Paul Buchanan

Paul Buchanan at LLT Local Transport Summit in Manchester

Paul BuchananIn its second year, the LLT Local Transport Summit is a gathering of senior level decision-makers and professional experts in local and regional transport initiated by Local Transport Today and supported by the Department for Transport. This year the Summit took place in Manchester on the 16th and 17th November.

The intention is to provide a relaxed environment where those present discuss the fundamentals of good practice in determining transport strategy, setting priorities, linking transport objectives to wider social and economic ones and to embrace changing public and political values, technological capabilities and commercial models.

Volterra Partner Paul Buchanan was invited to attend and give a “provocation” talk.

Paul argued that the current system of transport appraisal, based almost entirely on time savings to users, was not fit for purpose.

The system is static, it assumes no changes to land use, people continue to make the same trips, just a little bit faster.

There was an issue raised in advance about why don’t transport planners carry more weight with government. Paul’s answered ‘because we are measuring/forecasting the wrong things. If we focused on the hard economic outputs of new transport infrastructure ie new houses, new jobs then the politicians and decision makers would be very interested in what we have to say. HS2 has shown that even 30 mins off the journey from London to Manchester gets a big “so what ” in reply from the public. But saying the response would be more jobs, more homes, increased productivity and wealth that would be the basis for a much more powerful argument’.

Paul summed up saying ‘It needs work. The current system has been in place for 50 years and it will be difficult to change, but we should be trying to change not protecting the status quo.’

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ALEX O’BYRNE

Associate

e: aobyrne@volterra.co.uk
t: +44 020 8878 6333

Alex O’Byrne, Associate at Volterra, is an experienced economic consultant specialising in economic, health and social impact, economic strategy, project appraisal and socio-economic planning matters.

Alex has led the socio-economic and health assessments of some of the most high profile developments across the UK, including Battersea Power Station, Olympia London, London Resort, MSG Sphere and Westfield. He has significant experience inputting to EIAs and s106 discussions as well as drafting economic statements, employment and skills strategies and affordable workspace strategies.

Alex is also experienced at economic appraisal for infrastructure. He was project manager of the economic appraisal for the City Centre to Mangere Light Rail in Auckland. He also led the economic and financial appraisals of the third tranche of the Transport Access Program for Transport for New South Wales, in which Alex developed and employed innovative methodological approaches to better capture benefits for individuals with reduced mobility.

He is interested in the limitations of current appraisal methodologies and ways of improving economic and health analysis to ensure it is accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, Alex recognises the importance of transparent and simple to understand analysis and ensuring all work is supported by a robust narrative.

Alex holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Manchester and he was a member of the first cohort of the Mayor’s Infrastructure Young Professionals Panel.

ELLIE EVANS

Senior Partner

e: eevans@volterra.co.uk
t: +44 020 8878 6333

Ellie is a partner at Volterra, specialising in the economic impact of developments and proposals, and manages many of the company’s projects on economic impact, regeneration, transport and development.

With thirteen years experience at Volterra delivering high quality projects to clients across the public and private sector, Ellie has expertise in developing methods of estimating economic impact where complex issues exist with regards to deadweight, displacement and additionality.

Ellie has significant experience in estimating the economic impact across all types of property development including residential, leisure, office and mixed use schemes.

Project management of recent high profile schemes include the luxury hotel London Peninsula, Battersea Power Station and the Nova scheme at London Victoria. Ellie has also led studies across the country estimating the economic and regeneration impact of proposed transport investments, including studies on HS2 and Crossrail.

Ellie holds a degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Cambridge.