The system that challenges and validates assumptions about the transport impacts of new developments

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22nd February 2021

TRICS Consortium Limited are pleased to announce the publication of our Guidance Note on the Practical Implementation of the Decide and Provide Approach for future development planning, which is freely downloadable from our website at http://www.trics.org/decideandprovideguidance.html.

Decide and ProvideThis document is the result of a broad and thorough collaborative effort from different planning perspectives, including members of the TRICS team, local highway authorities, the academic profession, the Department of Transport and independent consultants. Now, more than ever, we need to reassess approaches to transport and development planning, and the collaboration behind this project has allowed us to present the idea of the new Decide and Provide approach, whilst also providing strong evidence, using the wealth of historic survey data within TRICS, of trip generation trends over time, which themselves illustrate that the principles behind this new approach are grounded in hard data. It has become clear from our analyses that there has been a reduction in vehicular trip generation over time for key land uses, and that we should adapt the TRICS system and introduce new elements into its analytical features to allow a new type of trend interrogation of the database, whilst keeping TRICS a vital and integral part of assessing future trip generation estimates.

For over 30 years TRICS has been instrumental in our planning processes, and as an organisation we are very pleased to be playing our own important role, along with our collaborative partners, in addressing one of the most important questions in transport and development planning today. The work that has been undertaken has shown that TRICS will continue to be a fundamental element of the new Decide and Provide approach. We have always been an organisation that can adapt and evolve over time and participate in addressing important issues with the experience of our team in trip generation analysis, data collection programmes, system development and research, and forward thinking. We are ready and willing to make the necessary changes and to show our users how TRICS could be used alongside the new Decide and Provide approach, providing essential guidance which has started with the publication of this document. We need to make it clear that publication of this document should be regarded as the first stage of this journey. There is plenty more work to do, and we look forward to more of our users and other organisations coming on board to join our growing collaboration towards a new future for development planning that aims to face the industry’s (and the nation’s) challenges head on with positive solutions.

There will be a great need for a new environmental approach as we emerge from the pandemic, especially when it comes to the decarbonisation of transport. We live in an uncertain world, and the question of uncertainty can clearly be extended to transportation and the future of development planning. The new Decide and Provide approach embraces that uncertainty, and offers a clear and distinct method for how the practices of our industry should and can change, and TRICS intends to be leading the way in terms of providing practical and solid survey data analysis solutions. Through an extended period of discussion, data analysis and application of ideas that are firmly rooted in the challenges that lay ahead, we can all implement a new forward-thinking approach to development planning and Transport Assessments fit for the 21st Century.

We look forward to receiving your much welcomed feedback and to working with you all in making these changes happen.

26th February 2021

TRICS Consortium Limited invites all of its user organisations to participate in our annual TRICS User Survey, which is now live. To access the survey, which should only take a short time, please go to the following link.

 

As users of TRICS, your opinions are always of great value to us. We don’t see our survey as a marketing exercise – you can have your direct say in the future of TRICS, its data collection programme, system development and associated projects. It is a very important time for us here at TRICS, as we make preparations for a major system re-write, TRICS 8. As we come out of lockdown we want to hit the ground running with new projects, a dull regional survey programme and system development and enhancement, and we have always valued your feedback, which we are asking for once again to ensure that the ongoing development of TRICS is truly interactive.

Over the years, many ideas in response to our user surveys have become actual system improvements, and we want this to continue. We aim to ensure that the whole experience of using TRICS is hassle-free, with an intuitive and user-friendly system that makes your job easier. The best way to do this is through direct engagement with our TRICS Community, consisting of over 360 organisations across all parts of the UK, Ireland and now in Australia and New Zealand. It is this truly inclusive and interactive way that has seen the system evolve over three decades, and will see it continue to improve and develop through years to come. So please get involved and have your say in the future of TRICS today.

This year we are undertaking our survey in two parts. The first is through this direct link to the online survey dealing with the technical and data collection elements of the system, and the second covers your views on TRICS Consortium Limited and the general user-friendliness of TRICS, which is being undertaken by direct phone communication (one of our team will be in touch directly with users to ask a few questions that will only take around 5 minutes of your time).

You will see that the final question in the online survey invites users to suggest questions to be considered for inclusion in an open forum session at this year’s annual 25th TRICS User Meeting, which is taking place on 28th September. We look forward to seeing what questions the TRICS Community would like to see raised for discussion, and these can cover anything associated with the TRICS project, so please feel free to contribute to this.

We look forward to receiving your comments and ideas. Thank you for your time, it is as always greatly appreciated by everyone here at TRICS.

10th February 2021

In recent weeks the TRICS team have been assessing the 2020 changes to the TCPA Use Classes so that the TRICS database can be updated accordingly for the release of TRICS version 7.8.1 at the end of March 2021. We would like to take this opportunity to provide a summary of how our system is adapting to take into account all changes made to the use classes last year.

The new use class options will be present in the March update of the database, with every survey site allocated one of the revised use classes or shown as “n/a” or “Not Known”. Most of the TRICS land use sub-categories have been easily converted on a site-by-site basis, but we are unable to allocate any of the new use classes to any office or industrial based TRICS sub-categories due to the subjectivity of the new B2 and E(g) use class definitions, in particular the question “of being of detriment to a residential area”. We imagine that there may be differing interpretations in terms of allocating any particular development to either a B2 or E(g) use class, and that various parties may disagree on any such allocations, with potentially there being a number of disputes moving forwards. As TRICS does not have a remit to make subjective interpretations of this nature, we have decided that all office and industrial sites in the database (including vehicle garages) are to be tagged in our database with the use class of “Not Known”. If at some point in the future we are in receipt of further, more definitive parameters for the allocations of TRICS sites to B2 or E(g) use classes that do not require any subjective opinions, then we will have everything we need set up to swiftly allocate either use class to our office and industrial sites accordingly. In the meantime, we continue to encourage our users to follow our TRICS Good Practice Guide and to, as always, exercise proper professional judgement.

It should also be noted that drive-through sites in the database (fast food and coffee shops) have also been allocated as having a use class of “Not Known”, as we cannot differentiate on a site-by-site basis whether most consumption takes place on or off a premises. And for convenience stores of 280m2 GFA or under we are unable to establish if there are any similar stores within 1,000 metres walking or road distance, as all of our surveys are historical to varying degrees (and therefore the smaller stores have also been allocated a use class of “Not Known” accordingly).

Users should also note that we will be providing updated use class definitions and use class/TRICS land use sub-category comparison documents within the system (as PDF’s), plus we will be adding a further note to explain the reasoning behind the sites that are being tagged as “Not Known” (as explained above) and “n/a” (where any site is not defined at all by the new use classes). And whereas in the current version of TRICS (version 7.7.4) sites within our Employment land use sub-categories show a sub-split between five use classes, in the March release these sub-splits will be renamed as to not directly represent any use classes that would have been superseded by the changes made in 2020 (the sub-splits will therefore become independent of the use class system).

We hope that this answers any questions that our users may have at this time about how TRICS is dealing with the changes to use classes. Upon the release of TRICS version 7.8.1 at the end of March we shall be providing a similar note to this within the system release email. In the meantime, if anyone requires any further clarification on our position with regards to the new use classes please feel free to contact a member of the TRICS team.

 

23rd February 2021

TRICS Consortium Limited is pleased to inform all organisations involved in the commissioning and undertaking of TRICS surveys, as well as all TRICS users, of the targeted plan for the resumption of the TRICS data collection programme.

From the 12th of April the plan is for non-essential shops in England to open, which would lower restrictions under our survey suspension threshold (being the old “Tier 4” or equivalent or higher). If all goes according to plan, we intend to resume our site visits and surveys from that date. With regards to actioning SAM surveys that are on our books and currently suspended, we will assess the situation in the last week of March, and if we can conclude that it appears very likely that the target date of 12th April will be met, we shall raise new survey agreements for our SAM surveys on 1st April 2021. This would also apply to any new survey requests.

This tentative plan can be revised at any time if necessary (upon which a further statement would follow). However, if we can resume on 12th April then that gives us a good opportunity to fit some SAM surveys currently on our books into the Spring survey window that runs until the end of June. However, I cannot guarantee that any survey will be undertaken during the Spring window because of the tight timescale that we would be working with (and the backlog of surveys on our books), but the TRICS team will do our utmost to achieve as much as we can. I must also add that it will be essential to receive a quick turnaround in terms of the signing of survey agreements and the authorisation to proceed with surveys once quotes have been supplied, with any significant delays meaning that surveys would need to be moved into the Autumn window.

This also means that, as things stand, our regular annual data collection programme across the regions is still on course, with the first regional surveys due to take place in the latter part of April. With regards to surveys outside of England we will make comparative assessments on a regional basis moving forwards.

I would like to thank you for your continued understanding throughout the difficult times we have gone through. As a team we are all very grateful for this, and we are really looking forward to working with you again soon and to delivering our surveys. A further statement will be issued once we start to approach the important 12th of April date, but in the meantime if you have any questions at all please get in touch.

 

25th November 2020

TRICS Consortium Limited are pleased to announce the publication and availability of a major update to the TRICS Good Practice Guide for 2021.

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:

  • How TRICS defines Gross Floor Area (GFA)
  • The Method of TRICS Trip Rate Calculations
  • Understanding the TRICS Vehicle Occupants Count
  • Understanding the TRICS Servicing Vehicles Count
  • Appendix: A worked example of a Trip Rate Calculation scenario

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.

 

14th October 2020

TRICS Consortium Limited are pleased to announce the introduction of on-line training sessions using the Cisco Webex facility.

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.

Option 1

A TRICS system demonstration, lasting approximately one hour. This is the standard demonstration of the TRICS database and its various functions, which is a good introduction to new users and a refresher for those who may use the system from time to time. The TRICS system screen would be shared so all attendees can see it in operation. A test sheet would be provided to attendees so that they can have a go at using the system and trying out a few different trip generation scenarios in their own time following the session. The cost of this training is £300 + VAT (note that this is discounted from the standard £500 + VAT charged for on-site training sessions).

Option 2

A tailored presentation (in PowerPoint) covering an element (or elements) of the TRICS project, for example good practice, the multi-modal survey methodology, how we go about undertaking our survey programmes, or anything else that an organisation wishes us to discuss. The subject matter would be agreed prior to the talk taking place, which would last around 30-45 minutes, followed by questions afterwards (so the whole session could last an hour or a bit longer). Some organisations have asked for this in the past as a way of understanding certain elements of TRICS in more detail, and we are very flexible on what we can cover on the day. The cost of this option is £500 + VAT.

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.