Local Strategic Partnerships and accessibility planning

Project details

Full project title: Local Strategic Partnerships, Transport and Accessibility: developing an issues paper

Sponsors: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department for Transport

Project Manager: Dr Kiron Chatterjee

Principal Researcher: Reg Harman

Supporting staff: Professor Glenn Lyons and Professor Murray Stewart

Start date: December 2003

Finish date: April 2004

Project briefing sheet: Download the briefing sheet document (PDF)

Project report: Download the final project report (PDF)

Project summary

This research study was funded as part of a larger study - a national evaluation of Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) being undertaken on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and the Department for Transport (DfT) by the Universities of Warwick, Liverpool John Moores, West of England, Bristol, and the Office for Public Management, London. The Centre for Transport and Society (CTS) was commissioned to write an issues paper investigating the role that LSPs could play in the accessibility planning process which is a requirement for local authorities to address in their development and monitoring of Local Transport Plans (LTPs).

Local Strategic Partnerships are intended to play a key role in the delivery of public policy objectives at local level across a range of policy areas. The Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) report 'Making the Connections' highlighted the problems that some people have in access to work, learning, healthcare, etc. The report reviewed the underlying causes, a principal factor being seen as the lack of responsibility for any one body to ensure that people can reach key services and employment sites. The report made a number of recommendations; in particular that accessibility planning be built into the LTPs prepared and monitored by local authorities. This requires both technical processes and partnership working with stakeholders in other policy areas, and DfT have been actively coordinating development of methods and advice in these areas.

The issues paper has been used to assist the DfT in developing guidance for local authorities on the process of accessibility planning, by considering the SEU's suggestion that LSPs could play an important role in accessibility planning. In developing the issues paper, CTS selected a number of case studies to investigate current experience of partnership working between LSPs and LAs. The case studies were chosen to produce a balanced sample with respect to geographical spread, settlement type (e.g. urban, rural), local authority type and political control. Examples were sought where there was well developed partnership working and where there was a lack of partnership working to address accessibility issues. The issues paper has drawn out the factors that influence successful partnership working and has produced recommendations. As part of the study, a one day seminar was held to present the initial findings to the professional communities involved with LSPs and accessibility planning and to obtain their views.

'withinreach' is also a Department for Transport-sponsored programme providing training and advice for English local transport authorities concerned with accessibility planning.