Chris Gent from Capita Symonds has been crowned UK transport planner of the year for his use of PLUTO - a computer based transport policy explorer - to tackle the problems of a hypothetical town.
The competition was organised by the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), University of Leeds, in conjunction with the Transport Planning Society and consultants Steer Davies Gleave. Over 100 people downloaded the PLUTO software in order to enter the competition.Competitors used PLUTO, developed at ITS, to devise a package of transport and land use policies to meet stringent congestion, safety, environmental and equity targets while maintaining a vibrant city economy, healthy finances and voter confidence.To win Chris combined road user charging, increased parking charges, and restrictions on long stay parking with bus service enhancements, bus lanes, a free park and ride service, increased short stay parking and a relaxed approach to development control. His road user charging revenues (even after deduction of operating costs) provided sufficient revenue to allow massive investment in road safety and traffic calming, abolition of local council tax and a significant reduction in the business rate. As winner of the competition, Chris receives the accolade of becoming 'PLUTO planner of 2006' and an iPod donated by TPS and SDG.Related links:Today's top stories