A set of principles to guide the behaviour of transport planners has been published by the Transport Planning Society.
Writing this week’s Viewpoint column, Keith Buchan, the Society’s director of director of skills, says: “The principles are part of the process of making clients and the public alike value our professional opinion rather than seeing us as guns for hire who follow the money.”
There are five principles, including integrity, clarity, and constructive challenge. On integrity, the TPS says transport planners should provide “robust, independent and honest evidence-based advice which always protects the integrity and objectivity of the profession”. On clarity, planners should make the level of uncertainty clear in all technical work.
“I think a lot of transport planners are quite frustrated people,” Buchan told LTT. He said they wanted their skills to be deployed earlier on in the planning process to assess alternatives, rather than being brought in to prepare the case for a particular solution.
Buchan said the principles could provide support to members who were uncomfortable about doing particular pieces of work.
“One thing to do is to get the principles across to the clients,” he added.
The principles will inform an updated code of conduct for transport planning.
The TPS has also drawn up six principles about the outcomes sought by transport planning, including maximising connectivity while minimising the need to travel.
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