Transport analysis guidance (TAG) provides information on the role of transport modelling and appraisal.
This content contains guidance on the conduct of transport studies. The guidance includes or provides links to advice on how to:
- set objectives and identify problems
- develop potential solutions
- create a transport model for the appraisal of the alternative solutions
- how to conduct an appraisal which meets the department’s requirements
Projects or studies that require government approval are expected to make use of this guidance in a manner appropriate for that project or study. For projects or studies that do not require government approval, TAG should serve as a best practice guide.
The department endeavours to keep the guidance up-to-date in light of new evidence and developments in best practice modelling and appraisal methodologies. Changes are released through an orderly release process, giving users early sight of changes and when they are to be released definitively. Users working on longer-term business cases should refer to the proportionate update process when considering incorporating these changes into their analyses.
For users wishing to understand how the new structure relates to previous version of TAG a archived version of the previous TAG site is also available.is available. An
This overview provides general introductory information on the role of transport modelling and appraisal, and how the transport appraisal process supports the development of investment decisions to support a business case.
Guidance for the senior responsible officer (SRO)
This guidance is for project promoters and sponsors who manage and oversee those projects as a whole.
It provides knowledge on how the evidence derived from the transport appraisal process can be used to support the transport business case and inform the decision-making process. It introduces the high-level concepts of transport appraisal and modelling, the important outcomes required and the main risks to monitor and manage.
Guidance for the technical project manager (TPM)
This guidance is for technical managers that oversee the detailed modelling and appraisal work.
It provides more detailed knowledge on the key components of the transport appraisal process – including options development analyses and appraisal – describing how the concepts of transparency and proportionality should be applied. Overall, this should enable those managers to programme and manage the deliverables and resources more effectively. This identifies the main outputs expected in transport business cases and provides checklists of those expectations in more detail.
Transport appraisal process
This guidance gives a more detailed description of the transport appraisal process, including more detail on the 3-stage process of option development, further appraisal and implementation/evaluation.
Proportionate update process
This guidance provides an overview of the department’s process for updating guidance, when guidance is intended to become definitive and how analysts should go about adopting changes to guidance in a proportionate manner.
Guidance for the appraisal practitioner
These guidance documents inform practitioners of best practice in preparing the necessary outputs for the appraisal of transport schemes and policies.
A1 cost-benefit analysis
These guidance documents give advice on the principles of cost-benefit analysis in transport appraisal, the estimation of scheme costs and the calculation of direct impacts on transport users and providers.
- TAG unit A1-1 cost-benefit analysis
- TAG unit A1-2 scheme costs
- TAG unit A1-3 user and provider impacts
A2 economic impacts
These guidance documents give advice on the appraisal of the wider impacts, regeneration impacts, and dependent development impacts, of transport interventions.
- TAG unit A2-1 wider economic impacts appraisal
- TAG unit A2-2 induced investment
- TAG unit A2-3 employment effects
- TAG Unit A2-4 productivity impacts
A3 environmental impacts
This guidance provides advice on the appraisal of the environmental impacts of transport interventions. It deals with impacts on both the built and natural environment and on people. The environmental impacts covered in this manual are noise, air quality, greenhouse gases, landscape, townscape, the historic environment, biodiversity and the water environment. The guidance discusses the relationship between environmental impact appraisal (as set out in this unit) and environmental impact assessment and the need to tailor the level of appraisal to the stage of development of the proposal.
A4 social and distributional impacts
These guidance documents give advice on the appraisal of the social impacts and distributional impacts of transport interventions.
A5 uni-modal appraisal
These guidance documents give advice on issues specifically relating to cases where only one mode of transport is explicitly modelled. Guidance is provided for active modes (eg walking and cycling), aviation, rail and highway interventions and on the use of marginal external congestion costs to estimate decongestion benefits resulting from mode switch away from car use.
- TAG unit A5-1 active mode appraisal
- TAG unit A5-2 aviation appraisal
- TAG unit A5-3 rail appraisal
- TAG unit A5-4 marginal external costs
- TAG unit A5-5 highway appraisal
Worksheets used to present evidence for each impact:
- Appraisal tables
- Economic impacts worksheets
- Environmental impacts worksheets
- Social and distributional impacts worksheets
Guidance for the modelling practitioner
This guidance informs practitioners of best practice in transport models that provide evidence for use in the appraisal of transport schemes and policies.
M1 modelling principles
This guidance provides an introduction to transport models, modelling data and forecasting. It aims to help practitioners understand the general principles of transport modelling and the department’s forecasting approach. It also identifies the main sources of transport data that are available to practitioners developing transport models and address the methods used for gathering data including survey methodology.
M2 demand modelling
This guidance provides advice on the development of variable demand models. This covers scoping the need for such models, their specification, development, calibration and validation, and ensuring fitness for purpose in forecasting.
M3 assignment modelling
These guidance documents give advice on developing, calibrating and validating highway and public transport assignment models. It provides advice on aggregate highway assignment models, for both general and specific purposes, which represent average conditions over the modelled period. It also provides detailed advice on methods for public transport passenger assignment models.
This guidance provides advice on using transport models to prepare future forecasts of demand and supply. This includes guidance on the use of the department’s demand projections in the NTEM dataset. Furthermore, forecasting is, by nature, uncertain, and this unit gives guidance on how various sources of uncertainty should be taken into account throughout the forecasting process.
M5 advanced modelling techniques
This guidance provides advice on using advanced modelling techniques. These techniques include modelling the impacts of parking policies and park and ride schemes and incorporating the impacts of smarter choice initiatives in existing modelling tools.
- TAG unit M5-1 modelling parking and park-and-ride
- TAG unit M5-2 modelling smarter choices
- TAG Unit M5-3 supplementary economic modelling
TAG Data Book
The TAG Data Book includes all of the appraisal and modelling values referred to in the guidance in one workbook.
To support transport business case development, the department has produced a suite of tools to enable the appraisal of transport policy and interventions. The purpose of these tools is to ensure a consistent approach in transport appraisal, as well as reducing the cost of carrying out the analysis.
- TEMPRO (Trip End Model Presentation Program)
- DIADEM (Dynamic Integrated Assignment and DEmand Modelling)
- COBALT (COst and Benefit to Accidents - Light Touch)
- TUBA (Transport Users Benefit Appraisal)
This guidance provides further information on more specific areas of modelling and appraisal methods that TAG users may find useful.
- SI NTEM sub-models
- SI mixed logit models
- SI bespoke mode choice models
- SI land use/transport interaction models
List of agreed alterations to existing TAG, including details of the information being altered and planned dates of release. The TAG changes for May 2019 are:
- updates the Nitrogen Oxide and particulate matter (PM) damage cost values plus impact pathway approaches for PM and Nitrogen Dioxide
- updates to the diesel, petrol and alternative fuel projection calculations plus changes to the fuel costs and emissions curves following research by Ricardo AEA
- updates to non-wage labour uplifts calculations reflecting increasing national insurance contributions
- inclusion of the journeys per rail season ticket assumptions
- update to the wider economic impacts dataset to capture latest projections
- update to the data book for gross domestic product, inflation outturn data and projections
Information on changes to TAG before 2019 is available on the National Archive website.
Feedback and contact
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