This years' CILT President, Jim Steer, has this week given a lecture in central London to an audience that included the nation's leading transport professionals. The talk, titled "Transport Planning: Back to the Future?" traced the evolution of transport planning from its origins in the 1960s. It posed some fundamental questions about what's needed ahead. Jim argued that we can't have efficient project plans if they are not joined up – and that in transport, of course, everything interacts.
The combination of unprecedented demographic growth, striking shifts in the balance of use of the various transport modes and the striking impact of agglomeration economics in London, he said, mean that the challenges on our transport networks are very great indeed. Jim called for a National Spatial Plan to provide a framework within which transport plans can be developed, tested and continually updated.
"No longer should good planning be seen as inimical to the strong role that the private sector plays in urban renewal and a growing economy. Businesses need certainty, and clear and accessible plans that the private sector has had a role in formulating come from plans at national, regional and city level," said Jim.