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Transport Matters$
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Iain Docherty and Jon Shaw

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447329558

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447329558.001.0001

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Public engagement and consultation: decide, announce and defend?

Public engagement and consultation: decide, announce and defend?

(p.251) 11 Public engagement and consultation: decide, announce and defend?
Transport Matters

Tom Cohen

Dan Durrant

Policy Press

Phase One of the UK’s High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project is taken as a representative example of the government’s approach to citizen participation with respect to planning major infrastructure projects. The engagement process in general and the 2011 national consultation in particular are found to be paradigm cases of “decide, announce and defend”, in spite of an increasing need for scheme sponsors to take a more inclusive and open approach to planning. A methodical approach to selecting engagement techniques produces three approaches – deliberative polling, the 21st century town meeting, and participatory multi-criteria analysis – that appear well suited to a project such as HS2. Without suggesting that any of these would have been a panacea, it is possible to conclude that the government could have pursued a more innovative approach to participation.

Keywords:   Citizen participation, Major infrastructure, Expertise, High-speed rail, Consultation

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