NNNPS stands for National Networks National Policy Statement. The UK government has issued a draft for consultation. This covers national perspectives for future road and rail developments and is intended to be approved by Parliament and provide a settled input to local planning enquiries into specific schemes.
There is quite a lot wrong with the consultation draft. I have submitted a response Metz NNNPS response 26-2-14. My main concerns are the following.
There are good reasons to suppose that the National Transport Model substantially overestimates future demand on the Strategic Road Network. The traffic projections do not therefore provide a sound basis for the scale of investment planned by the Government. The Model needs to be made public and available for independent audit.
A major shortcoming of the NTM is its inability to model the consequences of a strategic choice between greenfield and urban housing to accommodate the growing population.
There is a good case for investment in the network where this can make land accessible for development, consistent with planning policy. However, constructing additional carriageway is not an effective means of reducing congestion.
The main problem with congestion is the uncertainty of journey time. This is tackled most cost-effectively by provision of reliable predictive journey time information.
A strategic issue for national Government is where to accommodate the UK’s growing population since this will determine the kind of investment needed in the transport system. In London, transport investment can be planned to respond to population growth. Nationally, there is no such coherence.