The recently published West London Transport Plan promises improvements in orbital connectivity and access to key centres in the sub-region, and provides a new model which can help evaluate the impact of changes and developments.
The plan is the result of considerable consultation and joint working between TfL, the Boroughs, regional and sub-regional partnerships and other stakeholders, and a good deal of modelling and analysis. The plans follow the Interim Reports on Challenges and Opportunities that came out in February 2010.
The West London Transport Plan sets out the following key goals:
- Improve north-south connectivity
- Improve access to, from and within key locations
- Enhance east-west capacity and manage congestion
- Enhance the efficiency of freight movements in the sub-region
- Improve land-based air quality
The promised improvements to north-south connectivity – orbital transport links between the radial arteries of train, tube and trunk roads – will be welcomed. “Getting around”, as opposed to getting in and out, is a perennial problem for the West London economy.
The plan should be flexible. Alex Williams, Director of Borough Partnerships at TfL says: “the sub-regional transport plans are very much “live” documents, recognising that we are in very challenging and changing times”. The plan concludes, for instance, with a listing of possible schemes suggested by various stakeholders, but not yet evaluated or investigated. The list includes the suggestion of a new tube station in Park Royal providing an interchange between Central and Piccdilly lines.
In addition to the plans, TfL has developed a multi-modal computerised transport model for the sub-region. The model can be used to assess the impact of schemes and significant developments. It can be used to examine the present situation, as well as that in future years with a given set of assumptions or scenarios for population, employment and transport improvements.
TfL will maintain this model, and make it available to boroughs, developers and others. They say they want the model to be used widely.
Williams continues: “The plans provide a framework for taking forward a wide range of strategic projects and issues. Many of the proposals require further development and discussion about prioritisation of issues and options. It is proposed to take this work forward through sub-regional panels, steering further work on strategic issues in each region. The intention is to make use of existing sub-regional groups and meetings as far as possible, and the arrangements that are being put in place by partnerships following the review of LIPs funding.”