The task of producing a generic model of the modal choice decision making process is a challenging one. Modal choice is strongly influenced by the infrastructure limitations and geographical constraints of the area in which the decision is being made. With this in mind, addressing modal choice on an individual basis for each region may be the optimal solution. This is the approach adopted in this paper. The creation of a modal choice model is a multistage process of which this paper addresses the first stage, the production a framework of the decision making process. Firstly, a number of criteria that are commonly used in modal choice models are identified. Then a number of gaps in the criteria utilized in previous papers are established. Subsequently, the method used to produce a framework of the decision making process within North West England’s Atlantic Gateway is outlined. Through consultation with transport industry experts in North West England, an initial list of sixty eight papers was reduced to thirty six that were considered to be of specific relevance to modern day freight transportation within their region. The criteria used in each of these papers were then, along with further industry input, used to create the foundation on which a modal choice framework specific to the Atlantic Gateway could be built. A greater understanding of what influences modal choice within this region will allow informed decisions to be made by policy makers on how to more efficiently utilize the available modes of freight transport. Having established this, future work can then go on to build upon these findings. This paper recommends that future work is performed to establish the weights of each criteria and sub-criteria within the framework. This should then be followed by establishing industry’s perceptions of the best and worst alternatives for moving freight within the Atlantic Gateway.
In the North West of England the issue of a perceived infrastructure gap is of increasing concern. Investment needs to be made to improve the transport infrastructure of the region if it is to be expected to promote the development of its own regional logistics gateway. Funding tools have been set up to address the challenges arising from the imbalance in infrastructure development that exists between regions in the north of the United Kingdom and those in the south. For regions with well developed economies the outlook is promising as the availability of modern transport infrastructure looks set to improve. However, some sources believe that the development of new transport infrastructure will have a negative impact upon sustainable development. It is expected that this will occur in a range of both direct and indirect ways. As a result, it is critical that planning for the creation of new intermodal transport infrastructure, or the upgrading of that which already exists, takes into account the impact that these developments will have on the sustainable development of the host region. A scenario based development methodology is proposed in this paper. It was developed to provide a way to identify potential scenarios that may arise within a given region as a result of transport infrastructure projects. To create significant scenarios the methodology is dependent on the availability of a sufficient quantity of quality data. For this paper that data was collected through a focus group composed of stakeholders from the region in question. This was further supported by the performance of an impact survey using the same group of stakeholders.