Why is implementation important?
Implementation is rarely easy, even when a thorough study
of the options has been conducted, and stakeholders’
views have been taken into account throughout. In the extreme,
the difficulties in deciding whether, and how, to implement
may act as the final barrier to implementing a chosen strategy.
There are a number of examples of good practice, often associated
with the vision-led approach to planning (Section
4), but relatively few studies of how good practice has
emerged. This Section is therefore based primarily on common
sense and on observation of those cities which have been successful.
It draws in part on a study of such cities by TRANSPLUS.
What are the barriers to implementation?
The barriers to implementing a given strategy are likely
to be identical to those outlined in Section
10 (and repeated here for completeness):
- Legal and institutional barriers, including lack of legislation
to permit a given policy instrument, and lack of direct
responsibility for it (Section
- Financial barriers including lack of funds and restrictions
on what funds can be spent on and when
- Political and cultural barriers, and in particular opposition
from those adversely affected
- Practical and technological barriers, including site availability,
engineering details and technical performance
As noted there, an inconsistent or incomplete process of
strategy formulation may also serve as a barrier to implementation.
How can these barriers be overcome?
The key to this is to identify these barriers at the outset
when considering the possible policy instruments (Section
9 , 10). It should then
be possible to design a strategy which limits their impact
(Section 11). Stakeholder
participation is also essential (Section
6 ). When those who might be adversely affected (or even
fear that they might be) are fully involved in strategy formulation,
it should be possible to identify their concerns, and either
redesign the strategy to overcome them, or obtain agreement
that, despite them, the strategy should be pursued. In practice
those who might be adversely affected are often not identified
at the outset, or do not see the need to participate until
too late. A distributional analysis at the appraisal stage
(Section 13) can help to
identify such people. If all else fails, it may be necessary
to compensate the losers, either financially or by offering
them additional benefits which offset the problems for them.
Does the sequence of implementation matter?
As noted in Section 11,
the sequence in which a strategy involving several policy
instruments is implemented is extremely important. Some instruments
need to be in place before others can be effective; for example,
measures which discourage car use may need improvements to
public transport to be implemented first. This suggests that
both need to be implemented together. Some instruments can
be implemented gradually; for example prices can be raised,
or traffic controls intensified, over time. This may well
be a way of reducing fear of the unknown and of avoiding undue
disruption. Some larger and more expensive elements of the
strategy may well have to wait until finance can be raised,
or until the benefits from investment have increased. The
analysis of a strategy therefore has to consider carefully
the costs and benefits of alternative sequences and timescales
for implementation. At the same time, it will be important
to ensure that the strategy as a whole is implemented; there
is always a risk that if the more acceptable elements are
introduced first, the less popular ones will never be used.
Why is evaluation important?
Every new scheme provides an opportunity for learning from
experience, and improving our understanding of the performance
of the policy instruments used (Section
9). This can only be done if there is an effective before
and after survey which identifies the effects of the strategy
on the key performance indicators and against the principal
objectives (Section 7). This
will enable the strategy to be evaluated in the true sense
of the word (Section 13).
Evaluation should be carried out using the same appraisal
framework (Section 13); however,
it also provides an opportunity to reconsider the objectives,
indicators and weights being used. We hope that, in due course,
the results of such studies can be incorporated into our Policy
Why is monitoring important?
In addition, regular monitoring of conditions will help assess
whether problems are being overcome, or whether new problems
are emerging. It will thus provide the context for the next
review of the strategy. Monitoring should be based on a comprehensive
set of outcome, and intermediate outcome indicators (Section
7) which can be readily measured and easily interpreted.
Many cities aim to carry out annual monitoring of performance,
and five yearly reviews of their strategy. Some go further,
and benchmark their performance against those of similar cities.
Well conducted benchmarking schemes can help all participating
cities to improve their performance.