A successful 2011 TRICS® Conference takes place
The 2011 TRICS® Transport and Development Conference successfully took place in London on 8th November, and initial feedback received from delegates has been very encouraging for the planning of future events.
Around 100 people attended the event at The Royal Aeronautical Society's headquarters by Hyde Park, which many people have commented was an excellent venue. The conference, which was run in association with the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, was CPD-approved, and attracted a wide range of attendees from various consultancies and local authorities as well as representatives from educational establishments and other organisations.
The overall theme of the event was "Transport, Localism and the Big Society", with the conference being split into three distinctive sessions chaired by Lynn Basford of JMP. The first session was called "Localism Bill - Implications for Transport". In this opening session, Councillor Mike Haines, Deputy Chair of the Local Government Association Economy and Transport Programme Board, presented his paper "The Localism Bill - Where Does Transport Planning Make its Mark?" This was followed by Leonora Rozee, ex-Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate, with her paper entitled "Localism - How to Make it Work (this time)". After each session there was plenty of opportunity for a discussion with the panel and the delegates, which was lively and interactive.
Session Two of the conference was entitled "Neighbourhood Plans, Big Society and Who Can Plan Transport?". There were three speakers in this session. Ian Hobbs of Devon County Council spoke about "Neighbourhood Plans and Community Development", giving a good introduction to the theme. Mia Crowther of JMP then followed with her talk about the role of consultants in Neighbourhood Plan projects, and the session was concluded by Tim Smith of Berwin Leighton Paisner, with his paper entitled "Involving Business in Neighbourhood Plans - Resolving Conflicts?"
The delegates had the opportunity to network and discuss the topics of the day over lunch, and a good number of attendees then decided to participate in the after-lunch quiz which also went down well. This was followed by a well-received post-lunch session, a reading from "Grotton Revisited" by David Kaiserman, a light-hearted look at planning which was a perfect interlude before the more serious matter of the third session. This final session was called "Planning for Transport". The first paper was given by Gereint Killa of the Department for Transport, who discussed how the Manual for Streets 2 publication had been applied a year on from its publication. This was followed by Jon Foley of Steer Davies Gleave, who presented his paper entitled "Local Sustainable Transport Fund - Localism or Pragmatism?" The final paper of the day was presented by Heather McInroy, Programme Director of the National Business Travel Network, and was entitled "Reducing the Impacts of Work-Related Travel".
All in all, a very successful conference, and it won't be long before the planning of the 2012 event gets underway. As usual, we shall keep you all informed of progress through this newsletter.
Liverpool named as location for 2012 TRICS® User Meeting
The TRICS® team are pleased to announce that the 2012 TRICS® User Meeting will next year be held in the city of Liverpool for the first time. This continues the TRICS® tradition of taking our annual event for the system's users on the road to various regional locations in the UK. Taking place in the month of June, this annual gathering is the ideal opportunity to hear about developments in the TRICS® project, and to have your own say in the future of the system. It is a highly popular event which is free to member organisations, and continues year-on-year to be an excellent source of feedback for the TRICS® Consortium.
The event, like in 2011, will consist of a series of presentations on topics ranging from system development, research and data collection, good practice in the use of TRICS®, and other associated themes. It is an ideal event for both new and experienced users of the system, and further details on the date and venue for the 2012 meeting will be made available both directly to members and through this newsletter. We also welcome your own ideas on what you'd like to see discussed at next year's event, so please let us know your feedback by contacting one of the TRICS® team (contact details provided within this newsletter).
Preparations underway for 2012 data collection programme
Initial site visits and the production of survey specifications have already commenced for the 2012 TRICS® data collection programme, which will once again cover all 17 TRICS® regions of the UK and Ireland, and will be an increased programme in terms of the total number of surveys to that undertaken in 2011.
Thanks to the feedback provided by the TRICS® Community through our annual User Survey, plus a thorough analysis of the database by the TRICS® team, we are pleased to confirm that the TRICS® Consortium has approved a data collection programme of 240 transport surveys in 2012, to cover a wide range of development types including retail, employment, residential, education, health, leisure, and so on. There are 111 different development types within TRICS®, and a large number of these are to be covered by surveys next year.
As is normal practice, there will be two windows of surveys taking place, in the spring and autumn, with data being added to system updates every three months. The next update is due at the end of this month. This will be followed by an update at the end of March 2012, which is set to include a large number of surveys that have recently taken place across a number of regions.
Introducing Level 3 TRICS surveys
Many within the TRICS® Community understand the difference between Level 1 (traffic) and Level 2 (multi-modal) surveys, and these are now being joined by Level 3 surveys in the annual data collection programme for the South East region.
Level 3 surveys are multi-modal surveys in exactly the same format as Level 2 surveys, but with the addition of a descriptive section on Travel Plan information, plus an integrated "Journey Purpose" count for sites falling under the Employment main land use category. Level 3 surveys are SAM surveys, which have been put together in accordance with our Standardised Assessment Methodology of monitoring the effect of Travel Plans.
A growing number of SAM surveys have taken place in recent years as local authorities decide to integrate our methodology into planning agreements. In addition to these directly-commissioned individual surveys, it has been decided that a small number of TRICS®-commissioned SAM surveys are to be added to the database on an annual basis. The first batch of Level 3 surveys have recently been undertaken in the South East region, and will soon be available in a TRICS® system update.
We have also recently undertaken SAM re-surveys at four pilot sites in the South East. Initially surveyed in 2005, these four sites were re-visited in 2008, and again in 2011, and we hope to update our research report into the effect of Travel Plans accordingly once all of the data has been collated and put through our validation procedures. Further information with regards to this will be made available through this newsletter.
More information about SAM can be found at the TRICS® website at www.trics.org/sam.
System development for remainder of 2011/12 now in progress
The TRICS® team is pleased to announce that a number of system enhancements/changes are being programmed in for completion in the first half of 2012, and that these will be introduced in the June 2012 system update.
All TRICS member organisations were consulted via the 2011 User Survey, and a good number responded with their ideas on system development and data collection. That allowed the TRICS® team to put together system development and data collection proposals, which have recently been approved by the TRICS® Consortium. We would like to thank everyone who took part in the User Survey, as your input is always valuable to us and makes our system truly interactive and inclusive, something we see as a great strength of TRICS®.
Here are some things to look out for in 2012:
- New "day of the week" column in site lists.
- Peak hour modal split information when viewing individual sites.
- Direct export of graphs and charts to Excel/Word.
- "Number of Days" column added to trip rate graphs.
- Explanatory note on definitions of public transport service data.
- Explanatory note on definitions of Residential land use sub-categories.
- Greater detail in "cross test" advice note.
- Indication of home delivery facility for new food superstore surveys.
- Enhanced export of trip rate results screen to include selections made by users.
- Improvements to all Excel/Word exports.
- Export of all trip rate calculations results by mode simultaneously.
- A link to the PTAL generation website for London.
- Improvements to the display of parameter ranges in PDF outputs.
- Further clarity in the inclusion and presence of PFS elements at food superstores.
- New link to definitions of land use types when viewing individual sites.
- Automatic removal of "duplicate" sites from selected sets.
- Names of logged on users to be displayed to assist those wishing to log on.
- Clearer explanation of location type definitions and compatibilities for users.
As these new enhancements to the system are introduced they will be explained in more detail within the TRICS® Library module.
Get your FREE TRICS® SMS text updates
A SMS text updates service is now available free of charge to all members of the TRICS® Community. The latest news and alerts can now be sent via SMS text message to your mobile phone, and recipients of messages do not pay a penny!
Whether it's an update on the TRICS® Conference, User Meetings, system updates or the data collection programme, sign up to our new service and we will keep you up-to-date on developments as and when they happen. All you need to do is contact any member of the TRICS® Development Team with your name and mobile phone number, and we'll set up your free alerts account. It's quick and easy, and you don't need to fill out any forms or complete a registration process - just give us your number. Of course, TRICS® will not give your number out to any third party under any circumstances, and you can cancel your free subscription at any time.
The TRICS® Consortium is keen to provide the latest news and updates in a quick and easy manner, and the TRICS® SMS service is the latest method of keeping in touch with the TRICS® Community - so why not get in touch and give it a go?
TRICS® Training Sessions available
TRICS® training sessions are available to all users. These sessions consist of a full system demonstration plus an interactive workshop session, which allows attendees to fully test the system. These sessions continue to receive good feedback and have been popular with our members at universities, councils and consultancies.
For information on training sessions, please contact Ian Coles.
Quarterly payment option available
We are pleased to confirm the continued availability of a quarterly payment option for all of our members. We understand that cash-flow can be an issue in the current economic conditions, and this option allows user organisations to spread the cost of their annual licences across four quarterly payments, rather than having to pay for their licence in one go. For those wishing to take up this offer, four invoices will be forwarded instead of one, at three-monthly intervals. This does not affect user expiry dates in any way, and all you need to do to set up this option is contact a member of the TRICS® team when your licence is due for renewal.
Free 1 month trial of TRICS® available
A free 1-month trial of the latest full version of TRICS® is available to all organisations upon request. Throughout the free trial period full technical support is available at no cost, and there is no obligation once the period has expired.
Many organisations have already found this trial useful. Anyone interested in the free trial should contact the TRICS® team.