Public participation and written submissions: A transport infrastructure planning case study

Publisher's full text
Hans Antonson

Written submissions or comments as a response on an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) rank as one of the most common forms of public participation. Within public participation research there appears to be an international dearth of knowledge concerning such written submissions. The possible impact of such responses on an EIS is - with few exceptions - seldom put in focus. The aim in the present brief communication is to study one aspect of public participation within transport infrastructure planning, namely the role of written submissions sent to the applicant by individuals, Non-governmental organisations, companies and authorities. By comparing 34 written submissions with road planning documents (including EIS) the impact of the public views has been analysed in a south Swedish case study. At a time when the new Environmental Code only had been in force for less than one year, it does not appear as if the Road Administration's regional office accepted most of the written submissions just to show that the new regulation concerning participation had a direct impact on the planning. Sweden's long tradition of public access to official documents may explain why written submissions as one aspect of public participation worked well in the E18 highway planning process, because civil servants have long been taught to promptly furnish information and guidance, as well as to giving advice and other assistance to individuals in matters concerning an authority's activity. This study shows, then, that - if properly managed by the developer's street-level staff - the use of written submissions may improve the EIS from a stakeholder perspective and also make the stakeholders feel they are being taken seriously.



Social sustainability and just mobility

Welcome to a research workshop on Social sustainability and just mobility, 8–9 October 2019 in Linköping, Sweden

European Road Profile User's Group, ERPUG

Welcome to the sixth ERPUG meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

Vision Zero for Sustainable Road Safety in the Baltic Sea Region

The second Vision Zero for Sustainable Road Safety in the Baltic Sea Region conference will be held in Tallinn, Estonia. VTI is part of the programme committee. 



Knowledge in the fight against microplastics from road traffic

The Government has commissioned VTI to develop and disseminate knowledge regarding the emission of microplastics from road traffic.


How to make autonomous vehicles coexist with other traffic

The road infrastructure must be prepared for self-driving vehicles – especially in the beginning when the concepts are still new. Researchers are contributing to this through CoEXist, an EU-funded research project in which VTI participates as the largest...


Electric roads: ‘Standardisation is an important factor for a future European transport system’

VTI employees recently arranged a workshop in Brussels on the standardisation of Electric Road Systems (ERS). ERS has become increasingly relevant as a possible method for reducing the transport sector's environmental impacts, especially in terms of climate...


Research on passenger and freight transport research

Shift2Rail is a European railway project that works actively to create innovations within the railway sector. IMPACT-2 is a project within Shift2Rail that follows and evaluates the innovation projects. How are the innovations coming along? Are they beneficial...


How vehicles can avoid accidents on newly paved roads

Friction is an important property for road safety. VTI has investigated how roads change in the first few weeks after surfacing work has been completed. Researchers recommend posting warning signs when the road is opened and waiting at least three weeks to...


VTI contributes to study on older drivers and accidents

On behalf of and in collaboration with the Swedish Transport Agency, VTI has carried out a study of older drivers and the link between illness and traffic accidents. The Transport Agency has now published the results.