No - the Transport Agency does not expect RLTPs to be developed as a ‘regional programme business case’, in the same way that, for example, a programme business case for an inter-related set of corridor or network improvements might be developed. The process needs to be applied in a way that is ‘fit-for-purpose,’ for the size, scale and scope of the planned activity.
In practical terms the RLTP will not detail the level of problem definition necessary to drive a strategic case for a particular investment decision. We would also expect that the stakeholders who need to be involved in making explicit decisions about a particular corridor or network improvement will be very different from the stakeholders you would engage with in an RLTP development or review process.
What the RLTP will do is provide valuable strategic context for programme and project development. Each individual activity within the regional programme will require further detail depending on the entry point for its progression through the BCA.
Doesn’t this mean the development path for every activity will be overly complicated, creating unnecessary ‘churn’?
No, it doesn’t – the important thing is to identify the fit-for-purpose level of effort needed to develop the investment story.
Saying the RLTP is not a ‘regional programme business case’ is not the same as saying that every activity must have a separate strategy-level strategic case, and a programme business case, in order to be developed further.
In many cases, low complexity/ low risk investments will already be supported at strategic / programme level by another document, such as an Activity Management Plan or a Regional Public Transport Plan, prior to submission to the RLTP. Where such documents have themselves been developed following BCA principles, this will often be enough to enable an activity to commence at Indicative Business Case phase, provided it can reasonably be demonstrated it is a ‘stand-alone’ activity.
The Point of Entry discussion for such activities will be important to establish and agree the correct path for developing the investment story, including whether it is appropriate to commence the investment at an activity level. This will allow questions such as ‘is this part of a wider problem’ to be addressed. It is recommended you approach your regional Planning and Investment contacts to discuss such cases at an early stage.