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Core Modules

This module provides an overview of the transport planning process and its relationship with other planning fields such as urban and economic planning. It also discusses and illustrates transport modelling and gives some idea of the various types of modelling tools available to transport planners and engineers. The module considers some practical cases from the transport system as applications to illustrate the key principles behind modelling approaches. The module uses some examples of transport problems and presents an approach to deal with each of them. Finally, the module points out the role of transport planning and how it impacts on the process of decision making. The course is broken down into three main parts: introduction and data collection methods, transport and traffic models and assignment and route choice models. The syllabus covers: data collection; network and zoning systems; the four stage model, principles and approaches of each model. Traffic models which include both macroeconomic and microeconomic models are also taught and appropriate software are discussed. Stochastic and deterministic models are also studied and the theory and practical examples are used to illustrate areas of applications of the models.

This module is designed to give students an understanding of the relevant transport and planning legislation, and policy debates surrounding this legislation. Also the module seeks to develop an understanding of the interaction of social, technological and economic factors which are important to the transport decision-making process. Policy developments and tools to manage transport demand are also covered. The course examines the following issues: trends in transport demand and an introduction to policy perspectives; economic instruments in transport; road pricing; direct regulation of street space (pedestrianisation, parking traffic calming, bus priority); central and local government structures for the administration of transport and planning; local government re-organisation; land use planning and the management of transport demand; land use planning; parking policy; town-friendly traffic planning; and travel plans. There is a considerable emphasis in the module on looking at our current transport problems, the transport policy objectives that we have set ourselves in relation to these problems, then the mechanisms that are in place to achieve the objectives, and consideration of why sometimes policy is not implemented as planned. Case studies of transport policy and planning approaches in Edinburgh, London, Oxford, Groningen, Odense.

This module will enable students to manage and design road networks with consideration of traffic movements, environmental sustainability and safety of all road users. The syllabus will focus on the impact of road user and vehicle characteristics on the road network and to gain an insight into the multi-factor nature of road accidents. Accident trends, data collection and analysis, national issues, accident investigations and remedial treatments will be covered. The course also considers road accident investigations and remedial treatments and principles of designing for safety. The module also includes further aspects relating the management of road users including: speed management programmes and measures; street design; pedestrian and cyclist facilities; signing; road traffic regulations; management of parking; and the various audits required in the design of roads and streets, including safety and quality audits.

This course is concerned with developing the ability to appraise signal designs and judge the adequacy of fixed time signal linking proposals. The course also looks at traffic surveys and monitoring proposals and seeks to develop an awareness of Intelligent Transport Systems. The syllabus covers: Traffic Surveys and Monitoring – speeds, volumes, delays, OD’s, automatic monitoring, NRTF Forecasts; Traffic Signals – isolated junction design, assessing existing designs/new designs, use of current design software, MOVA, ramp metering; UTC – principles and purpose of area wide co-ordinated design, fixed time linking including TRANSYT applications, traffic responsive linking (SCOOT, SCATS and others), benefits and critical review; Intelligent Transport Systems – advanced transport telematics, automatic incident detection, route guidance systems, auto tolling, traffic and travel information systems; IVHS, auto tolling.

This module introduces students to transport economics and appraisal methods. The course begins with an introduction to the underlying economic concepts that affect the provision of and demand for transport services, this includes examining the factors that impact upon the demand and supply for transport services, how cost are accrued, the ideas of private and public costs and benefits, economic regulation and the rationale for the payment of subsidy to public transport operators. The course then looks at investment appraisal in both private and public sectors and UK and EU methodologies for measuring and assessing environmental impacts (noise, vibration, pollutions, community severance, etc) are examined. The syllabus also covers: identification of those who bear the costs and who reap the benefits; cost allocations; private and public sectors; demand forecasting – future costs, revenues and benefits; the problem of fixed and variable matrices; links to NRTF; social costs and benefits – the valuation of time, accidents, pollution and other non-marketable goods; Webtag and STAG and other objectives-based methodologies; the problems of transport integration and the allocation of resources between modes.

Development Planning and Transport Assessment is concerned with the transport aspects of new development. New developments require planning permission and as part of the planning application process transport practitioners are employed to consider movement, sustainable transport issues, including travel demand, infrastructure design and the various audits involved in the design process. A Transport Assessment or Statement, with an accompanying Travel Plan, is normally produced to support any major planning application. In addition transport professionals also have a role to play in the preparation of site master plans, environmental assessments and design statements. In this module students will learn about the transport planning requirements relating to new development proposals as well as the multidisciplinary tasks undertaken by design teams when submitting planning applications. On completing the module they will be able to carry out a basic Transport Assessment and understand the role of transport planners in the development management process, including the preparation of master plans.

The aim of this module is to enable students to understand and apply the principles of research to their chosen area of study as a preparation for the research dissertation module. The syllabus covers: generating research ideas, developing research ideas into research projects, aims and objectives, the research agenda, research paradigms, methodologies and methods, quantitative and qualitative research, questionnaire design and analysis, qualitative research methods and analysis, statistics for research. Lectures or seminars will be delivered on research methods and techniques and students will be expected to apply the learning in the development of a research proposal suitable for an MSc dissertation. A list of transportation dissertation subjects will be published on the web but students are also encouraged to identify a topic of their own choice, which may be related to their work.


ISSUES IN FREIGHT TRANSPORT (currently only available by distance learning)
Issues in freight transport will introduce you to freight transport issues, policies and contexts. The module will firstly consider the overall (economic) environment within which freight transport operates, before examining specific modes of freight transport. The over-arching themes that will be learned in this module are that freight transport does not operate within a vacuum, and further that freight transport issues, whilst having some similarities with passenger transport, are very different in nature and form. The module is divided into four distinct but related sections. Section one provides you with an introduction to the subject, with a background to freight transport issues and an examination of the overall trends in modal splits up to the present day. Section two then considers individual modes of transport, particularly road haulage and rail freight, and the current issues and challenges facing these modes. It also considers intermodal/combined transport. Section three focuses on the international dimension, and hence greater focus is given to the global economic environment and maritime and air freight modes of transport. The fourth and final section gives far greater focus to the key challenges facing freight transport, in which you will specifically examine location issues, the development of logistics, network planning and likely future scenarios and policy directions affecting freight transport.

The public transport module is divided into three different sections – the economics of public transport, specific issues in public transport and public transport planning. The first section of the course is largely introductory, and considers the underlying roles of public transport and the different organisational structures that can and are employed to ensure that these roles are performed efficiently. This largely concerns the balance between the part played by the public sector and the part played by the private sector. The second part of the course is concerned with other specific issues in public transport provision, such as public transport and social exclusion, urban public transit systems, rural public transport, demand responsive transport and so on. The last part of the course is concerned with the more practical aspects of public transport provision, such as costing, pricing, ticketing, scheduling, prioritising, passenger information needs, real time information and so on.


For further information, contact the programme leader Jonathan Cowie on 0131 455 2210 or email at j.cowie@napier.ac.uk