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Assessment of the economic and social impact of clear zones
improving the quality of life in towns and cities

Funding: National (United Kingdom)
Duration: 10/2001 - 12/2002
Transport themes: Urban transport , Environmental impacts , Economic and regional impacts (key theme)
  • Outline
  • Funding
  • Results
  • Contact

Background & policy context

The Clear Zone programme aims to improve the quality of life in towns and cities by reducing the negative impacts of traffic.

Nine Trailblazer sites are demonstrating innovative approaches: Bath, Bristol, Camden, Leicester, Merseyside, Nottingham, Tyneside, Winchester and York.


The primary aim of this study was to draw together existing information to provide guidance to the Trailblazer sites on assessment of economic and social impacts.


The study began with a review of existing assessment methodologies, to build on rather than duplicate existing work. The review covered a wide range of methodologies that are being developed, or used, to monitor the social and economic impacts of planning, transport and broader urban policy.

This was complemented by a review of current monitoring activity by the Trailblazers and similar projects. A draft assessment methodology was then developed, and presented to the Trailblazer projects for comment. The draft methodology has been tested and developed further through case studies in two contrasting Trailblazer sites, Winchester and Nottingham.

The Trailblazers were again given an opportunity to comment on the revised methodology at the Clear Zone Forum in June 2002. Comments were also invited on the draft report in July 2002.

Research Programme

DfT Regional and Local Transport - Department for Transport - Local Transport and Regional

Leading institution(s)

Public institution:

Department for Transport

Type of funding

Public (national/regional/local)

Key results

An effective monitoring strategy will involve the assembly and analysis of targeted 'before/after' and comparative data, across a range of social and economic impacts.

Monitoring can benefit individual Trailblazer sites by:

  • Informing their dialogue with local stakeholders;
  • Providing information on the effectiveness of Clear Zone measures, and their impact on different groups, which can be used to find tune project design;
  • Demonstrating good practice to DfT and other funders, and hence improving the changes of winning funding from LTP and other sources.

Policy implications

Sound monitoring of Clear Zones will also generate wider policy implications by:

  • Providing data which will, in the longer term, enable other cities to predict potential impacts of Clear Zone-type measures;
  • Enabling DfT and other policy making bodies to assess the effectiveness of Clear Zone policies.

Economic aspects

Key Findings

The primary aim of this study was to draw together existing information to provide guidance to the Trailblazer sites on assessment of economic and social impacts. The project is especially a part of the economic aspects theme and its findings contribute knowledge to the sub themes of:

  • socio economic impacts of transport investments and policies such as the direct and indirect impacts among groups, industries and regions of investments in transport infrastructures and services; and
  • policies and conditions for sustainable mobility, which is also a prime objective of the project.


DfT/ C&G Consultants

Contact for further information

CAG Consultants
Gordon House, 6 Lissenden Gardens
NW5 1LX   London
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7482 8882