We know that quite a large number of our users receiving this message may have been temporarily without work over a period of time, and for those who have returned we say welcome back! And to all of our member organisations we say thank you to sticking with us. We are sure that, just like the team here at TRICS, you can’t wait to get this year out of the way and look forward to a fresh start.
The suspension of TRICS surveys in March this year was of course unfortunate, but this did allow us to work on some other projects, including the completion of the report on the multi-modal study at Cambourne Village (and the development of its associated web portal), an update of the TRICS Multi-Modal Methodology document, and a full revision of the TRICS Good Practice Guide (including much greater detail and the introduction of some new sections). Phase 2 of the TRICS TDB system for our users in Australia and New Zealand has also been completed and is live. And other collaborative research has been taking place behind the scenes that we will share with the TRICS Community in the new year. We managed to cover most regions of the UK and Ireland with a fast-tracked Autumn survey programme too, working with our TRICS-approved data collection contractors, and some of these surveys will be included in TRICS version 7.7.4 which is going live on Friday 18th December (with more data to follow in next March’s release of TRICS version 7.8.1). It will be interesting to undertake some research comparing surveys undertaken during times of restrictions to pre-pandemic data, something that we have scheduled for early next year.
There are a number of good reasons for optimism in 2021. We have a full programme of traffic and multi-modal surveys scheduled across all regions of the UK and Ireland in the Spring and Autumn survey windows, and next year will also see the commencement of our major TRICS 8 redesign, which will see a number of new features introduced into our system as well as a full review of the system’s efficiencies and structure. In addition to this we really hope to resume our annual user events, starting with the 2021 TRICS User Meeting in June (we will keep everyone informed about this as we go along). Even though we have not been able to meet as a group as we have done for many years, we have been really pleased at how your ideas and feedback have kept coming through to us, which as always is warmly welcomed and allows TRICS to continue to adapt and evolve over time as it has always done. Having said that, you cannot beat the actual gathering together of our users and the ideas that come about because of these events, and we really hope that this can resume soon. We promise you that when it does we will do our utmost to make our events better than ever.
TRICS Consortium Limited would like to wish all of the TRICS Community a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Please stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to seeing you and working with you again in 2021.
The next TRICS survey window opens on 1st March 2021, as per usual, and we are currently putting together our regional data collection programme for this year. It is of course unclear what the situation will be in March, but we currently intend to undertake surveys within any regions that have restrictions of Tier 3 or lower from the commencement of the Spring window. This may also mean that we need to move the dates of regional surveys back, and our TRICS-approved data collection contractors will be notified accordingly as we move forwards and monitor the ongoing situation. TRICS is in a good position in terms of being able to react and adapt to change, and we will always keep everyone fully informed in terms of decisions that are made regarding our surveys, as we have done throughout 2020.
With regards to specifically commissioned SAM surveys, it should be noted that the TRICS team will not be undertaking site visits in any Tier 4 areas (this also applies to regional site visits that are an initial part of our annual data collection process). This may mean some delay in undertaking arrangements for SAM surveys in the Spring. It is still our intention to undertake a data collection programme in 2021, but I am sure our user organisations will appreciate that we need to do so in a safe way, and in a way that follows guidelines and the law. Our highest priority is, as always, the safety of our staff and everyone else involved in the collection of survey data.
Please contact the TRICS team should you wish to discuss this in any further detail.
Following a period of consultation with members of the TRICS Community followed by discussions amongst the TRICS team, this important document has been fully revised and expanded to over 60 pages, and as a result is a much more comprehensive source of guidance for anyone undertaking work using TRICS, and for those tasked with auditing reports produced using the system and included in documents such as Transport Assessments.
Therefore, this 2021 version of the guidance is now live, and instantly supersedes the 2016 version of the document that is currently included in the TRICS Library module of the current 7.7.3 version of the system. TRICS version 7.7.4, which goes live on 18th December 2020, will include the 2021 document within the Library module.
All sections of the document have been fully revised and expanded to provide greater clarity, plus there are new sections covering the following:
We consider this document to be essential reading for anyone involved with producing or auditing TRICS reports, as it is often used and quoted up to Public Inquiry level. It provides everyone with a greater understanding of TRICS in numerous ways, as well as providing a useful source of awareness raising in the very nature of TRICS data and the way in which it should be used and presented. And it can be accessed immediately HERE. We look forward to receiving feedback from members of the TRICS Community and to continuing to update this guidance on an annual basis.
It was our intention to continue with our surveys in November, providing that the restrictions in place were short of a lockdown. Unfortunately, we have now reached the stage where we cannot continue with surveys in England. We did have surveys as part of our annual regional programme due to take place in November, and these will, subject to agreement with our suppliers, now be taking place from March 2021 when the next survey window opens. Please note that this suspension does not currently affect planned surveys for Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland later this month. Also, our full regional programme for 2021 is still scheduled to take place, and we are proceeding with arrangements for this accordingly.
This suspension also applies to independently commissioned TRICS SAM surveys. All clients of scheduled SAM surveys have been contacted to be offered the opportunity to resume their projects in Spring 2021.
As we are sure you will appreciate our highest priority is the health and safety of both the team here at TRICS and our TRICS-approved data collection contractors. We are in a position at TRICS where we can swiftly react and adapt to the ongoing situation across all parts of the UK and Ireland, and any further updates will be made available on this page.
We would be happy to answer any questions anyone may have regarding this statement, so please always feel free to get in touch. As always, we would like to take the opportunity to wish all of the TRICS Community the very best in these difficult times.
In these challenging times we have adapted to using on-line facilities more often, and we are now in the position where we can offer two forms of on-line training sessions, which will replace our on-site training sessions whilst this is necessary, and perhaps also remain as an option once we can resume the face-to-face version of these sessions.
We have a professional account with Cisco Webex, which allows anyone to create their own free account and download the app accordingly, and also allows us to hold on-line training for a high number of attendees, with no limit on the length of each session. We have introduced two different training options, which are as follows.
As mentioned above, attendance at these sessions is subject to the Cisco Webex facility being downloaded for everyone wishing to take part. A list of attendee emails would be forwarded to the team here at TRICS, and then an invite would be sent out to each attendee once a date and time had been agreed. Owen Edwards (TRICS Assistant Manager) would undertake the system demonstration sessions, whilst myself as Project Manager would give the more tailored presentations.
If you are interested in booking either of these on-line training options, or of you have any questions regarding what is available, please let us know and we will be more than happy to help.
In these unprecedented and challenging times, we recognise that the members of the TRICS Community have had to adapt to changing circumstances, and we appreciate the further difficulties and challenges that may lay ahead. Therefore, we will not be increasing licence fees or data processing fees next year, and will instead freeze them at 2020 levels. At the same time, we have resumed our data collection programmes, and have an ambitious target of multi-modal and vehicular surveys to undertake across the UK and Ireland in 2021, which remains completely unaffected by our decision, along with an Autumn 2020 programme of 100 surveys currently in progress. We will also be pushing ahead with our TRICS 8 system redesign, and as further information is available regarding this we will of course be letting all of our users know, so that they can all engage throughout the process with much valued ideas and feedback.
The only changes to fees in 2021 will be for the use of the TRICS Bureau Service by non-TRICS users, with these seeing a small uplift from 1st January 2021. Therefore, a full list of the TRICS licence and Bureau Service fees through 2021 is as follows (our website will also be updated to reflect this).
In recent weeks we have been in communication with the venue of our event, BMA House in Central London, whose staff have been working very hard behind the scenes to make their venue Covid-19 safe, including the introduction of social distancing measures and revised safe catering arrangements. However, test events have yet to take place in the UK, and it seems that the resumption of meetings and events of this type will not be happening on the 1st of October 2020 as previously envisaged.
This, coupled with ongoing increases in Covid-19 cases across the UK in recent weeks, has led us to our decision to cancel our event. Meeting with our users at our annual events is an important part of the work that we do, as the feedback and ideas we receive at our User Meetings and Training & Development Forums has always been fantastic, as has the networking opportunities that our events provide for all members of the TRICS Community. We certainly look forward to the time when our events can resume, and we can all meet again and discuss all the elements of our project.
The good news is that we have agreed with the venue that we can hold our 2021 TRICS User Meeting there next June, again dependent on the situation in the UK at that time, and we will commence with preparations for this event early in the new year, with a new agenda put together, and we will of course let everyone know when there is further detail available. We also intend to hold our Training & Development Forum in November 2021, so we really want to get our events back to normal once it is safe to do so.
Please keep safe, and we look forward to meeting with you all as soon as we can.
Therefore, it is our intention to resume with SAM site visits from August 2020, with surveys resuming from 1st October 2020 until the end of November. This means that new SAM survey agreements can now be raised. However, our initial priority is to contact clients who had previously requested surveys in 2020, which were postponed in March, to assess what their current project situations are. Once we have a better understanding we can plan for the possible addition of new surveys. So, although we can raise new agreements, please note that we cannot guarantee that all requests for Autumn 2020 surveys will be fulfilled.
Also note that the deadline for raising new agreements for potential Autumn 2020 surveys is 1st October 2020, with any subsequent agreements raised being based on potential Spring 2021 surveys. Any site visits previously undertaken for surveys that were subsequently postponed are now void, so in every case we will need to start the SAM process from scratch.
Our top priority is the safety of our staff and everyone else involved in our surveys. Therefore, we shall assess our ability to mitigate risk of Covid-19 on a case-by-case basis, which may mean that some surveys will need to be provisionally scheduled for Spring 2021, whilst more straightforward surveys (with minimal risk and requiring less face-to-face interaction) could go ahead in Autumn 2020, again depending on our capacity.
As I am sure everyone will appreciate, this is a fluid and evolving situation, and although we are pleased to be able to resume our SAM survey programme, this is subject to change should the Covid-19 situation in the UK worsen and new official guidance issued accordingly.
If you do decide to progress with SAM surveys, with the agreement of your own client, the risk of any challenge to the validity of the final results (due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation in the UK) will be down to yourselves, and will not be the responsibility of TRICS Consortium Limited.
We will be approaching this resumption of survey activity in two stages. The first stage is a programme of 100 Level 1 (traffic) surveys across all regions of the UK and Ireland. This has been fast-tracked, with the intention being to get some new, good quality survey data onto the database as quickly as we can, whilst at the same time observing official guidance on safety (meaning that no interviewing will be taking place and the surveys will be fully observational in nature). For this programme we have selected a number of land use sub-categories that our users identified as being of most importance in the responses we received in our 2020 TRICS User Survey, and these surveys will be taking place through September, October and November 2020.
The second stage is currently provisional, depending on official guidance as we move forward in the coming weeks, but our aim is to undertake a full traffic and multi-modal survey programme across all regions in 2021, with the surveys taking place in the spring and autumn windows. The size of this programme is yet to be confirmed, but we will be aiming for something similar to what we had originally envisaged for the 2020 programme (so likely over 200 surveys). With regards to the multi-modal (Level 2) surveys in this programme, we would like to split these between the spring and autumn windows, but again we will wait to see how things pan out in the coming weeks before making more of a decision on this element. We will of course keep you all informed of how things progress.
There is then the question of specifically commissioned TRICS Standardised Assessment Methodology (SAM) surveys, which also require face to face interviews of pedestrians. As things currently stand our previous March 2020 statement on the suspension of these surveys still applies. We continue to follow official guidance and advice, and cannot as yet provide an indication with confidence as to when SAM surveys will resume. It might be possible that some could take place this autumn, but as things remain very uncertain we cannot commit to anything at this stage. Again, once we are in a better position to make a decision on this we will issue a further statement accordingly.
I am sure this announcement today will be welcomed by everyone within the TRICS Community as a solid step forwards as lockdown restrictions are eased. The strength of our system is its data, and the TRICS team look forward to providing all of our users with regular database updates in the coming months.
Given the current situation with the coronavirus epidemic in the UK, TRICS Consortium Limited has suspended our regional and specifically-commissioned SAM surveys until further notice.
TRICS Consortium Limited is pleased to announce the publication of a new Technical Note, “A Comparison of Vehicular Trip Rate Variation by TRICS Regions and Location Types”, which is now freely available to download by everyone. This report presents the findings of research recently undertaken by the TRICS team into vehicular trip rate variation by region, when compared to an identical exercise by TRICS location type. It examines vehicular trip rate variance by examining three of the largest and most often used land use categories in the TRICS database, these being 01/A (Food Superstores), 02/A (Offices), and 03/A (Houses Privately Owned). Our existing TRICS Good Practice guidance has always advised that our users should refrain from deselecting sites by geographical region as a default method, and instead should consider the TRICS location type along with a number of other local factors that may influence vehicular trip rates. We have now undertaken a set of technical analyses using the TRICS database to provide further clarity on this subject to our Good Practice Guide, which is being updated in 2020. A presentation on the report and its findings will be given at the 2019 TRICS Training & Development Forum in Oxford this November.
TRICS® Training & Development Presentations 2019