Northern Ireland - Transport Assessment

TTRSA's experienced transport planning specialists work as a team to deliver high quality and cost effective Transport Assessments anywhere across Northern Ireland. For your convenience, we have outlined the main elements of when a full assessment is likely to be required, and the process involved, below.

Transport Assessment (TA) Guidelines

TA guidelines for Northern Ireland are published by the Department for Regional Development (DRD) which is responsible for strategic planning and transport policy development. The guidelines inform developers that the purpose of preparing a TA is to provide enough information to 'understand how the proposed development is likely to function in transport terms', proposing where appropriate 'a package of measures designed to promote access to the site by walking, cycling and public transport, while reducing the role of car access as much as possible'.

A four part transport assessment form must be submitted with each planning application, with developments of a scale beyond basic threshold levels being required to submit basic information on estimates of journeys to the development, the times when the development is likely to generate most traffic (be busiest), possible impacts and mitigation measures.

When is a detailed TA likely to be required?

A detailed TA is likely to be required where the potential transport impact is considered to be significant. Examples of threshold values include:

  • residential development in excess of 100 dwellings;
  • retail or leisure development exceeding 1000sqm gross floor area (GFA);
  • business related developments such as offices exceeding 2500sqm GFA;
  • industrial development exceeding 5000sqm GFA;
  • distribution or warehousing development exceeding 10000sqm GFA;
  • stadia with over 1500 seats; and,
  • developments generating over 100 vehicle movements per day,

TAs are also likely to be required where the Planning Service or Roads Service has concerns about:

  • significant traffic generation at peak times in congested locations or sensitive areas;
  • significant freight movements;
  • traffic generation in residential areas at night; or,
  • road safety.
How do you determine the content of a TA?

A fundamental element of the production of any TA is effective scoping. In Northern Ireland this includes discussions with the Planning Service and other bodies including the Roads Service and Translink. Effective scoping both defines and limits the content of the TA, often producing significant cost savings for the developer, and reducing the likelihood of significant redesign and delays at a later stage. Scoping discussions also provide a useful opportunity to discuss other schemes in vicinity of the proposed development, allowing for potential synergies which could support the development to be identified, and to discuss and cost possible requirements for Article 40 and Article 122 agreements.

Those commissioning a consultant to undertake such work should ensure that the consultant intends to scope the work and agree the criteria for the TA, and where appropriate a travel plan, with the Planning Service at the earliest possible stage.

What are the key elements of a TA?

Beyond scoping, other key elements of producing TAs in Northern Ireland include:

  • identifying and measuring accessibility to, from and where appropriate within the development;
  • estimating the number of trips likely to be generated by the development, and the types of transport likely to be used;
  • reviewing the layout and design of the development to ensure the promotion of access by foot (including access audits), cycle and by public transport;
  • considering the impact of generated traffic on the highway network including changes in levels of accessibility, potential for integration and road safety;
  • where mitigation against the impact is required, improving and assessing the capacity of links and junctions;
  • assessing the provision of car parking and access routes; and,
  • arrangements for monitoring.
How can TTRSA help you?

TTRSA are always happy to informally discuss your requirements or provide you with a comprehensive and competitive quotation.  Why not send us an email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .