National Planning Policy Framework Forensics #29 Transport – Locational and Design issues

The practicioners draft on page 23 contains several paras on issues to be considered in allocations and/or at detailed design stage.

Developments that generate significant movement should preferably be located where the need to travel will be minimised and use of sustainable transport modes can be maximised. However, this needs to take account of policies set out elsewhere in this National Planning Policy Framework, particularly in rural areas.

Developments should be located and designed to minimise the need to travel. For larger scale residential developments a mix of uses is preferable in order to provide opportunities to undertake day to day activities including work on site. Where practical and ideally within large scale developments, key facilities such as primary schools, local shops and healthcare should be within walking distance of most properties.

Local planning authorities should aim for a balance of land uses within their area so that people can be encouraged to minimise journey lengths for employment, shopping, leisure, education and other activities.

Local Plan strategies should protect and exploit opportunities for the use of sustainable modes for the movement of freight or people.
Developments should be located and designed where practical to:
•give priority to pedestrian and cycle movements;
•have access to high quality public transport facilities;
•create safe and secure layouts which minimise conflicts between traffic and cyclists or pedestrians;
•incorporate facilities for charging electric and other low emission vehicles; and
•consider the needs of disabled people by all modes of transport.

These sections are ok as they go, they could add reference to servicing, the needs of the elderly and those with children, and the need for walk able neighbourhoods and the application of the ‘whole journey approach’ (i.e. considering public transport and walking at each end of the journey together. However this section could easily be combined with the earlier section on transport assessment to avoid duplication.

There is also somewhat less emphasis on mixed use development, compared to para 30 of PPG3

I would suggest the following wording:

A Transport Assessment (including a travel plan) will be required where the development or redevelopment is likely to have significant transport implications. The coverage and detail of the Transport Assessment should reflect the scale and the likely extent of transport impacts of the proposed scheme.

Plans should aim for a balance of land uses within their area so that people can be encouraged to minimise journey lengths for employment, shopping, leisure, education and other activities. They should focus mixed use development involving large amounts of employment, shopping, leisure and services in town centres & encourage a mix of land uses, including housing, in town centres and at a neighbourhood scale. The land requirements of sustainable transport should be considered before the needs of other land uses, particularly on former transport sites.

The decision maker should consider whether a development or a proposed allocation:

  1. Is located and designed to minimise the need to travel, and the number and length of car journeys – including whether the location is appropriate to the transport networks serving it given the size and nature of the use. Schemes attracting or generating significant numbers of people should be located and designed to maximise use of high quality sustainable transport networks, expanding them where needed. Schemes attracting significant number of freight movements should be located close to junctions of the main road networks, and for bulky freight take reasonable opportunities for rail or water movement. The differing circumstances of urban and rural areas should be considered.
  2. Provides safe and suitable access to and within the site for the whole community. This means prioritising walking and cycling – minimising conflict with cars and large vehicles, & promoting walkable and connected communities with, where practical, accessible key facilities (primary schools, local shops and healthcare) especially within large scale developments
  3. Leaves sufficient capacity so that, after any improvements to transport networks , any residual impact would not unacceptably harm the functioning of the network or unacceptably harm the ability to deliver sustainable growth in the wider area.
  4. Has proper servicing and emergency access, and facilities for charging electric and other low emission vehicles.

The needs of travellers should be considered across the whole journey, from origin to destination & including improved interhcange, with special emphasis on those with mobility restrictions such as disabled people, the elderly and those with children.

Ill look at parking in the next section, ok so what important from PPG13 is left out after this?  Two areas stand out  firstly rural areas, covered in paras 40-44 of PPG13.  I think this could be edited down to one short section as follows:

In rural areas, local authorities should focus most development comprising jobs, shopping, leisure and services in or near to local service centres, to help ensure it is served by public transport (or if not possible dsitances by car are short) and provides some potential for access by walking and cycling. These centres (which might be a market town, a single larger village or a group of smaller villages) should be identified in the development plan as the preferred locations for such development. They should also be the main focus for significant additional housing. The availability of previously developed land is not, in itself, a sufficient reason for developing in inaccessible locations.

In order to reduce the need for long-distance out-commuting to jobs in urban areas, it is important to promote adequate employment opportunities in rural areas.

Including agricultural diversification and small scale employment on farms and around villages. Rural plces of work with large number of workers should ideally will require choices other than the private car, such as public transport or, if not practical, free transport by the employer.

This wording also tries to be slightly more realistic on local service centres, given that with very poor bus services in many rural areas the distance travelled will often be key to minimising carbon emissions.

I think the freight, and some of the mode specific issues are adequately covered above leaving just one remaining area, traffic management/Public Transport management.  These are one of the statutorily defined functions of plans in the 1990 act and so need to be covered.  All it needs is

Traffic management and the management of public transport facilities should be compatible with these principles and planned in an integrated manner.

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