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CHAPTER 7: TRANSPORT & TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

Introduction

7.1 The existing transport network within the plan area relies on two major communication corridors along radial routes extending out from the Leicester urban area. The Soar Valley corridor including the A6, the London-Sheffield mainline railway, and the Grand Union Canal links Leicester and Loughborough. Along the Wreake Valley corridor run sections of the A607/A46 roads and that section of the Birmingham-Peterborough railway line between Leicester and Melton Mowbray. Elsewhere a network of minor roads connect smaller villages to the main road corridors, within and outside the Borough, and to the urban areas. The Great Central Railway between Birstall and Loughborough currently fulfils a recreational role only.

7.2 The land use policies and proposals of this Plan are closely related to future transportation requirements. Over the plan period there will continue to be a need for new roads and highway improvements, but increasingly an emphasis will be placed on providing for better public transport, safer cycling and pedestrian routes. The intention is to achieve an effective transport network providing choice in the means of transport for people and goods in the plan area with the aim of reducing reliance on private cars. This will only be achievable through the careful co-ordination of transport and land use planning.

Government Guidance

7.3 The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requires all plans to include land-use policies relevant to the management of traffic and also empowers local planning authorities to keep under review matters which may be expected to affect the development of their area. These include the communications and transport systems in their areas.

7.4 The White Paper ‘This Common Inheritance’ published in September 1990 set out a new environmental strategy expressing concerns over global warming and the need for energy conservation. With regard to transport a number of commitments were made including:

  • to assess ways of locating development to reduce the distances travelled and increase transport choice;

  • to improve the operation of environmental impact assessment;

  • to improve environmental aspects of road design;

  • to avoid reliance on providing new road capacity to facilitate greater travel by car in already congested areas;

  • to improve local traffic management quality;

  • to continue support for public transport improvements and cycling as alternatives to the car.

7.5 PPG12 ‘Development Plans’ carries forward the Government’s approach in ‘This Common Inheritance’. It states that development plans should include land-use policies and proposals relating to the development of the transport network and related services and the safeguarding of transport routes. They should indicate the timescale and priorities for proposed developments, specifically major road and railway projects. This guidance is outlined broadly in the approved Structure Plan, developed in more detail in this Local Plan and given practicable application through the submission of Local Transport Plans (LTPs) to Government. LTPs enable Government to assess proposals for investment and to make appropriate settlements for capital and other expenditure.

7.6 Guidance on ‘Transport’ (PPG13) published in March 1994 jointly by the Department of the Environment and the Department of Transport emphasises that Development Plans should encourage patterns of development and introduce complementary transport measures thereby giving people the choice of using more environment-friendly means than the car and reducing the need to travel. This can help reduce local air pollution from vehicle emissions as well as reducing other impacts on the environment while also, alleviating congestion. The guidance covers the range of factors influencing the need to travel, namely: residential density, settlement size and structure, neighbourhood planning, access to transport infrastructure and travel demand. A key aspect of this guidance is the importance of local authorities preparing and carrying out their land use planning and transport programmes in ways which will help reduce growth in the length and number of motorised journeys.

7.7 The Government has introduced Local Transport Plans (LTPs) as the appropriate format for local transport authorities to bid for transport funding. LTPs are comprehensive assessments of transport needs and proposals for specific areas covering public transport, cycling, walking and demand management to restrain vehicular movements.

7.8 The County/City Councils’ successful LTP bid for Central Leicestershire includes proposals to extend transport choice into and within the city of Leicester. This is supported by the Central Leicestershire Strategic Transport Study (CALTRANS), the purpose of which is to develop a strategic transport model to assess the contributions that all modes of transport can make to future transport needs in Central Leicestershire in order to inform and justify subsequent package bids for the area. The ‘Loughborough/Shepshed Package Bid’ is now addressed in the County council’s Leicestershire LTP. This places increased emphasis on demand management measures directed at reducing use of the private car to complement measures to make alternative modes more attractive. It is intended that preparation of this Local Plan and the LTP are moving towards a more sustainable transport strategy in line with PPG13 and subsequent government guidance.

The Leicestershire Structure Plan

7.9 The Structure Plan identifies fundamental links between land use and transport. The Plan encourages development in locations where people may be obliged to make only short journeys in undertaking their daily routine. In these circumstances people may be more inclined to walk or cycle but where they choose to use a car, journey lengths may be kept to a minimum. Additionally or alternatively the Plan aims to encourage new development in locations where good public transport provision is already available or can be easily developed on a commercially viable basis. The overall intention is to ensure that people are afforded a realistic choice in selecting the mode of transport most appropriately suited to their particular needs and resources. Through related improvements in public transport and provision for cyclists and pedestrians it is intended to encourage greater public acceptance and use of these modes to offset projected increases in private car usage.

7.10 Within Charnwood the Structure Plan aims to direct the majority of the new development towards the main urban areas of Leicester and adjoining settlements (including Birstall and Thurmaston), Loughborough and Shepshed, and to locations along specified Transport Choice corridors where frequent and efficient public transport services already exist or can be provided. The Borough is particularly well served for transport choice having within its boundaries sections of three of the five corridors identified in the County. The Structure Plan and related County Council initiatives propose to build upon these strategic advantages through a combination of:

i) provision in all new development for bus penetration with priority or special access measures as necessary and the promotion of a “Quality Bus Initiative” along the former A6 route between Leicester and Loughborough;

ii) provision of suburban service railway stations. The stations now open at Barrow upon Soar, Sileby and Syston together with those planned at Thurmaston and East Goscote will develop fully the public transport potential of the rail based transport choice corridors; and

iii) provision for adequate, convenient and safe pedestrian and cycling facilities in all new development and existing urban areas.

7.11 If development has to be accommodated outside the specified corridors the Structure Plan indicates that it will need to be located in other corridors offering realistic transport choice usually in the form of a dedicated public transport route which penetrates an urban area. Notwithstanding the promotion of development and measures in support of improved transport choice provision, the Structure Plan acknowledges that a large proportion of trips within the County will continue to be made by road. For this reason improvements to the road network will be essential to deliver higher standards of safety and to remove congestion and delay. The County Council’s Transport Policies and Programme which forms an annual bid for Government approval for funding prioritises various schemes for implementation on a rolling five year programme.

The Role of the Borough Council

7.12 The highway authority responsible for trunk roads and including most motorways is the Secretary of State for Transport. In the plan area this comprises the M1, A6 and A46. The Highways Agency provides day to day management of motorways and trunk roads on behalf of the Department of Transport, and comments directly to the local planning authority about development proposals in the plan area affecting these roads. The County Council performs similar functions to the Highways Agency for local roads. The Borough Council influences the use of transport in its role as local planning authority. Measures will be taken to control development likely to generate unacceptable traffic or environmental impacts, and to foster patterns of development and schemes with good accessibility for all types of transport.

7.13 The Borough Council is able to address transport issues at two levels:

i) on matters of national significance or which affect other authorities such as new legislation or transport proposals which lie outside the administrative boundary, the Council is limited to comment as a consultee;

ii) in making decisions to implement its preferred policies and proposals for development control and the control of off-street car parking and taxi licensing.

Transport Issues in Charnwood

7.14 Perceived deficiencies in the highway network provoke considerable concern among the communities of the Borough. The highway fails to perform efficiently or effectively where the volume of traffic on particular roads exceeds the technical and/or environmental capacity for that route. When the technical capacity of a road and its junctions is exceeded congestion results. This is a cause for particular concern when the resultant delays are excessive or spread outside peak hours. Measuring environmental capacity is less easily defined but flows of traffic which exceed this capacity are damaging to the quality of life of neighbouring communities due to excessive noise, disturbance, fumes, dust and danger or the severance of communities.

7.15 The main local traffic problems have been identified through previous local plan exercises, consultations with Parish Councils and local people, discussions with the County Council as Highway Authority and on-site surveys. These problems which are readily apparent at peak hours may be summarised as follows:

i) Loughborough: Congestion occurs along major roads into and through the Borough’s main urban area. This is particularly evident on the A6(T) Leicester Road and Derby Road), the A60 (Nottingham Road), the A512 (Ashby Road) and links between including the A6004 (Epinal Way/Shelthorpe Road/Warwick Way). Traffic generated by committed developments in the area south of Loughborough has increased pressure on the road access into the south of the town.

There are localised problems in the north-eastern part of the town where terraced residential streets form part of the A60 (King Street/Wharncliffe Road/Queens Road), or otherwise act as primary routes serving the town’s major employment areas (Ratcliffe Road/Nottingham Road).

In the town centre present routes require improvement if future development prospects are not to be heavily constrained.

ii) Shepshed: Much of the highway network in and around Shepshed is of a poor standard. The settlement has experienced substantial growth in recent years bringing further traffic with no significant improvement to the road network serving the central area. It would not be desirable to introduce more traffic onto this road network which does not appear capable of realistic improvement.

iii) Soar Valley Villages: Implementation of traffic calming and management measures along the old A6 corridor complementary to the A6 Quorn-Mountsorrel Bypass have reduced many local problems of heavy through traffic flows in Quorn and Mountsorrel. Elsewhere there remains no direct flood-free link between Sileby and Cossington and the A6 bypass avoiding Barrow upon Soar.

iv) Wreake Valley Villages: The A46 and A607 both feed into the Thurmaston bypass and Melton Road. This is the only major road into Leicester between the already congested A6 through Birstall and the A47 into eastern Leicester. Even with the new Syston Northern Bypass the limited capacity on the A46 south of Syston remains a problem. At peak periods there is considerable congestion and delay. As a result traffic is increasingly using as an alternative the minor roads through Queniborough, Barkby and Beeby to the detriment of village amenities and highway safety.

v) Birstall: Following the opening of the A46 Leicester Western Bypass in November 1995 there was a slight reduction in traffic on the A6 through Birstall. However current flows, in common with all radial routes in and out of the City, are still very high and typically about 24,000 vehicles per day.

Between 1997 and 2000 daily traffic flows on the A6 have risen by about 5%. This is within the nationally predicted trend of 2% to 8% for this period. The future traffic demands are nevertheless likely to increase on this important radial route into the City as a result of the committed development allocations along the Soar Valley corridor and in Loughborough. As Beaumont Leys develops in the City traffic flows are expected to increase along Greengate Lane in the absence of any alternative route or remedial measures.

The Central Leicestershire Local Transport Plan recognises the need to provide good alternatives to travel by car. The LTP therefore sets out a strategy for a series of park and ride sites and bus priority measures to serve city based travellers on the northern and western radial routes into the City. One of the potential locations for a park and ride site is adjacent to the A6 north of Birstall.

vi) Anstey: In Anstey there is congestion around The Nook, particularly at peak periods, due to high volumes of traffic and a poor junction layout. Studies indicate that this is due, in large part, to significant volumes of commuter traffic diverting off the more congested A6 and A50. The completion of the A46 Leicester Western Bypass is expected to reduce traffic through the village centre.

vii) Heavy Lorry Movements: The continuing, heavy flows of lorries through some local communities has created environmental problems. Problems are most apparent on east-to-west routes through villages such as Wymeswold on the A6006, and Burton on the Wolds on the B676.

7.16 Bus patronage nationally has been in steady decline over many years. Currently commercial services focus on urban and inter-urban routes and almost always operate throughout the main day time period. Rural bus services have not been able to match the mobility offered by the car. In some areas a minimum service can only be maintained with County Council subsidy. Evening services in general do not meet people’s needs.

7.17 Accessibility to rail services has seen significant improvements. There is one main-line station, at Loughborough, on the Sheffield-London line. In early 1994 stations opened at Barrow upon Soar, Sileby and Syston as Phase 1 of the Ivanhoe Line. Passenger services currently operate between Loughborough and Leicester.

7.18 Use of non-motorised modes (walking and cycling) has declined as car-use has increased and roads have become more congested. Pedestrians using central areas have to circulate in traffic dominated environments.

Aims and Objectives

7.19 In overall terms the Local Plan seeks to provide a policy framework for transport issues which meets the following aims:

i) to promote an integrated land use and transportation strategy with the aim of enabling the provision of appropriate infrastructure so as to reduce the need for dependence upon the private car and support the viability of existing and proposed public transport services in the interests of encouraging sustainable development and in support of the transport choice strategy.

ii) to support the Government’s proposed motorway and trunk road improvements and the County Council’s Transport Policies and Programme with a view to securing the implementation within the plan period of particularly those programmed schemes which offer wider benefits through the relief of heavy traffic flows in environmentally sensitive locations.

iii) to provide for the management of traffic and extension of traffic calming measures in the interests in particular of pedestrians and cyclists.

7.20 The policies and proposals for transport set out in the rest of this chapter address the following objectives:-

i) to ensure the provision and maintenance of an efficient, effective and safe road network within the Borough;

ii) to tackle problems arising from delay and congestion on the main road network and the unacceptable impact of traffic in environmentally sensitive locations;

iii) to encourage in new development measures to improve bus penetration and provision for cyclists and pedestrians to broaden transport choice and reduce dependency on the private car;

iv) to safeguard opportunities for the development of rail transport;

v) to introduce positive measures for the promotion of public transport, walking and cycling;

vi) to manage traffic in the interests of improving the quality of the environment; and

vii) to secure adequate provision for car parking and servicing.

7.21 The aims and objectives represent a gradual shift in transport policy rather than a radical change. The movement away from the present high reliance on the car is fundamental to sustainability objectives. If changes are postponed to some future date they may be less effective or come at higher cost because traffic growth has been allowed to continue creating even worse congestion and related environmental damage.

The Specified Road Network (SRN)

7.22 POLICY TR/1

Planning permission will not be granted for development which would result in serious congestion on the Specified Road Network or otherwise prejudice its ability to provide for the safe and most efficient movement of traffic within the Borough. The County’s Specified Road Network within Charnwood Borough as shown on the Proposals Map includes the following roads:

i) Motorway and Trunk roads: M1, A6(T), A46(T);

ii) All other ‘A’ Class Roads: (A512, A60, A6004, A6006, A607, A5630), and the B5350 (Forest Road/Woodgate/Southfield Road/Royland Road – Loughborough).

Other new road schemes which become operational within the plan period may provide additions to the specified road network and supersede existing elements.

7.23 The Specified Road Network (SRN) includes the principal roads carrying the majority of traffic in the Borough. As identified the SRN currently receives the majority of new investment of highways in order to improve safety and capacity. This allows traffic calming and other environmental improvements to be introduced in other areas. In those cases where new road schemes supersede sections of the network currently identified the classification of relevant sections will be amended when the Plan is reviewed.

7.24 If traffic generated by any individual development or in combination with that from other developments gives rise to excessive congestion or delay on the Specified Road Network the transportation costs to business and commerce will be inflated and motorists will be inclined to seek out alternative routes. These secondary routes by definition will be of a lower design standard and therefore less capable of satisfactorily accommodating heavy traffic flows without undesirable environmental consequences and additional hazards to road users and affected communities.

7.25 Where roads or road improvements are proposed in addition to those included in the national road programme and the County Council’s programme or in association with new developments, the Borough Council, when consulted, will consider their environmental impact, the need for the scheme including the likely levels of traffic relief and extra traffic generation, the means of funding and the implications for improving transport choice in the Borough. New schemes will be judged in relation to their capacity to:

i) improve public safety;

ii) protect communities from large volumes of unnecessary traffic;

iii) provide relief in urban areas which enable environmental improvement such as pedestrian preference schemes;

iv) achieve significant and sustainable environmental benefits in terms of need, routing, scale, design and layout;

v) avoid prejudice to the implementation of other road schemes already programmed;

vi) contribute to the overall availability of transport choice and avoid inducing additional traffic and increasing pressures on other parts of the road network.

7.26 Over the plan period it is likely some existing traffic problems will worsen, or new problems emerge, as traffic flows increase. Higher volumes of traffic on inadequate roads, heavy lorries in sensitive areas, and pressure on particular junctions, will be the obvious signs of such problems.

7.27 Where road-related measures are proposed to tackle the most significant and pressing problems they may be considered favourably where a need is demonstrated, the anticipated benefits outweigh the environmental and economic costs and no other means is realistically available to remedy the particular problem.

Safeguarding Areas for Programmed Strategic Road and Highway Improvement Schemes

7.28 POLICY TR/2

Planning permission will not be granted for development which would prejudice the construction of new roads or the improvement of the existing highway infrastructure within the reservations shown on the Proposals Map and listed below:

Road Schemes

i) A6004 Epinal Way Extension to the A6 south of Loughborough;

ii) A6 Loughborough Inner Relief Road between Bridge Street and Barrow Street;

iii) A607 Rearsby Bypass.

Highway Improvement Schemes

iv) M1 hill climbing lane;

v) A512 Ashby Road, Loughborough (between J23 of the M1 and the A6004 Epinal Way roundabout);

vi) A6004 Epinal Way/Warwick Way, Loughborough (between Ling Road and A6 Derby Road);

vii) Greenclose Lane, Loughborough (north west of Ashby Road to the Rushes).

(see also in particular Policy CA/5)

Road Schemes

7.29 The Local Plan identifies reservations to safeguard from development the land required for new road schemes proposed by the Highway Authority for which provisions are made in the Structure Plan.

7.30 The Epinal Way Extension scheme as approved by the County Council comprises a single carriageway design from the end of the Quorn/Mountsorrel Bypass to a roundabout junction with the distributor road that will serve the proposed south of Loughborough housing development. The section from this junction northwards to the Park Road/Shelthorpe road roundabout is of dual carriageway design. The overall scheme has related landscaping and noise attenuation measures, crossing facilities and a segregated, joint cycleway/footway. Its implementation should benefit Shelthorpe Road and the A6(T) south of Shelthorpe Road, start to remove primary route traffic from the A6(T) through the town centre, enable the introduction of measures to improve access to the town centre along the A6(T) for non-car modes and facilitate the proposed residential development south of Loughborough.

7.31 The Epinal Way Extension will be fully funded by the south of Loughborough housing development.

7.32 The Loughborough Inner Relief Road will not of itself solve the problems of traffic circulation and congestion within the town. The road is intended only to provide an alternative to the existing town centre section of the A6 and to this extent it may be more appropriately regarded primarily as a traffic management measure. Problems caused by existing traffic flows and any growth will need to be addressed in other ways including the A6004 Epinal Way Extension, related highway improvements and the encouragement of alternative modes of transportation.

7.33 At present too many uncertainties remain to permit the design of a detailed scheme for a Loughborough Inner Relief Road. However, it is envisaged that the majority of the length of the road should be of single carriageway with dualling only being necessary at Bridge Street and between Barrow Street and Pinfold Gate. It is considered that some element of dualling will be unavoidable in that the new road will have to cater for existing junction traffic, plus A6 diverted traffic together with traffic generated from the identified “opportunity sites”. The detailed design of the scheme, including provision for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, will be the subject of further public consultation at the appropriate time. The Borough Council considers that it will be particularly important in finalising the design details for the Inner Relief Road to ensure that provision is made for cyclists and that frequent, adequate and safe pedestrian crossing facilities are provided to safeguard access for the benefit of those communities severed from the town centre by the new highway.

7.34 The scheme currently shows a very favourable rate of economic return which would suggest that it is deserving of a higher priority in the County Council’s Roads Programme than it is presently assigned. A major attribute of the Inner Relief Road proposal is the very real prospect of attracting significant private sector funding through the enablement of potentially highly prestigious redevelopment initiatives within the identified opportunity sites and on other potential sites situated adjacent to the proposed road. Considerable redevelopment value is presently constrained by the twin disadvantages of severance from the core commercial area and inadequate vehicular access. In view of these factors the County Council may be persuaded to revise its roads programme in order to supplement any private sector contributions which may emerge over the plan period to enable the earlier implementation of the Inner Relief Road on a joint funding basis.

7.35 Planning permission was originally granted in 1992 for the approved route of an A607 Bypass of Rearsby extending from the eastern end of the Syston Northern Bypass to the existing A607 north east of Rearsby. The scheme is included in the Central Leicestershire LTP programme and construction should start in 2004.

7.36 The current A6006 through Wymeswold is of a poor standard and passes through a designated Conservation Area of high townscape value. Although the scheme is included in the adopted Structure Plan for construction by 2006 the County Council has not progressed the scheme. It is very unlikely to be funded publicly over the plan period. Given this context and the absence of development pressure along potential routes no corridor is safeguarded in this Plan.

Highway Improvements

7.37 In November 1996 the scheme to widen the M1 between junctions 21A and 23A was withdrawn from the Trunk Road Programme. Provision remains for hill climbing lanes on sections of this route, including for the southbound carriageway south of J23 in the plan area.

7.38 The principle and extent of the improvement lines along Ashby Road, Epinal Way and Warwick Way in Loughborough was established through the Loughborough Local Plan. These reservations give scope for improvements to the town’s infrastructure consistent with the emerging TPP ‘Loughborough/Shepshed’ Package strategy. They could allow for bus lanes, even segregated bus ways, and cycle lanes rather than additional road capacity. Improvement works are currently dependent upon public funding but private sector contributions could emerge from related development.

7.39 The improvement of Greenclose Lane would enable traffic circulation to be improved and permit the implementation of priority measures for buses and cyclists as part of wider measures to improve the town centre. The reservation is intended to facilitate such improvement.

Local Highway Improvement Schemes in Loughborough

7.40 POLICY TR/3

Planning permission will not be granted for development which would prejudice the implementation of the local improvement schemes listed below within the reservations identified on the Proposals Map:

i) Southfields Road (between Packe Horse Lane and Albert Street);

ii) Empress Road (north east of the Little Moor Lane junction);

iii) Swingbridge Road (west side).

Where permitted by redevelopment proposals the opportunity will be taken to secure these local improvements to enable the highway to fulfil its local traffic function more effectively and/or make pedestrian circulation easier and safer.

7.41 Southfields Road forms part of the gyratory road system serving the town centre. The reservation along Southfield Road safeguards land which would enable improvements along the route consistent with more sustainable transport policies. This could include, bus priority measures, or cycle lanes. The reservation would be enforced where redevelopment opportunities arise during the plan period. The scheme merits a specific policy given Southfields Road’s importance in Loughborough’s town centre road system.

7.42 The Empress Road and Swingbridge Road schemes are seen as necessary improvements to the road network in Loughborough to accommodate the demands and requirements of modern motor traffic. Where frontages are proposed for redevelopment the opportunity will be taken to achieve highway improvements along the identified sections of road.

Roads and Highway Improvements to be provided in Association with New Development

7.43 POLICY TR/4

Planning permission will not be granted for development which would prejudice the following road and highway improvements which are required in association with specific allocations for development:

i) a local distributor road from a new junction north of No. 148 Cotes Road to Willow Road, Barrow upon Soar;

ii) a local distributor road routed to the south of Dishley Pool between Bishop Meadow Road, Loughborough and the north of Dishley Grange, Hathern which allows for an independent access to the Astra Charnwood site routed to the north of Dishley Pool;

iii) the diversion and re-alignment of the A6 to provide a dual carriageway section of road to the north-west of Dishley Grange, Hathern to include a roundabout link to the new distributor road;

iv) a local distributor road between Meadow Lane and Nottingham Road, Loughborough.

(See also in particular Policies H/1(b)[re i)],, E/5(c)[re ii) and iii)] and E/10 [re iv)]

7.44 None of the schemes listed in this policy is provided for in any programme for public investment but each is required in association with specific proposals for development advanced elsewhere in this local plan. It is expected that the Borough Council will seek to negotiate reasonably related contributions from developers to fund these improvements, secured through planning agreements and in accordance with the rules governing planning obligations.

7.45 The new local distributor road at Barrow upon Soar (item i)) is required to service a new housing development (H/1(b) applies). The proposed employment area at Dishley Grange, Hathern will require provision of a new distributor road (item ii)) and diversion and re-alignment of the A6 (item iii)) to provide access. Design of a new distributor road must allow for the implementation of an independent access road to the AstraZeneca site. The independent access road will need to be designed to minimise impact on the environment in terms of noise and visual intrusion and to safeguard wildlife and ecological interest in the vicinity of Dishley Pool.

Transport Standards for New Development

7.46 POLICY TR/5

Planning permission will be granted for development which is, or forms part of a larger scheme, for 25 or more dwellings, in excess of 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of employment land, or other proposals likely to function as a major trip generator where the development:

i) is in an urban location well served, or capable of being well served, by non-car modes and having short walking, cycling and public transport links to town and district centres or existing rail stations;

ii) ensures that the needs of buses are met by provision of a road layout providing maximum penetration of the development by bus services with all parts of the site falling within approximately 400 metres of a potential bus route, with bus-shelters, bus lay-bys and information points provided at main stops;

iii) ensures the needs and safety of pedestrians are met in terms of access to the site and the inclusion of an integrated public footpath system which avoids roads wherever possible and provides pedestrian friendly links between the main land uses within the site, linkages with the established network outside the site, and safe road crossings where needed;

iv) ensures that the needs and safety of cyclists are met in terms of access to the site and the inclusion of special features such as cycleways, cycle lanes, safe cycle crossings and direct links between land uses, and between the site and adjoining cycleway provision;

v) makes adequate provision for vehicular access and circulation, highway design and layout and servicing arrangements. In approving detailed housing layouts the Borough Council will expect schemes to utilise the lowest order of road compatible with the scale of development to be served.

7.47 This policy provides guidance on the road layout, public transport provision, footways and cycle access to be sought in new developments. It is complementary to sustainability and transport choice objectives, and is framed to ensure satisfactory access for all travel modes, and avoid over-dominance by provision for road traffic. Detailed guidance is contained in the ‘Highway Requirements for Development’ prepared by Leicestershire County Council and Borough Council’s ‘Supplementary Planning Guidance’. Consultations on planning applications will be undertaken with the Highway Authority prior to their determination.

Traffic Generation from New Development

7.48 POLICY TR/6

Planning permission will not be granted for development on non-designated sites where the impact of traffic generated by an individual proposal or the cumulative impact together with other committed and allocated development in the locality would:

i) result in unsafe and unsatisfactory operation of the highway system; or

ii) have a significant adverse impact on the environment,

Unless measures are proposed to overcome any harmful effects. Where such measures involve improvements to the transport system they will need to be environmentally acceptable, minimise land take and have a reasonable design life.

In all cases measures should help to reduce car use to and from development and contribute to genuine and effective transport choice facilities through the encouragement of walking, cycling and the use of public transport for occupiers jointly or separately.

7.49 New development must be acceptable in terms of its impact on the existing highway network. Solutions to identified problems will be expected to improve the overall transport system rather than merely pursue road-based solutions. Development proposals should ensure that the impact of traffic generated, access arrangements, related road schemes and improvements, and other transport infrastructure safeguards the environment. Proposals should not have a damaging impact on the character and appearance of a locality. Features such as country lanes, areas of historic, ecological or other interest should be safeguarded. Living and working conditions should be safeguarded from the effects of visual intrusion, noise, emissions and other disturbance.

7.50 Developments will not be permitted which would add unacceptably to congestion and delay, generate additional on-street car parking and manoeuvring, or damage local amenities particularly in residential areas. Sites which have good access to existing public transport systems will usually be favoured for new developments. In all cases the potential effects of traffic generation on road safety will need to be assessed and the adopted highway standards met in relation to matters such as access, visibility and junction design taken fully into account.

7.51 Traffic Impact Assessments will be required for any proposals for development which would in part, or in total, generate:

- over 250 vehicle movements per day or 50 vehicle movements in the peak hour; or

- traffic exceeding 10 percent of the traffic flows on the adjoining highway, or 5 percent where traffic congestion exists or will exist; or

- a large proportion of the additional vehicles as heavy good traffic.

Measures need to be implemented, particularly in peripheral locations to restrain commuter parking, reduce traffic generation and to encourage employees to think and act more environmentally in their choice of transport. Commuter Plans and travel plans have a role to play in reducing use of the private car. The Borough Council has resolved to prepare a Commuter Plan for its employees and wishes to see other employers undertaking similar exercises with their employees.

Public Transport

Buses

7.52 Public transport is a less environmentally damaging means of travel than the car. By increasing the number of people using bus and rail less people should need to use cars. This can help reduce congestion and delay on local roads particularly during peak hour movements into the main urban areas. A central part of the transport strategy of the Local Plan is to manage road space to give priority on key routes to those means of travel which cause least harm to the environment such as buses and bicycles.

7.53 A continued dependence on measures to accommodate cars is not sustainable in the long term as growth in car ownership will rapidly fill any capacity in the road network including that provided by new roads and highway improvements. Public transport will only become more popular if it is attractive and accessible to potential users. With greater patronage of public transport there is more likelihood of further investment in better services and facilities.

7.54 Increased investment in buses as a means of transport should lead to better financial returns from greater patronage, and over time, more investment to extend and improve the network.

Improving Bus Services and Facilities

7.55 POLICY TR/7

Planning permission will not be granted for development which would prejudice the successful implementation of measures to secure high quality bus services. These measures include bus ways, bus lanes and other bus priority measures, bus lay-bays and passenger facilities to enable journeys to work, shopping trips and other trips for recreation, health, education and social activities to be made.

Measures will be focused on the following bus routes:

i) Loughborough town services;

ii) Leicester/Loughborough/Shepshed via the A6 and A512;

iii) Leicester/Melton Mowbray via the A46 and A607;

iv) Loughborough/Nottingham;

v) Loughborough/East Midlands Airport via the A6.

7.56 Buses have an important role to play in the Plan’s sustainable transport strategy. Greater use of buses, especially at peak periods, can help ease congestion. The ‘Quality Bus Initiative’ started in Central Leicestershire has now been extended to Loughborough/Shepshed. In October 1996 a ‘Quality Bus Partnership’ was launched between local authorities and the bus operators. This aims to provide better on-route facilities and information, bus priority measures, better termini, more lay-bys, shelters and stops. Operators are introducing high quality buses. It is intended to extend the initiative to the A6 transport choice corridor between Loughborough and Leicester to achieve and maintain a high level of accessibility.

7.57 The Soar and Wreake Valley sub areas have a total population of over 100,000 including Loughborough, living in close proximity to a network of bus routes serving Leicester and Loughborough and linking to other County Towns. There is considered to be great potential in these areas to secure modal shift away from cars to bus (and rail). Improved bus services and facilities are a key component of both the successful ‘Central Leicestershire’ package and the current ‘Loughborough/Shepshed’ package bid included in the highway authorities LTPs. The Borough Council will support the introduction of bus priority measures.

An Improved Bus Station in Loughborough

7.58 POLICY TR/8

Planning permission will be granted for proposals for the rationalisation and/or relocation of the bus station site at Fennel Street, Loughborough to provide an improved central bus station. This will be secured either by Borough Council funding and/or by seeking to negotiate funding from related redevelopment.

7.59 The current bus station is outdated, unsatisfactory and not attractive to bus users and service operators given its location, layout and appearance. Its image would be greatly improved by rationalisation, redevelopment or relocation to provide attractive passenger facilities. Any relocation would need to be centrally placed in relation to the town centre and potential users. In August 1996 the Borough approved a scheme to provide new stands with seating and wider lanes for possible implementation in 1997/98. The bus station would remain in broadly the same location.

7.60 This does not rule out other development related proposals. Discussions will be held with bus operators, prospective developers and other interested parties to secure an improved central bus station by negotiation sponsored by related redevelopment.

Bus/Rail Interchange next to Loughborough Station

7.61 POLICY TR/9

Planning permission will be granted for a bus/rail interchange next to Loughborough rail station in the location shown on the Proposals Map.

(See also in particular policies E/10,E/11)

7.62 The Town’s railway station is located on the north-eastern edge of Loughborough, remote from many users, and separated from the town centre by busy roads. Links by bus are not well developed.

7.63 Provision of a bus/rail interchange next to the station would create a significant public transport node in the town. This would help increase the attractiveness of bus and rail to local people and bridge the gap between the potential users, the town centre and the rail station.

7.64 The successful ‘Single Regeneration Budget’ (SRB) bid provides for Phase 1 of a redevelopment scheme in the Burder Street area. This provides the impetus for creating a Ratcliffe Road relief road between Nottingham Road and Meadow Lane, wider redevelopment opportunities, and provision of the interchange. Details of the interchange will be negotiated with Railtrack and the bus operators. Improvements will also be sought for rail users arriving at the station by cycle, on foot, for taxis and for people with disabilities.

Rail

7.65 Improved local rail services are able to offer a fast and direct travel service and should attract current car-users. New stations provided by the County Council at Barrow upon Soar, Sileby and Syston as part of the development of the Leicestershire rail network operate on the new provincial service running between Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicester, Nuneaton and Coventry (The Ivanhoe Service). The service will eventually link Leicester to Derby via Coalville and Burton on Trent.

7.66 The County Council intends to provide additional stations at Thurmaston and East Goscote when resources permit to extend the suburban rail service.

Safeguarding Areas for New Railway Stations

7.67 POLICY TR/10

Planning permission will not be granted for development which would prejudice the provision of a railway station at Thurmaston within the reservation shown on the Proposals Map.

7.68 Development proposals likely to prejudice the provision of a new station and related infrastructure at Thurmaston will be resisted. The Thurmaston station is intended to be primarily a “walk and ride” facility. Accordingly no provision is made in the safeguarded area for car parking. However, in the interests of promoting sustainable alternatives provision should be made for the secure parking of cycles in association with the development of the station.

7.69 At East Goscote because of technical difficulties in identifying a suitable location for a station and the likelihood that provision would not take place before 2006, the plan does not include a reservation for a station. This issue will be investigated further in the context of the review of the local plan.

7.70 Where improvements to car parking are desirable to alleviate problems, contributions may be sought from developers where this would be reasonably and directly related to the proposed development. This approach is not pursued in the case of the proposed Thurmaston Station as land allocations in the Plan in the vicinity are relatively small and there are other priorities for the lower level of contributions likely to be available.

Safeguarding the Midland Mainline and Leicester to Peterborough Railway Corridors

7.71 POLICY TR/11

Planning permission will not be granted for development on land alongside the Midland and Leicester to Peterborough Railway Lines where this would prejudice the provision of additional transport routes and facilities in the future.

7.72 The two railway corridors provide two of the three transport choice corridors identified in the Borough. Over the plan period there is the possibility of providing additional public transport facilities, cycle routes and freight facilities alongside the railways. Development will not be allowed if it would create a barrier to any such provision in the future.

Safeguarding the Great Central Railway Corridor

7.73 POLICY TR/12

Planning permission will not be granted for development on land along the Great Central Railway corridor where this would prejudice its operation as a railway, or its ability to provide additional transport routes and facilities in the future.

7.74 The Great Central railway presently provides a recreational railway route between Birstall and Loughborough. There is potential to eventually restore the link to the north between Loughborough and Ruddington.

7.75 In the future the use of Light Rapid Transport (LRT) could be considered along part of this corridor as a means to improve the quality and range of public transport facilities in the City.

7.76 There is also scope to extend the existing cycleway which runs alongside the trackside in Birstall.

7.77 The intention of the safeguarding policy is to ensure the future availability of this route is not removed in new development schemes.

Opportunities for Additional Rail Facilities along the Midland Mainline and Leicester to Peterborough Railway Corridors

7.78 The Borough Council will support new passenger rail stations, rail freight accesses or other rail-based facilities along the Midland Mainline and Leicester to Peterborough railway lines where there would not be problems because of proximity to existing rail-based facilities, the environmental impact of a proposal is sympathetic to the site and its surroundings and such proposals would conform with the policies of this Plan.

7.79 Higher use of railways for people’s travelling needs and the movement of freight will reduce the levels of traffic on the road network. In addition to already proposed new stations there may be opportunities to provide additional rail-based facilities during the plan period. A new railhead is proposed at Barrow upon Soar to serve the British Gypsum development.

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