East Hampshire District Local Plan: Joint Core Strategy
8. Transport and access
Through implementation of the Hampshire Local Transport Plan (2011 – 2031), the fullest possible use of sustainable modes of transport (including cycling, walking and public and community transport) and reduced dependence on the private car will be encouraged.
Development proposals will include a range of mitigating measures and, where appropriate, will be required to:
enhance the quality, viability, availability, accessibility and frequency of public transport and alternative community transport provision, especially in rural areas, to ensure that those without access to a private car have access to services and facilities necessary for their well-being;
protect and provide safe and convenient cycle and pedestrian links that integrate with existing cycle and pedestrian networks, such as the South Downs Way and Shipwrights Way, and reflect the amenity and rural character of the area;
ensure that highway design and associated signing meets the needs of vehicular traffic and the need for safety whilst also placing a high priority on meeting the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users and without detriment to the quality of the environment;
plan for new highway infrastructure that will reduce congestion, improve highway safety, increase accessibility to the District’s town and district centres and enhance economic prosperity of the District;
improve access to rail stations at Rowlands Castle, Petersfield, Liss, Liphook, Alton and Bentley Station by sustainable modes of transport and, where appropriate, provide additional car parking at rail stations;
provide adequate, convenient and safe vehicle and cycle parking in accordance with adopted standards;
ensure that the type and volume of traffic generated would not harm the countryside or the rural character of local roads;
protect sunken and rural/green lanes so that their convenience and safety are enhanced for their users, and their ecological, landscape and recreational value are enhanced;
improve access for people with impaired mobility to all forms of transport and to all developments to which the public will reasonably expect to have access; and
produce and implement transport assessments and travel plans for proposals that are likely to have significant transport implications.
New development should be located and designed to reduce the need to travel. Development that is likely to generate a significant number of additional vehicular movements will normally be expected to be located near existing centres and supportive infrastructure.
Major new transport will be required as part of the growth proposed in Whitehill Bordon. Proposals for new development in the town must improve transport links from the surrounding settlements to the town, and within the town, providing opportunities to reduce reliance on the private car and encourage other modes.
Financial contributions will be sought from developments towards the implementation of identified transport infrastructure schemes, having regard to the costs of those schemes and the likely availability of public funding.
Local Transport Plan (LTP)50
8.1 Hampshire County Council is the Highway Authority for most of the roads in East Hampshire with the Highways Agency being responsible for the A3/A3(M). The LTP (2011-2031), prepared by the County Council, contains a long-term strategy and a short-term implementation plan, which taken together provide the transport policy context for the Core Strategy. The strategy sets out the priorities and policy objectives for transport in Hampshire as a whole to 2031. This is complemented by three local area strategies. The three-year implementation plan sets out which schemes and interventions will be progressed to March 2014. The strategy sets out three priorities:
- To support economic growth by ensuring the safety, soundness and efficiency of the transport network in Hampshire
- To provide a safe, well-maintained, and more resilient road network in Hampshire as the basic transport infrastructure of the county on which all forms of transport directly or indirectly depend, and the key to continued casualty reduction.
- To manage traffic to maximise the efficiency of existing network capacity, improving journey time reliability and reducing emissions and thereby supporting the efficient and sustainable movement of people and goods;
8.2 These three priorities are supplemented by 14 policy objectives which aim to:
- Improve road safety
- Manage parking
- Support use of new transport technologies
- Grow bus travel
- Support community transport provision
- Improve rail services and facilities at stations
- Provide home-to-school transport
- Improve co-ordination and integration between travel modes
- Apply ‘Manual for Streets’ design principles, to support a better balance between traffic and community life in towns and residential areas
- Improve air quality
- Reduce the need to travel
- Promote walking and cycling to provide a healthy alternative to the car for short local journeys
- Develop Bus Rapid Transit and high quality public transport in South Hampshire, to reduce car dependence and improve journey time reliability
- Outline and implement a long-term transport strategy to enable sustainable development in major growth areas
8.3 The LTP recognises that funding is limited and priority will be given to measures that deal with the most severe problems and give the greatest benefit to the largest number of people.
8.4 Of the three local area strategies, two relate to East Hampshire. The South Hampshire area strategy covers Horndean, Clanfield and Rowlands Castle and the Central Hampshire and New Forest local area strategy covers the rest of the District.
8.5 The South Hampshire area strategy was developed jointly by the three Transport for South Hampshire (TfSH) Local Transport Authorities. The long term strategy contains 14 policies for transport that cover the 11 local authorities in the sub-region. These policies aim to support economic growth, improve journey time reliability (including access to international gateways), improve the quality of public transport and sustainable transport modes, improve integration of transport and land-use planning, develop the role of waterborne transport and improve air quality.
8.6 The long-term strategy for Central Hampshire and the New Forest includes:
- Seeking to manage impacts of traffic and travel on National Parks;
- Protecting quality of life in villages and rural areas;
- Tackling rural accessibility problems by improving community transport and other on-demand services, as well as non-transport improvements such as increasing services direct to residents;
- Improving access within the market towns by all modes of transport;
- Managing traffic in the smaller settlements;
- Improving access to the countryside;
- Reducing sign clutter in the settlements and rural roads; and
- Developing sustainable transport measures to support the Whitehill Bordon Eco-Town.
8.7 In seeking to achieve the priorities in the LTP the County and District Councils and the National Park Authority will work with partners to seek to maintain and improve transport infrastructure at the strategic and local level. Measures will be supported that:
- improve the strategic rail and highway networks, and access to those networks;
- manage on-street parking and traffic management, through traffic regulation;
- improve pedestrian and road safety, including by ensuring new development accords with Government and Highway Authority design guidance related to road safety;
- promote integrated transport;
- improve access to town and village centres, taking into account the recommendations of proposed Town Access Plans and District Statements. These will include improvement of routes for walking, cycling and public transport, the effective management of car parking and, where these approaches are not appropriate, carefully planned additions to public car parking spaces; and
- help tackle rural accessibility problems by non-transport improvements such as increasing services direct to residents and the provision of broadband to more isolated parts of the District.
8.8 The Council and the National Park Authority will promote safer access and sustainable forms of transport to and within East Hampshire and the South Downs National Park for enjoyment, health and well-being including through:
- Promotion of train and bus access to the District and National Park;
- Support for the development of joined-up routes for non-motorised transport such as the Shipwrights Way; and
- Improvements to make existing paths, tracks and roads more user-friendly.
8.9 The emerging Transport Strategy for Whitehill Bordon outlines the principles of the multi-modal transport system which will support the delivery of the Eco-town. It has been developed from a series of supporting strategies, studies and evidence, and fully aligns with current local and national planning policy, seeking to:
“Achieve sustainable growth in the long term by delivering an integrated low carbon transport system that will be at the forefront of innovative thinking, providing high-quality, affordable and deliverable alternatives to the private car, managing transport demand and maximising the use of existing assets to become an example for modern day sustainable living.”
8.10 The Strategy sets out three key principles:
Reducing the Need to Travel outside the town – By providing the appropriate jobs and facilities within the town itself, travel to surrounding towns and service centres can be significantly replaced by more local journeys, and trip lengths reduced.
Managing Car Demand within and outside of the town – While acknowledging that the car will play an important role in the operation of the future town, pro-active management of car trips within and external to the town can minimise the negative impacts of car travel, and appropriately mitigate adverse implications of car use.
Enabling Sustainable Transport for all trips – Transport within the town will be re-prioritised away from the car and high quality public transport systems and walking and cycling routes will be provided to enable easy and safe access to school.
8.11 In addition to the requirements for Eco-towns set out in the Eco-towns PPS, Whitehill Bordon seeks to be a modern example of sustainable development, particularly in relation to transport. Existing travel patterns in Whitehill Bordon show the dominance of the private car for local access and access to employment. There is, however, significant potential in Whitehill Bordon with the planned creation of significant new jobs and the delivery of a new Town Centre to create a significant shift on travel patterns.
8.12 Development at Whitehill Bordon will aim to achieve a significant reduction in the proportion of trips being made by private car, aiming to achieve a maximum of 50% of all trips within the town being undertaken by private car. In the longer term, the Whitehill Bordon project will seek to achieve even higher standards of sustainable travel through the continued role out of an integrated package of transport measures.
8.13 Development at Whitehill Bordon will be supported by the implementation of a Freight Strategy which ensures that the necessary delivery of goods and services required by the town is pro-actively managed, whilst delivering measures and initiatives to reduce negative impacts of larger vehicles using local roads.
Public and community transport
8.14 Given the financial cuts and the consequent reductions being made to contracted bus services, improvements to bus services away from the core (commercial) network are unlikely. Where possible existing bus services should be preserved and their potential maximised through altering frequencies and timings so that they best serve the needs of the communities.
8.15 There is scope to develop community transport which can help to meet travel needs that cannot be readily met by conventional passenger transport. This can include new transport initiatives such as community minibuses, the demand-responsive Call and Go, Wheels to Work and taxi sharing schemes. Should local Post Offices become rural banks, it is important to co-ordinate transport between local shops/post offices and to enable young people to visit towns and youth centres, sports clubs etc. The financial cuts also raise issues regarding the long-term funding of community transport by the public sector.
Walking and cycling
8.16 Walking and cycling need to be promoted as a means of access to jobs, facilities and services but also as a recreational opportunity with a positive impact on physical and mental health (see Policy CP16).
8.17 East Hampshire District’s Cycle Plan 200551 (currently being updated) identifies the existing and proposed cycle routes for the District. Parts of the network have been implemented where funding has become available, which in some cases has made it appear disjointed. To achieve any significant increase in cycling there must be an interconnected network of safe and efficient cycle routes around the towns and villages supported by high standard, safe, cycle parking. Work is currently underway in conjunction with the Hampshire Action Team to deliver the missing links. This may include the conversion of footpaths to allow cyclists to use them; as a result, separate networks will once again be connected with one another.
Facilities at rail stations
8.18 There may be a case for increased parking provision and facilities for all travel modes at rail stations, and Stagecoach and South West Trains are already working to maximise existing car parking provision. The impact of any additional parking at stations would have to be carefully assessed. Appropriate measures such as integration, cross-ticketing, marketing and information improvements will also be considered as part of station travel plans.
Access to the countryside
8.19 Within the Hampshire Countryside Access Plan52, the local area plans identify the main issues and suggest what should be done to improve access to the countryside in particular areas. The local area plans for the Forest of Bere, Hampshire Downs and South Downs cover East Hampshire. They provide an opportunity to review the countryside access network and decide priorities for improvement by the County and District Councils and others.
Traffic management measures
8.20 Notwithstanding the above it is recognised that the car will remain part of the mix of transport modes for many people, particularly for those in the rural areas. There is some local congestion at peak times. Also of particular concern is the volume and speed of traffic using rural roads with residents of many villages concerned about the loss of rural tranquillity. In some areas there is also ‘rat running’ along local roads to avoid congestion on main routes. Where resources allow, projects will be encouraged that reduce the dominance of traffic and thus enhance the quality of life.
8.21 The special character and appearance of the rural area and its villages, particularly within the National Park, will need to be considered when looking at the design of traffic management measures. The rural roads in the District need to be made safer for all users, introducing Shared Space concepts53 to ensure that drivers are fully aware of other users. Speed limits need to be reduced; steps need to be taken to prevent ‘rat running’ on inappropriate roads such as the network of ancient sunken lanes in the District, and Sat-Nav information systems need to be changed to show the correct grade of road for a particular journey. HGV drivers using unsuitable roads is an issue for many villages in the District. Sat-Navs have dedicated lorry routeing software; if at all possible, HGV drivers will be encouraged to use this. At the same time, road signage should be reduced to that which is essential to ensure road safety. This will improve the recreational use of rural lanes by walkers and cyclists which is particularly important within the South Downs National Park.
8.22 The District Council and the National Park Authority will continue to be involved in discussions with the Highways Agency on options for the improvement of the Ham Barn Roundabout on the A3. Full consideration will be given to the potential impact of any proposed improvement scheme on local communities and the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park.
8.23 In meeting the needs of rural communities, transport is only part of the picture. Accessibility issues can be addressed through many non-transport solutions, for example retaining and enhancing local services and facilities, home deliveries, making use of modern information systems and co-ordinating appointments and visits with community transport provision. There are other measures that are also appropriate, such as the provision of local e-offices; the need for developers to include home offices/studies in new residential developments; the wider availability of high speed broadband or wi-fi and the greater awareness of MATISSE opportunities54. The Hampshire Rural Pathfinder programme has identified initiatives such as those within rural areas which seek to ease travel demands through the retention or improvement of local facilities and services.
8.24 Recognising that a degree of private car usage will be unavoidable, a network of charging points for electric and alternatively powered vehicles will be sought across the district to encourage the use of low emission vehicles.
8.25 Deciding the amount of parking to be provided with new development is a difficult issue. Government guidance encourages a reduction in car parking for most types of land use. However, in East Hampshire high levels of car ownership and limited public transport, combined with the rural character of the area, mean that a reduction in parking capacity or further discouragement of parking, would not necessarily discourage car use. The Council and the National Park Authority are able to set their own parking standards and thresholds for transport assessments and site travel plans; these will be determined through a Supplementary Planning Document for the area outside the National Park. No decision has yet been made on how such matters will be addressed within the National Park.
8.26 Working in partnership with Hampshire County Council, the District Council aims to use the transport contributions it collects on schemes under Policy CP30 to help mitigate the likely effects of increased levels of trip generation within East Hampshire by addressing accessibility, road safety, air quality and traffic congestion.
Transport assessments and travel plans
8.27 A key aim of the Joint Core Strategy is to concentrate development at sustainable locations so that it best serves, or is served by, existing homes, jobs and services and minimises the need to travel by car. New development must seek solutions to reducing travel demand and car trips through transport assessments and travel plans. The emphasis has to be enhancing and providing facilities to support and find alternative travel by means other than the car.
8.28 Development which is likely to result in a lot of new journeys will be located near existing centres. This will help reduce the need to travel and also to increase the scope for car sharing. The quality of accessibility within the development and to other facilities is also a crucial factor in reducing car use.
|Where else to look?|
The Hampshire Local Transport Plan Strategy (2011–2031) contains a long-term ‘Strategy’ (2011-2031) and a short-term ‘Implementation Plan’ (2011-2014). It shows how transport improvements contribute to wider outcomes and sets out a vision for the transport network. www3.hants.gov.uk/transport/local-transport-plan.htm
50 www3.hants.gov.uk/transport/local-transport-plan.htm 51 www.easthants.gov.uk/ehdc/formsfordownload.nsf/0/85B506C24E7D817880256FA40054A2DA/$File/EH+CYCLE+PLAN.pdf 52 www3.hants.gov.uk/countryside/access-plans.htm 53 Shared Space removes the traditional segregation of motor vehicles, pedestrians and other road users. Conventional road priority management systems and devices such as kerbs, lines, signs and signals are replaced with an integrated, people-oriented understanding of public space, such that walking, cycling, shopping and driving cars become integrated activities 54 MATISSE (Mobile And Teleworking Initiative for a Smarter South East) seeks to encourage the adoption of smarter working practices, facilitate productive networking and the spreading of good practice within business, government as well as within the service provider community. www.smarterworkingwm.co.uk/media.aspx?section=15