With the new year well and truly under way, our team share some of the key issues, themes and milestones they are considering for 2019.

Big changes ahead:

TfL guidance on Transport Assessments.
The structure of TAs – one of our core contributions to planning applications – is changing (full launch in April 2019) and will follow a Healthy Streets approach and broaden the scale of assessment to a defined Active Travel Zone and a London-wide network. This will enable more holistic and spatial assessments. The new guidance also includes new Open Data and GIS resources which will hopefully provide greater transparency and more data sources for our analysis.

London’s cycle superhighways and quietways.
Will become one single unified brand – with the mayor and cycling commissioner announcing brand new quality criteria for all types of cycle infrastructure – including plans for cycle routes to either reduce traffic below the new acceptable threshold or provide segregation where traffic levels are high.

Introduction of the London Ultra Low Emission Zone.
Replacing the T-Charge from April as another way for TfL to help reduce the most harmful emissions generated by road transport across London.

Changes to the way TfL is funded, leading to a reduction in funding.
Could this see TfL taking a harder stance in transport infrastructure funding negotiations, looking for more funding from development to operate transport services? If so, we expect this will be most acute in relation to the scaling back of London Buses.

A big year ahead for the London Plan.
With its Examination in Public taking place for the majority of the year. As soon as the EiP is completed the Plan will be re-assessed against the new National Planning Policy Framework where it may be deemed immediately out of date, opening up the London Plan and Local Plans in London to legal challenge.

Network Rail land.
We’re also interested to find out if we’ll start to see some change to the occupation of land previously owned by Network Rail, with the sale of a portfolio of 5,200 land parcels totalling just under £1.5billion. Land uses around stations might start to change and we could see further densification around areas of high public transport accessibility as a result.

Crossrail / Elizabeth Line.
Ending on a positive note, we’re looking forward to seeing the Elizabeth Line in operation in 2019!

What we’d love to see in the year(s) ahead?

Less emphasis on autonomous vehicles (AVs).
2018 was a mixed year for AVs and we’d like to see how technologies in transport, such as public transport platforms and demand-responsive buses (which are being tested by TfL this year) will have the largest impact over autonomous or flying transport!

Local authority charging.
For employee and customer parking to raise funds for sustainable travel projects.

Road pricing per mile in central London.

Ever-finer information gathering as pedestrian information continues to improve with anonymised mobile tracking – which will enhance the accuracy of pedestrian forecasting and modelling.

Positive steps being taken towards closing the gender gap in senior roles across the property/development/real estate industries.

Finally, what could impact Momentum’s clients most in 2019?

Adoption of the New London Plan.
Expected in late 2019 and which will see further changes in regional policy. The draft Plan includes a focus on growth corridors, which have identified key opportunity areas for development and growth in relation to infrastructure projects which connect beyond the London local authorities.

Revisions to cycle parking standards.
Finishing on a transport-focused note, these changes will mean greater numbers of cycle parking spaces are required to be provided within buildings, in particular for office developments. Cycle parking alongside facilities such as showers and lockers will continue to be a key space requirement within new developments and therefore design teams will need to develop innovative solutions to design these parking areas and maximise the use of, what is often, competitive lettable space.

Momentum wishes you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2019!