8. Transport

Introduction

In July 1998 the Government published a White Paper on the future of transport “A New Deal for Transport - Better for Everyone”.  Highways Authorities were required to produce a Local Transport Plan (LTP) to demonstrate how integrated transport can be delivered at the local level.

Integrated transport is a recognition that there has to be co-ordinated action to encourage people to use more sustainable forms of transport.  This requires investment in public transport, cycling and pedestrian facilities as well as maintaining and where appropriate improving the existing highway network.

In July 1999 Warwickshire County Council (WCC) published its provisional Plan and in July 2000 submitted its completed Plan to cover a 5 year period.  The LTP therefore has a shorter time span than the Structure and Local Plans.  The LTP should be prepared in accordance with the Regional Transport Strategy.  This will form part of the Regional Planning Guidance Review.

Government Grant Settlements are now based on the LTP and will give more flexibility and longer term planning for transport expenditure.

LTP also includes policies on safer routes to school, accident reduction, social inclusion and improvement in health.  District Councils are required to submit statements to show how they will support the proposals in LTP and these statements are included in LTP.  The LTP contains 2 important schemes affecting both Town Centres.

Nuneaton Development Project - This is WCC’s highest priority major scheme.  It concentrates on improvements to the Town Centre and in particular the Ring Road.  The aim is to support the regeneration of the Town Centre to maintain its competitive position.  The project will enable the extension of the pedestrian priority area into Church Street.  It will introduce bus priority measures, new cycling and improved pedestrian routes.

George Street Ringway Improvements, Bedworth - This scheme aims to achieve a more effective highway system for Bedworth Town Centre.

The Local Plan has policies which aim to support the implementation of the LTP.  There is no need to repeat the LTP policies.  This plan can sit alongside the LTP.  As the LTP relates to highway matters the role of this Council as Planning Authority is limited and the Local Plan policies can only relate to land use implications of the LTP proposals.

The Council acknowledges, however, that the successful implementation of both the LTP and the local plan will be largely dependent on co-operative joint working arrangements with a range of stakeholders including the local highway authority, and that is likely to include an ongoing review of parking, public transport services and related traffic management measures.

Policies and Explanation

New Road Infrastructure

POLICY T1 - New Road Infrastructure

Other than when considerations of high residential density and the availability of good public transport indicate otherwise, new road infrastructure required for development shall be designed and provided in accordance with the guidelines set out in Warwickshire Transport and Roads for Developments Guide or any subsequent Guide and site specific supplementary planning guidance / documents.  Any new road infrastructure or improvements to the existing highway network resulting from development will be covered by legal agreements with the County Council prior to the issue of planning decisions.  In the case of development affecting Trunk Roads, the requirements and design standards of the Highway Agency will need to be met. 

WCC’s guide aims to provide road infrastructure as part of an integrated design approach to development, i.e. the design of development should not be dictated by road standards.  Access requirements are flexible enough to achieve a high standard of design.  The guidelines also ensure that highway safety is not compromised particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.

Footpaths and Car Parks

POLICY T2 - Footpaths and Car Parks

New pedestrian footpaths and communal car parks within development or provided off-site to serve that development, including any enhancement of existing footpaths or car parks, shall be designed and provided in accordance with the Guide “Designing for Accessibility”. 

The Council is committed to satisfactory provision in development for those who have disability and mobility problems.  New development which does not adequately address this need will be refused in line with the advice given in PPS1.

Transport Assessment

POLICY T3 - Transport Assessment

Transport Assessments will be required with any planning application likely to have significant transport implications.  These will need to demonstrate how sustainable transport can be encouraged and identify any contributions towards public provision.  A Green Travel Plan may be required  which, together with any contributions sought will be the subject of negotiations and Section 106 obligations. Contributions towards the provision of public transport, pedestrian or cycling facilities may also be sought from other development proposals. (see Policies T5 and T6).  These too will be the subject of negotiations and covered by Section 106 obligations. 

The requirement for Transport Assessments is set out in Warwickshire Transport & Roads for Development Guide.  Congestion on the highway network is one of the main concerns expressed during the Key Issues Consultation.  However, building new roads to deal with congestion is not sustainable either in cost or effectiveness.  Car ownership continues to rise and although the Council does not want to influence the level of car ownership it does have a duty to encourage other forms of transport to reduce the use of cars.  A Green Travel Plan should outline the measures to be taken to encourage more sustainable forms of transport to serve the development and measures to discourage the use of the car.  Other development will be required to contribute to the provision of public transport, cycling and pedestrian facilities to reflect the increased demand on these facilities arising from the development.

Development proposals likely to have a material impact on the safety or efficient operation of the truck road network will also be required to submit a Transport Assessment.  Such an assessment shall meet the requirements of the Highway Agency as set out in PPG13 and “A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England”, and DTLR Circular 04/2001 and shall identify any mitigation works to be funded by the developer.  New accesses or intensification of existing accesses onto trunk roads will be restricted in accordance with PPG13, Annex B.  Development which will result in a detrimental impact on the safety and free flow of traffic on the trunk road will be refused. 

Freight Movements

POLICY T4 - Freight Movement

A statement will be required with any Planning Application for development which results in a significant level of lorry movements (particularly from industrial and shopping developments).  The statement will set out proposed  lorry routes, the reasons for those routes, and an assessment of using alternative forms of transport for freight movement such as rail or canal.

Agreed routes will be covered by Section 106 obligations which may require contributions for other mitigation measures. 

With the M6 to the south of the Borough, A5 to the north and A444 linking the two via Nuneaton Town Centre, it is very important to control the routes for freight to avoid environmental impact on the Town Centre and nearby residential areas.  Other methods of carrying freight should be explored to reduce congestion and to protect the environment.

What constitutes a significant level of lorry movements will depend on the size as well as the number of vehicles, the character and capacity of the roads in the vicinity of the site, and the existing volume and nature of the traffic using those roads.  The Council will have regard to the views of the highway authority in determining whether a statement is required.  Applicants for industrial and shopping developments are encouraged to submit realistic estimates of traffic generation and to seek clarification of the need to provide a statement before submitting their application.

The scope for rail freight access to and from the allocated Judkins Quarry employment site will be investigated and (further) planning permissions(s) at the quarry will not be granted prior to the completions of such investigations.

Pedestrian and Cycling Access

POLICY T5 - Pedestrian and Cycling Access

Where other material considerations do not indicate otherwise, planning permission will be granted for proposals which provide improved cycling and pedestrian access for journeys to work, education, shopping and leisure. 

The Council already has a well defined network of pedestrian walks as shown on the Green Map.  It may be possible to develop some of these further for cycle use.  Security and lighting measures will be included where appropriate.   The Borough Council will assist in development of a walking strategy.

In 2001 a Cycling Forum was established with representatives from cycling groups, WCC and the Borough Council with the aim of developing a Nuneaton and Bedworth Cycling Strategy.  This Strategy should identify the opportunities for new routes, methods of implementation and funding arrangements. 

The Strategy will support the development of the National Cycle Network by Sustrans and the effective use of Canal Towpaths.

There is a need to give pedestrians and cyclists’ priority within residential areas and town centres – in partnership with applicants for planning permission and other agencies the Council will explore ways of achieving this.

Public Transport

POLICY T6 - Public Transport

Where other material considerations do not indicate otherwise, planning permission will be granted for proposals which provide new or improved public transport interchanges, and development will not be permitted which prejudices the future use of the rail network.  The Council will work with the Police and other agencies to minimise crime on public transport. 

Public transport needs to provide an attractive and reliable alternative to the use of the car.  There also needs to be an integrated hierarchy of public transport which achieves:

  1. High quality passenger information.
  2. Integrated ticket schemes.
  3. Improved interchanges which provides access to all sectors of the community.
  4. Encouraging Community Transport Schemes where appropriate.
  5. Park and Ride facilities where appropriate.

The Council in partnership with other agencies will seek opportunities to provide new and improved public transport interchange facilities.  This will include investigating the potential and viability for new rail stations, light rail/rapid transit system, better bus interchanges, convenient taxi ranks, better bus stop provision, and secure cycling facilities. In particular the following will be investigated:

  1. a new rail station and public transport interchanges in the Kingswood Road/ Galley Common and Hawkesbury area;
  2. a new rail station and public transport interchange, possibly with Park and Ride facilities, at Bermuda to serve the development identified in Emp1 and the existing employment areas nearby;
  3. an improved public transport interchange for Bedworth Town Centre;
  4. better links between Nuneaton rail and bus stations.

The Council will seek appropriate planning obligations to contribute towards the above improvements where developments directly give rise to increases in demand for those public transport services and facilities.  The obligations will accord with the provisions of Circular 05/2005 ‘Planning Obligations’. Policies T3, Emp9 and H6 give further advice. Green Travel Plans may also be required for employment uses.

A new Station in the Kingswood Road / Galley Common area could provide important links to Hams Hall - a major industrial development and other employment centres in North Warwickshire and Birmingham.  With a public transport interchange, good cycling and pedestrian access it could serve the deprived Wards in West Nuneaton.

At Hawkesbury a new station could provide alternative journey to work facilities for the large Bayton Road Industrial Estate and connect the developing residential areas to Shopping and Leisure facilities in Bedworth, Nuneaton and Coventry.

The proposals at Bermuda provide an exciting opportunity to serve the existing industrial and leisure facilities which are not presently well served by public transport.  A Park & Ride Scheme may be feasible and reduce the demand for long stay car parking in Nuneaton and Bedworth Town Centres.

New stations will need to demonstrate that they will be viable in terms of passenger numbers.

Other proposals will help provide convenient and accessible public transport.

The impact on sites of ecological, geological and archaeological value will be needed to be assessed including any possible mitigation measures.

Rail

POLICY T7 - Rail

In supporting proposals to improve existing rail provision serving the Borough the Council will exercise its planning powers to safeguard the amenities of those whose living conditions could otherwise be adversely be affected by such development. 

The Borough is fortunate at being at the interchange of a number of important rail links.  The West Coast Main Line links London with the North.  The upgrading of the West Coast Line is very important in improving the rail’s attractiveness and reducing journey times.  Future improvements could provide direct links to Europe.  Nuneaton and Bedworth is also on the Midlands Cross Country route which links places like Nottingham and Leicester to Coventry and Birmingham.   Improvements to increase capacity of those lines will be encouraged.  Routes through this area are being considered for upgrading as part of the strategic freight route to Felixstowe.  The Council will want to ensure that any major improvements to the rail network provide proper mitigation measures to any nearby residential properties.

Public Car Parks

POLICY T8 - Public Car Parks

The Council will maintain the existing level of public car parking within Town and District Shopping Centres with an emphasis on short stay spaces.  The Council will work with the Police to minimise the effects of crime in car parks, and will look for crime reduction measures in the design of new car parks. 

The vitality and viability of these centres require a sufficient and convenient level of car parking.  As car ownership is still rising it is not anticipated that there can be any reduction in public car parking even with improvements in public transport.  Priority will be given to short stay users.  Long stay users will be encouraged to use alternative forms of transport to gain access to these centres.  There should be more incentives for long stay users to find alternative methods of transport which can include public transport, car sharing and cycling.
The Council will keep town centre parking provision, management and park and ride services provision under review with a view to achievement of sustainable transport choices and modal shift.

Off-Street Parking

POLICY T9 - Off-Street Parking

In residential areas mainly comprising properties with no off-street parking facilities, and where other material considerations do not indicate otherwise, planning permission will be given for proposals which provide additional parking facilities for the benefit of existing users. 

Parking in some traditional terraced streets is causing problems in terms of environmental impact and congestion.  Public transport improvements will help but demand for on street car parking is likely to increase.  Opportunities to improve the situation are rare but will still be explored.  Security will be an important consideration.

Car Parking Standards

POLICY T10 - Car Parking Standards

Parking provision for new developments, including changes of use, shall not exceed the maximum standards set out in Annex D of PPG13 “Transport” and in the Council’s Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG).  Proposals for residential development shall have regard to the SPG standards and the advice on car parking in paragraphs 59-62 of PPG3. 

Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 gives national guidance on parking standards which should be applied to some classes of new development.  It emphasises that level and availability of car parking can influence sustainable means of travel.  The standards are therefore expressed as maximum standards. In considering applications proposing a level of parking above the maximum, the Council will have regard to the guidance set out in Paragraphs 54 and 56 of Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport.  The Council has prepared SPG to give further guidance on Car Parking Standards including those that shall apply to residential development.

The Council will keep its SPG on parking standards under regular review in consultation with all interested parties.

« Back to contents page | Back to top

Disclaimer: This interactive website version of the Local Plan exists for representative purposes only. The paper version remains the definitive version.