Colin Harwood won the 2016 Voorhees-Large Prize for his dissertation “An Investigation into the Accuracy of Trip Generation Forecasts for New Developments in England” submitted for his Masters in Transport Planning and Management at the University of Westminster.
Colin is a Senior Transport Planner with Mott MacDonald. Graduating from the University of Exeter with a degree in geography in 2008, Colin’s interest in transport issues developed through some of his degree modules and then in completing his dissertation on road pricing. After graduating Colin joined Brighton & Hove City Council as a Transport Planner, working on a range of projects including the Cycling Town and Local Sustainable Transport Fund programmes. Colin then moved into consultancy, joining Mott MacDonald in 2015. He has regularly assessed planning applications for local highway authorities and supported developers in the preparation of Transport Assessments. Colin also has a keen interest in walking and cycling projects and has undertaken network assessments and worked on a number of schemes, including Lewes Road in Brighton.
To broaden his technical knowledge and to help him work towards becoming a chartered transport planner, Colin decided to study for an MSc in Transport Planning and Management at the University of Westminster, graduating with distinction. For his dissertation Colin was inspired by his work in development planning and decided to focus on an identified research gap in the evaluation of Transport Assessments. The aim of his research was to ascertain how accurately forecasts of the number of trips generated by developments reflected the reality once the developments had been completed. The research looked at forecast and post-development data for 65 sites. The findings supported industry best practice in how forecasts are generated and indicated that the UK approach compares well to methods applied internationally. Whilst there is some variability, the research also found that it was common for Transport Assessments to forecast more trips than actually occurred which, in these cases, supports the robustness of the process of assessing the transport impact of developments.
On being told of his award, Colin said
I am delighted to have won the Voorhees-Large Prize 2016. It will be an honour to receive this and an extra reward for the hard work that went into completing my Masters. I would like to thank my supervisors at the University of Westminster for their support. I hope that, through my research, I have made a small contribution to this evaluation and research gap.