Identifying conditional outputs for a transport strategy
Sheffield City Council appointed Steer and Steer Economic Development to identify conditional outputs to inform its transport strategy.
An output, in this context, is something that the transport system delivers (e.g., a journey time, a level of service or rates of accidents). If secured, they lead to given outcomes such as regeneration of a site or reducing the incidence of pollution-related illness. These outputs are described as conditional because they will only be secured if value for money can be achieved.
The team worked closely with the client via a series of workshops to develop a long list of potential conditional outputs and a set of criteria by which the shortlisted outputs should be selected.
The criteria included whether the output was easily comprehensible, quantifiable and forecastable. It also considered the need for the overall suite of outputs to be coherent and manageable.
The team recommended 16 conditional outputs under five headings, including journey times by public transport and by a vehicle on the road, air quality, safety, and security. The team also recommended four specific conditional outputs for Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) – a priority area for economic growth based on the size of the population able to access the AMID within a given journey time.
Lessons learned: In terms of the promotion of economic growth, (i) extending the catchment area from which skilled workers could be attracted, and (ii) identifying future development sites for economic activity were important factors in determining conditional outputs.