1. Introduction
  • Definition of Policy Formulation & Implementation

Policy Formulation stands at the top of the transport planning process. It is a strategic planning process leading to a general concept, usually a “Transport Masterplan”. Such a masterplan is a political decision. It includes a set of measures aimed at the future developments of the transport system. A consensus has to be found on which scenario or group of measures out of different scenarios and bundles of measures is apt to fulfil the intended goals in the best way. This overall concept normally is a legally-binding framework for more detailed plans and concepts for a longer period of time.

Policy Formulation is most important at higher strategic levels but has to be considered at each level of a transport planning process:

  • Strategic policies in transport cover a larger area and include long-term strategies. These policies have to be far sighted and consequently implemented.
  • Regional and local transport policies are applied on regions and small areas (towns, villages, etc.), following the overall principles of a general concept – however on a smaller scale.

The differences between the various levels – national, regional, local – appear in the allocation of authorities and competence and in the extent of impacts and effects.

Participation and information of all involved parties should be regarded as an important aspect to gain accepted goals and accepted policies. One problem of environmentally sound policies is that the measures to achieve transport systems heading towards sustainability are in most cases unpopular.

All transport policies should basically have common features such as:

  • inclusion of all affected parties (transport operators, transport users, politicians, etc.);
  • inclusion of all affected aspects (transport, modes of transport, health, environment, social policies, economics, etc.);
  • approval of a majority (voters, experts, etc.);
  • strategic view, logical and consistent layout and implementation over longer periods;
  • possibilities to (re)adjust the policies based on feedback and evaluation, etc.

Policy Formulation and Implementation

Implementation is normally regarded as a vital and often neglected phase of strategic planning.

“The implementation encloses all actions that take place during the realisation of the plans, i.e. budgeting, construction of infrastructure and the undertaking of necessary institutional changes for policy measures (TENASSESS1999, Annex II)”.

It is essential that implementation also comprises the analysis of social and political acceptability of measures and the sensibility of citizens, politicians, journalists and experts for objectives and programmes before, during and after implementing transport measures. Public awareness and information campaigns as well as the installation of a permanent marketing procedure may help to enhance the acceptability of transport plans or single measures.

Quality control – concerning acceptability as well as functionalism of implemented measures – provides the possibility for readjustment, improvement and reaction.

Figure 1 gives an overview on the dependencies of policy formulation and implementation and emphasises the definition of this key topic. Figure 2 exemplifies a planning process – from policy formulation to implementation – with a parallel communication and participation process.

Policy Formulation and Implementation

The basic structures and the important ingredients of Policy Formulation and Implementation processes in transport planning are shown in figure 4.

  • Objectives and skills

The main objective of this key topic is to show the important position of policy formulation and implementation within the planning process, their interdependencies and the importance of participation and communication during policy formulation processes as well as during the implementation phase.

The students should gain basic knowledge of:

  • the steps of policy formulation and implementation processes embedded in the planning processes on basis of structured charts, practical and concrete examples;
  • the importance of formulating strategies and goals in transport policies;
  • tools and instruments in the planning process;
  • different measures in transport policies apt to influence the transport situation and traffic behaviour;

Policy Formulation and Implementation

  • participation processes in transport planning (policies) and awareness raising;
  • scenario technique and the importance of prognoses;
  • project management and evaluation of the grade of achievement of the goals.
  • Challenges

Policies to reach defined aims are well known and documented – the main problem is their implementation – not in terms of building a road or enacting a new law – but to convince the involved parties, mainly the citizens, and to gain their awareness and acceptance. To define accepted goals which comprise accepted measures is the main challenge politicians and planners are facing. The focus of this studying material is therefore on planning, sociological, political and organisational issues. Awareness raising plays an important role, too. Technical, financial, legal and regulatory subjects are dealt with casually.

  • Link with EU policies

The White Paper of the European Union on European transport policy (COMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES 2001) forms the framework for transport policies in the member states. It is based on a long-term strategy with the overall target of developing a sustainable transport system – an ambitious objective considering the growing problems in transport, like worsening congestion, damage to the environment, isolation of some regions, etc. caused by the increasing demand for motorised mobility.

Such a long-term strategy takes time and the aid of numerous measures and policy instruments. The White paper gives a proposal about 60 specific measures which should be implemented by 2010 to redirect the common transport policy towards meeting the need for sustainable development.

The analysis in the White paper stresses:

  • the risk of congestion on the major arteries and regional imbalance,
  • the conditions for shifting the balance between modes,
  • the priority to be given to clearing bottlenecks,
  • the new place given to users, at the heart of the transport policy,
  • the need to manage the effects of transport globalisation.

The focus thereby is not only on transport policies – an integrated approach taking into account consistent measures in the context of other policies like economic, urban and land-use planning, social and education, budget and fiscal policies is more promising – provided the member states decide to accept the need of change and do not stick to the status quo.

The choice for a sustainable development will require the adoption of pro-active measures, some of them difficult to accept, as well as the implementation of new forms of regulation to channel future demand for motorised mobility. This course, the EU is pursuing, has to be continued by the member states, from the national to the local authority, being aware of the challenge and responsibility they are facing for the future development in Europe.

Policy Formulation and Implementation

Beside the White Paper, which mostly intends to give recommendations and directions, the EU- project TENASSESS (1999) provides a good insight into transport policy in Europe.

  • Description – summary of the contents

Policy Formulation and Implementation are both central parts of the strategic planning process. Whereas policy formulation stands at the top and builds up the framework, implementation is a direct consequence of the decisions so to speak of the output of policy formulation.

Several tools exist for both parts which assist in achieving their goals and which support the forthcoming and success of the process. Scenario technique is the vital one for policy formulation, control of success the one which provides the necessary quality of implementation. Both share the tools participation, awareness raising & public relations and project management. Project management ensures a consistent course of events, whereas participation and awareness raising target at the overcoming of political and especially social barriers and at guaranteeing success of transport projects, plans, implemented measures, etc. under the aspect of acceptance.

The structure of the studying material follows this approach. Policy formulation and implementation as the cornerstones are described and explained particularly, the three mutual tools (participation, awareness raising & public relations and project management) are dealt with in individual chapters each. Each chapter can be used as a module and can be supplemented by the others.