Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Memoranda

Memorandum by Institution of Highways and Transportation (TAB 48)


  1.  This submission is concerned with the transport issues associated with tall buildings.


  2.  The inquiry brief does not define what it considers to be a "tall building". For our submission a precise definition is not needed since the transport issues raised are common to all developments. However, a definition will be needed to clarify the scope of the inquiry.


  3.  Tall buildings are usually used as offices or residential units. Therefore the transport impacts usually coincide with, and add to, peak traffic flows.

  4.  Tall buildings attract and generate substantial numbers of trips in a focused area of the transport network when the existing transport infrastructure or systems are heavily loaded or overloaded.

  5.  Most tall buildings are located in urban centres where access and parking are often difficult. The construction of new tall buildings places additional demands on already stressed transport services and infrastructure, often in a particularly concentrated manner.

  6.  Tall buildings represent high-density development and should only be permitted near major transport interchanges with capacity to accommodate additional passenger flows, or the potential for increased capacity. "Proximity in public transport" and "accessibility" should be material considerations in determining the appropriateness, nature, scale and location of tall buildings.

  7.  Applications for tall buildings must be accompanied by a comprehensive transport assessment in accordance with best practice in the forthcoming DTLR guidance "Transport Assessments: A Good Practice Guide". They should also conform to other relevant Planning Policy Guidance Notes (or whatever replaces any or all of them arising from the recent Green Paper on Planning). The inquiry should consider any conclusions and recommendations in the light of potential changes to the planning system.

  8.  Transport Assessments should pay due attention to access by all the non-car travel modes and the access needs of disabled people.

  9.  Developer and/or occupiers should modify the application, or fund new or enhanced transport infrastructure and services, in order to minimise any adverse transport impacts and overcome objections or reasons for refusal. A "Travel Plan" should be required to encourage more sustainable travel behaviour.

  10.  Applications for tall buildings should be accompanied by an Emergency Plan detailing access arrangements in the event of an emergency or major incident.


  11.  The Institution of Highways & Transportation (IHT) represents over 10,000 professionals working in highways and transportation in the public and private sectors. It promotes professionals excellence as the leading learned society dealing with urban and regional transport systems and infrastructure at all stages of the project life cycle. We would be delighted to present oral evidence and answer questions if the Committee would find it of value.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 22 January 2002