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The LES Toolkit


Since 2009, a key focus of the Partnership’s work has been to quantify transport emissions and damage costs associated with new planning developments.

The work has been through several phases. The first was the development of the ‘Low Emission Toolkit’ (LET): a stand-alone spreadsheet tool, to assess the costs and benefits of low emission strategies. First released in 2010, the tool estimates baseline emissions and damage costs and the impacts of low emission alternatives for: (i) individual vehicles; (ii) transport fleets; and (iii) new development sites. The latest version of the LET was released in 2015 (v1.1, build 94). However, underlying emission factors and damage costs are now out of date. As such, direct use of the software itself is not currently supported.

The Toolkit was originally designed as a single, multi-functional, calculating tool with ‘Low Emission Strategies methodology’ hard-wired into its design. This ‘black box’ approach was useful in the early stages of prototype development. However, it masks the underlying assumptions, calculations and data contained within the tool itself. Having launched the first version of the LET, the Partnership has since ‘opened up the black box’, to facilitate discussion and debate around the calculation methods used to quantify low emission actions. The focus of work subsequent work has been to progress the methods and approach themselves, rather than concentrate resources on the further development / update of the physical tool.

Details of the approach now supported by the Partnership are contained within the Technical Guidance for Emission Assessment, provided below, alongside supporting information and tools:

Nov-16: Technical Guidance: EMA-TG (v2.0)

Provides technical guidelines for undertaking emissions assessment for a development site. The method is designed to meet the evolving assessment needs of Local Air Quality and Low Emission Planning Policies.

Nov-16: Emission Assessment Reporting Template: EMA-RB (v2.0) and EMA-SR (v2.0)

Supports use of the Emission Assessment Guidelines above (EMA-TG), by providing an excel template and word document to structure and present summary results.

Feb-15: Supplementary guidance: Use of LET to support Emission Assessment of Development Sites

Provides a summary of how the methods and data within the LET may be used in combination with other tools to support transport emission assessments for development sites.

May-16: Case Studies on the Low Emission Hub

Three case studies have been listed on the Low Emission Hub to demonstrate the Partnership’s approach to Emissions and Mitigation Assessment. They are: Finch Manor, Kennedy Drive, Chestnut Heath.

Nov-16: Presentation Slides –Emission Assessment Guidelines and Examples

Presentation given in York, 10 Nov 16, outlining the approach for base fleet and migration impacts.

Historic information, which remains relevant to the emissions assessment approach:

Nov-12: Technical Review of the Low Emission Toolkit and methods

Review of the Low Emission Toolkit and overall method by Air Quality Consultants and Aether. The review concluded that it was “a streamlined and efficient approach to estimating emission reductions associated with fleets and planning developments”.

Sep-12: LET Method Summary

This document provides details of the underlying approach and functionality of the Low Emission Toolkit. The methodologies and data flows remain relevant to EMA-TG.


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