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Transport planning and participation: The rhetoric and realities of public involvement

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>17/03/2002
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Transport Geography
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)61-73
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/01/02
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The new direction in transport policy, embodied in the 1998 White Paper, has brought with it a sea change in political thinking about the objectives and process of local transport planning. In this paper, we consider 'the realities' of how one cornerstone of this 'new' agenda, a duty on authorities to undertake 'public participation' in producing their local transport plans, has been conceptualised and integrated within the wider planning practice. Drawing on a research project which involved a survey of English highway authorities and a content analysis of policy documents we evaluate experiences in relation to four key principles of the participation process. The paper concludes that whilst there is considerable activity on the surface, evidence of substantive impacts on local transport planning or a strategic approach to the participation process is sparse - a situation which is, we argue, traceable back to the lack of clarity in central government policy and guidance.