Appraising Mass Rapid Transit Options for Milton Keynes

Published

Victoria Jersova, Senior Transport Planner at Milton Keynes Council, recently submitted her MSc Dissertation in Transport and City planning to UCL’s faculty of the Built Environment. She chose to appraise Mass Rapid Transit options for Milton Keynes.

“It was an interesting process where I’ve learned and articulated that cost of the system, while undoubtedly important, should not be the main factor dictating the directions. It was interesting to use a multi-criteria analysis with stakeholders who decided what attributes of a public transport system are important to them.”

Victoria consulted young people, local cycling and bus groups, external transport experts, MK’s own transport planners, developers, architects, urban designers and many others. Her conclusion:  “National appraisal tools do not fully incorporate environmental and social factors, while objectives in individual MCAs’ (there are many) are too flexible and require some sort of standardisation. Also, psychological rail factor is real and the urban rail-based system is preferred.”

Here’s the Abstract that precedes Victoria’s Introduction:

“Decision making in transport projects frequently leads to extensive discussions, controversy and disagreements. Major projects in particular are the subject of scrutiny by multiple stakeholders. Milton Keynes committed to be carbon neutral by 2050 and seeks to deliver a Mass Rapid Transit system to accommodate growth and achieve ambitious environmental targets. This work examines previous studies conducted by the authority including the effectiveness of the project appraisal techniques used. It seeks to understand if a participatory Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) is a better approach to appraise such transport projects. The study examines the importance of incorporating scenario planning as well as local policies and objectives in the appraisal process. It seeks to understand what the balance between the capital cost of the system in comparison to social and environmental objectives should be in the MCA. The study shows that a fully participatory MCA method, developed by combining Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Analysis (Macharis, 2012) and Multi-Criteria Mapping (Stirling, 1998) and giving maximum power to the stakeholders, is not only a robust method for understanding attitudes towards different options, but also an efficient way to address local challenges.”

Victoria has very kindly agreed to share her research, analysis, appraisal methods, final results, key findings and reflective conclusions with Smart Classes and with our wider community.

If you’d like to download her unabridged dissertation, please complete the short form below to receive full access to the PDF.

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