Simon Moon writes an article for the September issue of Focus.
Over the last two years, I have continued to develop my career in transport planning, being promoted to my current position in September 2017. My day-to-day role sees me working on a range of development sites, including proposals for leisure centres, schools and commercial units, all of which make me revisit the question I posed back in 2016: what is an acceptable walk distance?
I think the development industry as a whole is still grappling with this one, although I am glad to say that my earlier research on the subject has been backed up by a number of pragmatic views on development locations. I have worked on projects where proposals have been located slightly further away from their associated trip attractors/generators compared with some of the existing guidance, highlighting that each site needs to be considered on its own sustainable merits. We will continue to watch this space to see how land can be used effectively to bring forward development whilst also promoting environmentally friendly walking trips, a focus of the 2018 National Planning Policy Framework.
With regards to what I still find interesting about my job, I take reference from an interview I conducted with a graduate a few months ago. As I was closing I asked the standard questions: 'Is there anything you would like to know?' The response was somewhat beyond a standard query, and I believe a credit to the candidate, as was asked: 'Why do you practise transport planning?' My response was simple: I enjoy having an influence on the world around us and seeing my input come to fruition in the form of the developments DHA has worked on. With that in mind, I hope over the forthcoming years I can continue to have a positive impact on the built environment, providing meaningful advice at the earlier transport planning stage.