Planning a new transport project – where do I start?

The Better Value Rail (BVR) toolkit has been developed by experts in the Department for Transport, Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and Network Rail to provide guidance and support to anyone planning to develop or sponsor a new transport project. The guidance takes you through the things you should think about and the information you should gather at the very start, well before preparing a business case or seeking planning consent. Defining the transport problem you are trying to solve, exploring the different options for solving it and carrying out early analysis to assess the benefits and costs of possible solutions are amongst the key actions that are important at this stage. The toolkit will assist with the development of ideas and the exploration of options before they are taken forward into a project.

Is it just about building new railways?

When first initiating a new transport project you should try and be open-minded about the mode to be employed and consider a range of options. While you might have a preferred mode in mind, there may be alternatives that offer lower costs or greater benefits. The Multi Modal Assessment Tool allows you to fully explore the relative merits of different transport modes before choosing the one to be adopted for the project.

While at present the guidance is most relevant to rail-based projects (including tram and metro), there is a significant amount of content that is also beneficial for projects adopting other transport modes.

There are four sections within the BVR toolkit and the best way to use the toolkit is to work through these in sequence, starting with the Strategy section.

Explore the toolkit by section

Early Stage Specification Process

Four process steps to take a rail project through at the early stage of development.

Capital Expenditure Tool

The Tool is designed to provide a high-level range of capital costs for different types of projects, based on historical data, right at the start of the project when there has been little development work.

Complexity Assessment Tool

Depending on the scale, scope and novelty of a proposal, different approaches will be needed for managing the work and the necessary support and advice. This assessment helps you think about what kind of management arrangements your project needs.

Contact the Better Value Rail team with any queries or suggestions

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