Research Output

The role of reporting mechanisms in transport policy implementation by local authorities in England.

This paper provides an insight into the implementation of local transport policy. The UK Transport Act 2000 made a number of reforms, requiring all local transport authorities in England, outside of London, to produce a local transport plan (LTP). Previous research indicates that local authorities face several barriers to effective policy development. The objective of this research is to identify why policies fail to implement at a local level and to provide recommendations for effective implementation and better decision making that will aid local authority staff and policy makers. This paper focuses on three case studies from the UK cities of York, Greater Nottingham and Bristol, and investigates the LTP's between 2001 and 2006 in these cities.

Data and methodology
The methodological approach for this paper is based on data analysis of two main policy documents which include the LTP 2001-2006 and the LTP Delivery Report for three UK cities. It focused on both top-down and bottom-up theoretical approaches which are analysed and then combined to distinguish a relationship between the two. A new hybrid theory consisting of ten critical variables was developed and used to analyse the bus strategy for the three cities based on what was achieved (LTPs) and why (delivery reports). Bus strategies are the chosen area of research as they give a good representation of public transport within the cities. A scoring system was then applied to rank the impact of the ten critical variables. Analysis of why some policies were not implemented successfully is based on the application of a new hybrid theory of policy implementation.

Expected results
Findings reveal that the reporting process in the three case cities misses some key information which limits the ability of local authorities to monitor their policy implementation. Moreover, applying the hybrid theory reveals that even in cases of good reporting, some important elements needed to evaluate the implementation of transport policy are lacking. If local authorities and policy makers want to implement transport policy successfully, it is vital to consider all ten critical variables of the new hybrid theory identified in this paper. Other cities in the UK and across the world could now learn from these findings and it would provide an opportunity to improve the theoretical framework for successful implementation in the future.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    10 July 2016

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HE Transportation and Communications

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    388 Transportation; ground transportation


McTigue, C., Rye, T., & Monios, J. (2016, July). The role of reporting mechanisms in transport policy implementation by local authorities in England. Paper presented at World Conference on Transport Research, Shanghai, China



Transport policy, local authority,

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