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Planning tool upgraded to help London’s transport challenges

Words: Laura Edgar

Transport for London (TfL) has upgraded its online planning tool in an attempt to help the capital’s planners design housing and business developments for the future.

WebCAT aims to show how well connected a location is in terms of transport as well as journey times.

The previous version of the tool allowed users to choose a location and see heat maps showing how far could be travelled within different time bands using public transport. Users could also look at what the future transport networks could look like, including where the Elizabeth line will run.

The upgraded version developed with digital creative agency Mando, includes: 

  • Heat maps that shows users how well connected an area is, not just by public transport but now also by cycling infrastructure.

  • Travel times from any location in London, now including the number of people, jobs, town centres, health services and schools with specified travel time bands.

  • New comparisons between differed scenarios such as cycling and public transport on the transport network now and in the future.

By including data such as how many jobs can be reached from a certain location and the number of health services in the area, TfL said planners can quickly asses the viability of any new housing and shopping developments by showing how many people are within a short or long commute of the selected location.

Alex Williams, acting managing director of planning at TfL, said: “London’s planners have a huge challenge ahead of them and WebCAT is a great toolkit which has already provided them with lots of useful data. We have now upgraded it to include a variety of new features, such as how many jobs and schools are nearby. This means that a wider range of people, for example property developers or residents, can now use it to find out more about specific locations in London and help plan what London will look like in the future.”

The WebCAT tool can be found here.

Image credit | Shuttershock