The Brian Large Bursary Fund

Registered Charity no 328747

Colin Harwood has been awarded the 2016 Voorhees-Large Prize for his dissertation “An Investigation into the Accuracy of Trip Generation Forecasts for New Developments in England” submitted for his Masters in Transport Planning and Management at the University of Westminster. 

The Voorhees-Large Prize, which is worth £500, is awarded by the Brian Large Bursary Fund for the best dissertation submitted by a UK resident studying for a Transport Masters.  It will be presented to Colin at the PTRC Transport Practitioners Awards Dinner in June.

Colin is a Senior Transport Planner with Mott MacDonald. Graduating from the University of Exeter with a degree in geography in 2008, Colin’s interest in transport issues developed through some of his degree modules and then in completing his dissertation on road pricing. After graduating Colin joined Brighton & Hove City Council as a Transport Planner, working on a range of projects including the Cycling Town and Local Sustainable Transport Fund programmes. Colin then moved into consultancy, joining Mott MacDonald in 2015. He has regularly assessed planning applications for local highway authorities and supported developers in the preparation of Transport Assessments. Colin also has a keen interest in walking and cycling projects and has undertaken network assessments and worked on a number of schemes, including Lewes Road in Brighton.

To broaden his technical knowledge and to help him work towards becoming a chartered transport planner, Colin decided to study for an MSc in Transport Planning and Management at the University of Westminster, graduating with distinction. For his dissertation Colin was inspired by his work in development planning and decided to focus on an identified research gap in the evaluation of Transport Assessments. The aim of his research was to ascertain how accurately forecasts of the number of trips generated by developments reflected the reality once the developments had been completed. The research looked at forecast and post-development data for 65 sites. The findings supported industry best practice in how forecasts are generated and indicated that the UK approach compares well to methods applied internationally. Whilst there is some variability, the research also found that it was common for Transport Assessments to forecast more trips than actually occurred which, in these cases, supports the robustness of the process of assessing the transport impact of developments.

On being told of his award, Colin said

I am delighted to have won the Voorhees-Large Prize 2016. It will be an honour to receive this and an extra reward for the hard work that went into completing my Masters. I would like to thank my supervisors at the University of Westminster for their support. I hope that, through my research, I have made a small contribution to this evaluation and research gap.  

Brian Large Trustee Martin Richards said

"the Brian Large Trustees are very pleased to award the 2016 Voorhees-Large Prize to Colin. The Prize remembers both Al Voorhees, founder of MVA and a leader in the early days of transport planning, and Brian Large, a Director of MVA when he died, too young. Al would have been particularly interested in Colin’s work having, early in his career, been awarded the 1955 US Institute of Traffic Engineers Past Presidents' Award for his paper “A General Theory of Traffic Movement”, the opening paragraphs of which were":

Every day our city streets become more clogged with ever-increasing traffic — yet to date we have failed to develop a simple theory explaining the urban traffic patterns which have evolved. It is realized generally that a clear understanding afforded by such a theory would be most beneficial in selecting the proper remedies for our traffic ills. Though several attempts have been made in that direction, the fact remains that we are still without this basic hypothesis.

Most of the attempts have centered around the so-called "land use" approach. These pilot studies sought to establish a relationship between a particular type of land use and the traffic it generates. In other words, it was hoped that by analyzing specific land uses, such as industrial areas, it might be discovered that a certain amount of industrial floor area would produce a given number of trips. Unfortunately, this approach has run into many obstacles, related in most cases to the numerous variables that exist.

The Voorhees-Large Prize complements the Brian Large Bursaries which the Fund awards to UK full time transport Masters students. This year, three students studying for transport Masters at Cardiff, Leeds and Salford Universities are being helped in financing their studies.

The Brian Large Bursary Fund is a registered charity, formed by Brian’s family, friends and colleagues to keep his memory alive following his death in 1989.   

For further Information contact

Martin Richards


T: 01306 711885

M: 07785 928 719  


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