Our teams provide development planning and highway design services to both private and public sector clients across the UK.
We will take you on a journey that starts with design development and proceeds through planning to the implementation of obligations including highway works and travel plans. If the situation demands it, we will also support you by giving evidence at appeals and public inquiries.
We are very conscious of what matters most to clients in different sectors. For developers seeking to clarify the viability of a site, key questions will concern the ease of access to the site and the likely requirements for off-site measures. With educational facilities the issues will surround the importance of sustainable access, parking, and safety. For organisations involved in the development of energy and power facilities, route modelling will be a key factor to ensure that large construction materials can reach remote locations.
Our focus is always on sustainable travel solutions. This includes: ensuring there is choice for everyone from a range of available modes of travel; promoting safe pedestrian and cycling routes; and designs that enable the flow of people in a practical and logical way and don’t add unnecessary stress to our networks.
Read more about our specific areas of expertise below:
Strategic land promotion
With developers, we advise on the transportation and highways issues that can be a deal-breaker on whether to proceed with a site. Our due diligence will include an assessment of the highways and infrastructure and the related costs and practicalities to facilitate a development.
We assess the potential impact of a development and advise on access strategies and highways improvements. We work closely with the authorities to provide our clients with a smooth path through the planning process.
We use the latest modelling software to assess capacity on the road network and analyse whether it can accommodate development trips, or whether measures will be required to enhance existing infrastructure.
Our experience covers a wide range of sectors. For example, we can advise on new mixed-use, out-of-town developments that draw significant road traffic with associated impacts to major junctions and highways; and we also advise on housing developments in community locations that demand consideration of pedestrians, cyclists and access and safety around hot-spots such as education or medical facilities.
Negotiation of Section 106 and 278 agreements
We advise on Section 106 and Section 278 agreements. We negotiate for our clients on the measures that should be taken to reduce the impact on a community from increased travel movements, and we also negotiate on the appropriate contribution to be made by developers to alterations and improvements to highways in line with current planning policy.
We help clients integrate proposals for sustainable methods of travel into their overall development plans.
We advise on the most practical and appropriate ways to design and provide a range of safe and sustainable travel options for the public.
We can also advise on how area-wide travel plans can release capacity on the road network in order to enable new developments to come forward.
Once planning has been achieved, we work with developers, local authorities, businesses and other stakeholder groups to offer travel planning advice to their communities and employees to help people understand the choices they have in determining their mode of travel.
Using specialist software, our teams help clients to plan how best to access sites with abnormal loads.
In particular, the construction and maintenance of large, remote industrial or power facilities requires the delivery of abnormally large loads. We help clients to determine the best route and how to facilitate access to a site where the final section of these journeys is frequently via minor roads. Our interrogative assessments also help to identify the size and type of vehicle required to transport an abnormal load to a specific destination.
With planning approval secured, we work with all stakeholders to support detailed engineering design of road and highways improvements. These can range from new road layouts, to the design and implementation of roundabouts, new junctions, traffic control signals (including MOVA applications), car parking design, cycle paths, footpaths, speed control solutions and street furniture.
Our team has international experience of working with masterplanners, engineers, architects and landscape specialists in order to achieve sensitive and minimalist engineering solutions which contribute to the overall sense of place within a development.
Our senior team are all highly experienced at being expert witnesses at public inquiries and other forms of planning appeal. We commonly represent clients at appeal and have a strong reputation for providing robust, concise and persuasive evidence under cross-examination.
Our experts bring the weight of their significant technical expertise and experience to the stand at Appeal. They also undertake key roles in the transportation and planning sector nationally: our Southern Transportation Director sits on Highways England’s liaison panel with the development industry, as well as working with professional bodies to advise on the transportation impacts of proposed planning policy. Many of our staff also sit on regional bodies within professional institutions in the transportation sector.
Road safety audits and quality audits
Our road safety team provide road safety audits that meet current guidance and standards. Our team is independent of our in-house designers, meaning that our audits are respected for their robustness and impartiality.
Working with landscape design specialists, we are also able to provide an in-house quality audit capability which aligns well with our commitment to provide sensitive engineering solutions that enhance the sense of place within our clients’ development schemes.
Traffic Regulation Orders
Developments commonly require changes to existing restrictions on the highway network – for example, amendments to local parking arrangements or speed limits. Hydrock’s specialists work with private developers and local authorities to alter and update Traffic Regulation Orders to take account of these changing circumstances.
Traffic and pedestrian modelling
Our transportation teams are experts in the use of stand-alone models including Junctions 9 (formerly ‘ARCADY and PICADY’) and LinSig3. These form the mainstay of the assessment undertaken for strategic development schemes.
We can also undertake strategic modelling, assessing the area-wide impact of proposals, using software including SATURN. Alongside this, we can assess the detailed operation of junctions and small road networks using micro-simulation tools such as PARAMICS and VISSIM, and we use PTV Viswalk to model the behaviour of pedestrians in a variety of situations.