BNR Consulting (UK):

Economics, Demand Analysis & Marketing Research
in Transport Planning and Independent Travel

BNR Consulting, Bournemouth, Dorset, England.
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Consultant Profile


BNR Consulting is the trading name of Dr. Lawrence Harrell, a freelance demand analyst, transport planner, economist and market research specialist who has particular expertise in the transport planning, travel and tourism fields.

Dr. Harrell works part-time in Local Government as a strategic transport planner and undertakes freelance/contract work at other times. He is based in the Bournemouth/Poole/Christchurch conurbation of South East Dorset, but is is sometimes able to undertake and assist on projects elsewhere.

Dr. Harrell has nearly 20 years experience in his specialist fields and has worked on numerous projects in several parts of the world, including Australia, New Zealand and the European Union.

Previous experience:

Sustainable Transport: Alternatives to the Car (Cycling and Walking)

The Demand for Public Transport (Rail and Bus)

Transport and Tourism

Transport Economics

Market Research

Transport Planning and Development Control


Transport Documents

Some studies are available on-line should you find them useful. These documents are in PDF format and can be viewed and printed with free reader software on most computer platforms.

Detailed Curriculum Vitae (available on request).

LDF Evidence Base. New Flats and Transport in Bournemouth Study (2007). The New Flats and Transport in Bournemouth study was undertaken by Dr. Harrell at Bournemouth Borough Council to investigate the travel habits of the residents of recently built flats in the Borough. This study will assist in the development of appropriate transport policies in the forthcoming Local Development Framework.

Interim Planning Framework: Developer Contributions for Transport Investment (2007). This public document was largely produced by Dr Harrell as part of a team effort at Bournemouth Borough Council to ensure that adequate funding is received from small scale residential development to mitigate its cumulative effects on the local transport network.

Croydon Walking and Cycling Survey (2005). This study investigated the issues that detered people from cycling and walking in Croydon and in particular what cyclists and pedestrians see as the dangers/hazards associated with walking and cycling in the area.

With regard to walking, the findings suggest that existing highway designs are having a deterrent effect. For example, pedestrian subways were unpopular and this feeling was exacerbated at night. Other issues that appeared to concern respondents were problems associated with existing facilities. Better cleaning, maintenance and enforcement of existing laws, for example, concerning parking and obstructions on the pavement might therefore generate a significant improvement in the walking environment.

Heavy and fast traffic appeared to be important deterrents to cycle use. There was some concern regarding the difficulty of taking cycles on public transport. Respondents were again asked to consider policies that could be implemented to encourage cycling. The most popular measure, for the sample as a whole, was fully segregated on-road cycle lanes, this was followed by partly segregated on road cycle lanes and marked on-road cycle lanes without segregation. There were significant divergences of opinion between car owners and non-car owners, with the former less positive about all, but one, of the measures. Car owners seemed to be particularly interested in removing cyclists from traffic; while non-car owners appeared to be more concerned with giving cyclists priority over other traffic.

Respondents made clear their desire for more cycle parking at destinations within the area. Over a quarter, of those that responded to the question, considered there to be a greater need for parking in the Town Centre and at shopping precincts. Railway stations were the third most popular location for additional parking. Interestingly nearly 10% of respondents suggested additional cycle parking at car parks. The introduction of free cycle parking is such areas would be an effective way of increasing the visibility of cycling as a cheap and realistic mode of transport to car users.

There is some evidence of a conflict between pedestrians and cyclists on pavements. For the problems associated with cycling on pavements to be properly addressed two issues need to be tackled. Some cyclists use pavements because there are no safe, alternative, direct routes available to them. Other cyclists use pavements where there is an acceptable cycle route and this problem is exacerbated by a lack of enforcement. The breaking of highway rules by cyclists creates a poor impression of cycling as a mode of transport and does not encourage the wider community to support cycling initiatives.
Croydon Walking and Cycling Survey (PDF, 572 Kb)

Merton Cycle Campaign - Cycle Survey (2003). This report attempts to establish the issues that deterred people from cycling in Merton and in particular what cyclists see as the dangers/hazards associated with travel by bicycle in the area. 10,000 self-completion questionnaires were distributed at various locations and a response rate of 9% was achieved resulting in a sample comprising of a mix of regular cyclists, irregular cyclists and non-cyclists. Many of the findings are in line with the results of earlier research on cycling and some important local issues have emerged.
Merton Cycle Campaign - Cycle Survey 2002 (PDF, 144 Kb)

The Implementation and Likely Effects on Demand of Improved Rail Links in Wessex - The Yeovil Junction Southern Chord (2002). This report investigates one way of significantly improving the connectivity of the Wessex rail network by more effectively linking in a little used part of it - the line between Castle Cary and Dorchester. This integration could be achieved by connecting the Waterloo - Exeter and Dorchester - Castle Cary lines with a new track (chord) just south of the point at which they cross. Fortunately the earthworks for this connection are in place, having been constructed in 1860 to facilitate the exchange of traffic between the two railways. The installation of this Southern Chord would permit significantly upgraded services between West Country and the south coast, east of Weymouth, as well as providing several other benefits.

The implementation of this Yeovil Junction Southern Chord has been under consideration for some time and a previous study (Harrell, 1986) presented an overview of some of the potential benefits. Although the Southern Chord is still listed as a possible future development (for example, Local Transport Plan for Somerset 2001-2006, July 2000) more detailed work was not been carried out and the scheme has not progressed. This study considers the proposal in more detail, to give some indication of the likely impact of the scheme on patronage and revenue.
The Implementation and Likely Effects on Demand of Improved Rail Links in Wessex - The Yeovil Junction Southern Chord (PDF, 233 Kb)

Attitudinal Differences between Respondents on Car Free Day (2001). European Car Free Day has been run in cities and towns throughout Europe since 1995 and aims to show people what their environment could be like if they were free from cars. The cities and towns involved close off sections of road to motor vehicles for the day to demonstrate how much cleaner, less congested and quieter local streets can be. As part of Car Free Day 2001 in London a survey of participants was undertaken to gauge public reaction to the event. The basic analysis of the survey is reported elsewhere; but BNR Consulting undertook further analysis to look at the way attitudes varied according to the personal characteristics of respondents.
Attitudinal Differences between Respondents on Car Free Day 2001 (PDF, 42 Kb)

Designing and Implementing a Stated Preference (Conjoint) Exercise (1993). This paper provides a simple overview of the design and implementation of a Stated Preference (Conjoint) exercise to estimate the value of attributes. It is assumed that the reader has a general idea of what Conjoint Analysis (also termed Stated Preference) is and how it operates.
Designing and Implementing a Stated Preference (Conjoint) Exercise (PDF, 19 Kb)

The Effect of Intangible Product Attributes on Rail Passenger Demand with Special Reference to Ride Quality. Cranfield University Ph.D. thesis (1990). This study set out to investigate the value consumers place on less tangible product attributes. Although some work has been done in the past, to establish the relative importance of intangible attributes; very few studies have attempted to produce a financial value for a change. The research was conducted in a rural railway environment and so the product considered was a train journey. The main intangible attribute chosen for the study was ride quality.

Rural railway services make significant losses and as a result have been threatened with closure. Reducing track maintenance (and thus ride quality) on these routes offers considerable scope for cost reduction. But, very little was known about the response of demand to changes in ride quality. Any results obtained could, therefore, make a contribution to maintaining railway services in areas of limited public transport.

Although this study concentrated on the railway ride problem, it is believed that the method developed during this research would be applicable, with some modification, to other topics.
The Effect of Intangible Product Attributes on Rail Passenger Demand with Special Reference to Ride Quality (PDF, 479 Kb)

The Effect of the Frequency and Timing of Secondary Rail Services on Demand. Cranfield University M.Sc. thesis (1987). This study addresses the timing and frequency of rural/secondary rail services. The main area investigated is the impact of the timing and frequency on the number of passengers carried by the service.

The timing and frequency of a service will affect the perceived quality of the service, the number of passengers carried and thus the amount of revenue attracted to a service. The nature of the timetable therefore partly determines the size of any profit (or more usually loss) made by a railway. Relatively little research has been done in this area especially with respect to railways; when one looks at the infrequent secondary services information becomes almost non-existent. It is possible that some models for other public transport could be used on the railway, but models for low frequency services are also scarce for other modes.

The lack of evidence on low frequency services causes British Rail to suggest that for services with more than a train every three hours their standard service quality model (which has been designed for more frequent inter-city services) should be used to estimate responses to service changes. If the service is less frequent than a train every three hours no model is available. It is thus clear that the forecasting tools available to the managers of low frequency secondary lines may be suspect, if a model is available at all.

When the number of trains per day is low and there is a limited potential market available to the railway, it is critical that the trains that are run should run at the times people desire to achieve maximum loadings. In some instances the current timetable on secondary routes appears to be more a product of historical patterns (the train always left at 10.15) than any rigorous analysis. Trains appear to be withdrawn if they do not load well, when by re-timing the service, patronage may be significantly increased. A means of establishing desired travel times by rail and predicting responses when the timetable comes close to these, is therefore important to help maximise revenue on secondary services thus postponing, or even cancelling closure. This should leave rural areas with a more effective public transport system at a lower cost.
The Effects of the Frequency and Timing of Secondary Rail Services on Demand (PDF, 251 Kb)

The Future Potential of Rural Railways: Illustrated by the Dorchester - Yeovil Line. Bournemouth University B.A. Dissertation (1986). This study aims to see if a secondary/rural railway line (Bristol - Westbury - Castle Cary - Yeovil Pen Mill - Dorchester West - Weymouth) can be made more viable by implementing new policies to reduce costs and increase revenue, by the more efficient use of resources. The study also considers the re-opening of Bradford Peverell and Stratton Halt, as well as the introduction of a southern chord at Yeovil Junction station.
The Future Potential of Rural Railways: Illustrated by the Dorchester - Yeovil Line (PDF, 423 Kb)

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