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PROPOSED SUBMISSION LOCAL PLAN 2006-2028 - Aug 12

Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

Measures to Encourage Sustainable travel at Chard and Yeovil

10.12 In addition to the generic policy TA1 the more urban nature of Chard and Yeovil means that further measures should be in place to offer greater choice to use more sustainable transport modes and reduce the need and desire to use the car. These measures are commensurate with the Somerset County Council's (SCC) transport policies[1] and include:

a. Cycling and walking
The encouragement of cycling and walking by
    • Providing cycle and pedestrian routes to link the new development with new/existing routes by utilising lightly trafficked or off-road links for pedestrians and cyclists. These routes should permeate the site to ensure ease of access around the development. Developments should seek to protect and improve existing cycling and pedestrian routes to facilitate site links to the wider network;
    • Providing facilities for cycle parking within the new development commensurate with the levels and standards designated in the County Wide Parking Strategy as set out in Policy TA6.
The Chard Regeneration Framework  Strategic Transport Assessment  (CRFSTA) considers using a network of lightly trafficked and off-road links for pedestrians and cyclists between residential areas, the town centre and employment sites. If new infrastructure is carefully targeted on the flatter parts of the town, such as the A358 (northern approach), to link residential areas with the main trip attractors, further increases in levels of cycling should be achievable.[2]
 
b. Public Transport (Frequency and standard)
Direct contributions commensurate with the scale of the development to either enhance existing public transport services (frequency and standard) or in the case of larger developments consider new routes or for larger employment sites consider bespoke works buses or demand responsive works buses. Additionally it will be necessary to generate greater passenger numbers on local bus services. This can be accomplished by delivering more frequent and higher quality bus services that serve the town centre, employment health and education establishments through Quality Bus Partnerships (QBP).
 
The QBPs should include improvements to the routes themselves through bus priority measures, real time passenger Information at stops and improved accessibility at stops. Similarly the QBPs should provide real time passenger information at health, employment, leisure and shopping facilities, and through tickets (for other routes/operators including train) using enhanced Smartcard technologies.
 
In respect of Chard improvements to public transport are sought by either improving the existing bus services and/or establishing a Quality Bus Partnership (QBP) to deliver more frequent and higher quality bus services. Such services should provide for the doubling of frequency as recommended in the CRFSTA, and serve the town centre, employment health and education establishments.
 
Contributions to QBPs should apply to all residential and employment developments. The measures to deliver QBPs need to be costed and are dependent on the SCCs transport implementation plans emerging from the County Council's FTP and also in the case of Yeovil the YTSR2. Subject to those outcomes, the business case can then be made and development contributions sought through CIL.
 
c. Public Transport (Bus Stops)
Promoting improvements in public transport by providing bus stops, dependent on the scale of the development and existing provision, where a bus route exists or can be provided within a reasonable distance.
 
Where the scale of new residential developments and employment sites would have an impact on existing traffic and these sites are located within a reasonable distance of an existing bus route (or where the scale of such developments means that a route can realistically be diverted or introduced) then a bus stop should be provided. Each stop should include timetable information on inbound routes for residential developments and outbound routes for employment sites or Town Centre developments a bus shelter should also be provided with a commuted sum to the relevant Town or Parish Council to provide for on-going maintenance & cleaning.
 
A reasonable distance for the provision of bus stops would be:
    • Within 400 metres of the development[3]
    • Or in the case of larger developments where the provision of a new bus service is justified within 400 metres of each dwelling or unit in the development.
However care should be taken to ensure bus routes are not distorted to satisfy this criterion as direct and simple bus routes are more important than walking distances a little more than 400 metres for a few passengers.
 
d. Sustainable Transport Interchange
Supporting the integration of transport modes to ensure ease of interchange (e.g. walking and cycle links to public transport) and reliability of interchange between various bus, rail and express coach routes, enabled by 'through ticketing' or 'off-bus ticket' purchase (to reduce load times) with Smartcard technologies, real time information etc.
 
This can be achieved by development contributions to sustainable transport interchange within the towns. The prime interchange sites at Yeovil are currently the Borough and the Bus Station, and the existing bus stops at Boden Street and the Guildhall in Chard lend themselves to the delivery of a sustainable transport interchange. References to these interchanges are shown on the Proposals Maps (See Chard and Yeovil Insert Maps) reflecting aspirations to provide such an interchange. All residential and employment developments should contribute to the improvements of transport interchange. The measures to improve transport interchanges are dependent on the SCCs transport implementation plans emerging from the County Council's Future Transport Plan (FTP)[4] and also in the case of Yeovil the YTSR2.
 
e. Personalised Travel Planning
Achieve greater modal shift through Personalised Travel Planning specifically targeted at individuals (residents and employees) to ensure complete awareness of travel choices and respective benefits. This would include a personal consultation to assess the individual's travel needs and opportunities. This should be carried out on all new residential and employment developments in Chard and Yeovil. It requires a specific Personalised Travel Plan Coordinator to deliver the service and the resource funded through CIL, thereby ensuring that any such contribution would be commensurate with the scale of development for each town.
 
f. Car Sharing
Where the scale of new employment sites would have an impact on traffic, car sharing should be further encouraged through the provision of preferential and quality spaces in car parks for car sharers at employment sites.
 
Policy TA3: Sustainable Travel at Chard and Yeovil

In addition to the generic policies that support modal shift throughout the District all new residential and employment developments in Chard and Yeovil should:

i.   Provide facilities for cycle parking within the new development commensurate with the levels and standards designated in the SCC cycle parking strategy.

ii.  Contribute to sustainable transport interchange within the town.

iii. Contribute to either:

a) The improvement of existing public transport services or

b) New services and the establishment of a Quality Bus Partnership (or enhancement of an existing QBP) to ensure frequent and high quality routes serving the development and developers would be required to provide funding for the general provision of public transport.

iv. Contribute to funding the resource needed for Personalised Travel Planning

Where the scale of new residential developments and employment sites would have an impact on existing traffic these sites should:

v.  Provide cycling and pedestrian routes both to and permeating the site and protect and improve existing cycling and pedestrian routes where necessary to facilitate  site links to the wider network.

vi. Provide bus stops, bus shelters and timetable information, dependent on the scale of the development, existing bus stop provision and where a bus route either exists or can be provided as set out below:

a) Within 400 metres of the development

b) Or in larger developments where the provision of a new bus service is justified within 400 metres of each dwelling or unit in the development.

vii. Where the scale of new employment sites would have an impact on traffic preferential and quality spaces in car parks for car sharers should be provided.

 
Delivery

10.13 The following delivery bodies will be key in implementing Policy TA3:

  • South Somerset District Council;
  • Somerset County Council;
  • Town and Parish Councils;
  • Developers and Landowners.
 
Monitoring Indicators Target
Provision of cycle parking facilities  The number of cycle parking spaces to be commensurate with the levels and standards designated in the SCC cycle parking strategy
The improvement of existing public transport services or the establishment of new services and Quality Bus Partnerships Increase in patronage on existing routes and the number of new bus services delivered
Contribute to funding the resource needed for Personalised Travel Planning Establishment of a Personal Travel Planner
Provision of cycling and pedestrian routes Increased mileage of cycling and pedestrian routes
Provision of bus stops, bus shelters and timetable information Increased number of bus stops within identified catchments
Provision of preferential and quality spaces in car parks for car sharers Increase on the number of car sharers/car sharing schemes
1. SCCs Transport Policies - schedule of policies March 2011, Chapter 3 Sustainable Transport Policies SUS2 to SUS10 inclusive [back]
2. Supports SCC’s Cycling Policy SUS4 – SCC schedule of Policies – Transport Policies March 2011 [back]
3. Planning for Public Transport in Developments - The Institution of Highways and Transportation March 1999 - page 98, Paragraph 6.20 [back]
4. Somerset County Council's Future Transport Plan 2011 - 2026 [back]