or fire engines, cars and of course a wide range of specialist vehicles. Consideration needs to be given to vertical objects like walls and street lights, and gradients which can make turning harder and more space consuming.

SCP use the latest computing software to model site and car park layouts, service areas, roads and junctions.

Microsimulation Modelling

Testing the highway network using a computer model.

While today’s traffic congestion levels can be assessed using traditional methods, often the results of assessments can be much more easily conveyed using the visual display qualities of micro-simulation.

If you require any junction modelling contact SCP.

Typically SCP use VISSIM on a large number of projects, assessing often complex situations such as:

  • Motorway intersections;
  • Urban highway networks incorporating light-rail systems;
  • Public transport interchanges; and
  • Individual junctions with site specific complications.

Our use of VISSIM (and other models) has also included more unique environments such as container terminals, assessing the impact of automatic vehicle control and identification systems on vehicle throughput and queuing levels.  We also pioneered the use of VISSIM in pedestrian environments by using it in combination with the Pedroute software program to provide instantaneous population projections for the ticket halls at the Canary Wharf Jubilee Line station.

The benefits of micro-simulation modelling are clear:

  • Traffic flows, vehicle conflicts and queuing visualised in context;
  • Networks and complex situations that can’t be tested using traditional methods can be assessed;
  • Sensitivity and scenario testing is simple to undertake; and
  • Results are easily displayed at public consultation events, committee meetings or public inquiries.

Junction Modelling

The assessment of an existing or proposed junction to test capacity and check for queues.

If you require any kind of network modelling, contact SCP.

Transport Assessments frequently require the inclusion of junction modelling by a variety of methods. These include more traditional methods such as ARCADY, PICADY, TRANSYT and LinSig and more cutting-edge Microsimulation Modelling such as VISSIM. All of SCP’s software is updated regularly to ensure the most accurate results possible. Our software allows us to test multiple potential improvements to develop the most cost-effective and efficient solutions, when necessary.

Expert Witness (Appeals and Inquiries)

Making the technical arguments at planning appeals and writing appeal statements.

If you are considering an appeal on highway or transport grounds please get in touch with SCP.

When a planning application is refused this can be challenged through an appeal. Appeals can take a range of formats, from an exchange of written correspondence, informal hearings, and formal Public Inquiries. SCP are experienced at all these formats. Appeals can turn on technical arguments and it is important that you have the right team to support your appeal. SCP regularly work with a number of top Barristers and will help present your case in the best way possible to influence the Inspector to swing the decision in your favour.

Travel Plan Coordinator

A Travel Plan Coordinator is appointed to ensure the success of a Travel Plan. They are responsible for implementing, monitoring and reviewing a development’s Travel Plan.

If you require a Travel Plan Coordinator or any support with an existing Travel Plan get in touch with SCP.

Planning Conditions often state that a Travel Plan should be implemented and monitored for a minimum of 5 years. Our experienced team can help you to discharge a Travel Plan Condition by acting as Travel Plan Co-ordinator or supporting a Travel Plan Co-ordinator allocated from within your organisation. SCP can arrange and undertake Travel Questionnaires and provide a paper and online survey capability to identify existing travel patterns and ascertain measures which encourage a change to be made. SCP use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to map existing travel patterns, and identify those who could change their patterns.

Typical measures include the production of maps and written materials in a travel pack to promote the various ways to access the site, provision of storage for cycles and equipment, car share schemes, and parking management.

Services associated with the Travel Plan Co-ordinator role include:

  • Production of a final Travel plan, once travel surveys have been distributed and collated including BREEAM, CEEQUAL and carbon-linked travel plans
  • Production of informative promotional materials such as welcome packs
  • Event assistance and site user engagement
  • Steering group support
  • Travel survey distribution (online and paper) and analysis
  • Negotiation of discounts for the travel plan
  • Monitoring

Public Rights of Way, Temporary and Permanent Diversion and Stopping Up Orders

Public roads, byways and footpaths/bridleways have legal protection and can only be closed or diverted once the right legal processes have been completed.

If you require any assistance with either temporary or permanent diversion and also with stopping up orders then please get in touch with SCP who are experienced at making such applications on behalf of clients.

Development sites can be crossed or affected by Public Rights of Way (PRoW) and historic “adopted” highways maintainable at public expense. Both these types of highways have legal protection. Established PRoW’s routes are recorded by Local Transport Authorities and are displayed on their Definitive Map and Adopted Highways are shown on their Highways Register.

If as part of your development you plan to temporarily or permanently divert or close a PRoW or highway you must follow the correct legal process using either the Town and Country Planning Act or through The Highways Act both of which require a different approach and have different legal tests which need to be satisfied.

The process can be lengthy, requiring advertisement of the stopping up or diversion in local press and can often involve negotiation with objectors in order to ensure that satisfactory alternative provision of routes are established especially where the amenity of the route is affected.

Parking Stress Survey

Parking stress surveys are a useful tool in assessing the existing provision and demand for parking for any given site. They can give an indication of local demand patterns and vehicle movement across any given day.

SCP are experienced in delivering parking stress surveys for our clients and are able to provide advice and solutions to any issues which are identified through the survey as well as using the results to support new development proposals. If you would like more information on parking stress surveys get in touch with SCP.

Driven By Desire

At SCP, we are driven by the desire to provide clients with better value and are committed to ensuring that we offer our clients the technical solutions they require to achieve their goals


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