Short courses


Consultation and Participation in Transport Planning

  • 14 hours
  • 2 days


This two-day course is designed to help those working in transport planning to understand and effectively manage consultation and participation processes.

Transport projects can be controversial, and engaging with stakeholders or the public can sometimes seem to make things worse, not better. When such inclusion and participation are done well, however, conflict is reduced and they often lead to a more successful project.

This course will enable you to understand how effective participation works and how to get the best results.

You'll also have the opportunity to work on your own strategy under expert guidance.

This course is run by the UCL Transport Institute.

Course content

Topics to be covered include:

  • the law of consultation 
  • stakeholder analysis
  • the range of participation methods and their characteristics 
  • matching methods to the planning task 
  • facilitation 
  • analysis and reporting of responses

The significance of consultation/participation is growing, with government placing increasing emphasis on this area.

The course also highlights how:

  • clear thinking and some essential knowledge can make the difference between a relatively painless experience and a train crash (or car crash)
  • there are many techniques available and 'the way we've always done it' isn't necessarily the best
  • getting the most out of participation is subtler and more complex than is often appreciated

Who this course is for

This course is aimed at those working in the transport planning process, including:

  • transport planners
  • transport managers
  • those working in associated professions, e.g. highway engineers, development planners
  • land-use planners

Structure and teaching

The course combines lectures, discussion and individual and group exercises. Case studies will be used to illustrate general principles or introduce novel ideas.

Over the two days, you'll put what you learn into practice by developing your own participation strategy.

Learning outcomes

Following this course you'll be able to:

  • define the purpose of any consultation/participation exercise you're planning
  • plan consultation/participation activities to contribute effectively to the transport planning process
  • specify appropriately the roles of experts, elected representatives and citizens in the process
  • select with confidence a suitable set of methods for the task in hand
  • successfully use a range of participation methods
  • extract the key messages from consultation/participation activities and convey them to policy makers

Benefits of attending this course

By attending this course you'll:

  • benefit from practitioner expertise and relevant academic research in a single course
  • benefit from the knowledge and experience of experts in transport planning and participation
  • have an opportunity to network with your peers within the transport industry
  • come away with both practical know-how and the underlying theory
  • gain expert guidance and peer support when working on your own strategy

Benefits for employers

Your organisation will benefit from staff attending this course as your employees will:

  • gain greater confidence in entering participation stages of a project
  • have the latest knowledge and experiences in this area, which will create efficiencies in project management and make successful outcomes more likely
  • have access to experts in transport planning


On completion of the course you'll receive a UCL certificate of participation.

Course team

Dr Tom Cohen

Dr Tom Cohen

Tom is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Transport Studies, part of UCL's Transport Institute. He completed many stakeholder consultations during his ten years of consultancy and, since moving to UCL, has continued to work in both the practice of, and research into, citizen participation. He's also developed and led several well-received short training courses on transport.

Lucy Farrow

Lucy Farrow

Lucy is a Principal Consultant at Dialogue by Design, a company specialising in deliberation-based engagement. Her transport experience includes working on HS2, and she has also led participation exercises on controversial energy and land-use planning projects.

Learner reviews

Previous course attendees have said:

"An interesting and highly participatory course! I really enjoyed the course." [Mohamed Gaafar, Graduate Transport Engineer, BuroHappold Engineering]

"I found your course really good. Since starting in this role last year I've been on a few courses on consultation and found them to be useful and educational, but your course and the style of delivery has made the subject interesting!" [Seth Twombley, Transport Project Officer, London Borough of Hounslow]

"[The course] gave me a good overview of the steps required to form a good participation strategy, as well as the right thinking behind participation strategies and lots of different methods available." [Recent participant]

"[The course] took us through from beginning to end, which will help me when doing it for real! I understand the variety of participation methods in a lot more detail." [Recent participant]

Course information last modified: 23 Oct 2019, 12:03