Giving transport the boot?

WelTAG is a framework for thinking about proposed changes to the transport system. It contains best practice for the development, appraisal and evaluation of proposed transport interventions in Wales. But how do you make it work alongside the Wellbeing Future Generations Act? Give it some WELLIE, says Alexandra Egge, of Mott MacDonald

The Wellbeing Impact Evaluation (WELLIE) is the first framework to be developed integrating the legal requirements of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act into a clear methodology within the WelTAG process. The 2017 update to WelTAG brought the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 to the heart of scheme development.

Since 2017, practitioners have struggled to develop an approach to integrate the Act into the appraisal process. WELLIE, developed by Mott MacDonald, will fill this knowledge vacuum and allow practitioners to utilise the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act to its full potential. WELLIE also gives practitioners outside of Wales a rigorous framework to ensure that projects demonstrate social, economic, environmental and cultural sustainability.

WELLIE allows practitioners to predict, plan, deliver and measure the impact of schemes upon community wellbeing now and in the future. WELLIE weaves wellbeing throughout the 5-case model to produce seamless integration of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. WELLIE uses the analysis undertaken during the WelTAG process and enhances it with a Wellbeing component at each stage.

WELLIE sets out a clear step-by-step process to guide wellbeing analysis throughout the scheme appraisal process. This process forms a user-friendly ‘live document’ which is updated throughout the appraisal process. Upon completion of the appraisal process the WELLIE document will form a robust evidence base of integration of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act into scheme development. WELLIE can also be lifted out of WelTAG reports to form a standalone Wellbeing Assessment following the full narrative of scheme development and appraisal. WELLIE has been praised as ‘exactly what our industry, and Wales needs’ by Constructing Excellence in Wales and has received endorsement from Welsh Government, The Future Generations Commissioner’s Office, Transport for Wales, the team leading the Cardiff City Deal, Highways England and the Department for Transport.

WELLIE embeds a multidisciplinary approach to wellbeing by using the foundation of economic, environmental, social and cultural sustainability as set out in the Wellbeing Act. The impacts of transport schemes upon the different aspects of sustainability are significant in determining how successful a scheme will be in the long term. WELLIE requires practitioners to set clear and measurable indicators for the impact of schemes upon the different aspects of sustainability; from air quality performance to economic development to educational attainment. Setting tangible impact criteria enables professionals to predict and monitor the impact of a scheme upon communities and its contribution towards a sustainable future.