National Policy Guidance
6.1 The Government’s strategy for sustainable development, “Sustainable Development: The UK Strategy” (1994), sets out the role of the planning system to shape new development patterns in a way which minimises the need to travel. Travel is, however, often unavoidable and policies, therefore, need to ensure that the necessities of travel and transportation to economic and social development are undertaken within a choice of sustainable transport modes, that the environmental impacts are minimised and that transport choice and the environment in general is accessible to all.
6.2 PPS1 sets out the Government’s basic objectives with regard to sustainable development. Specifically in relation to land use and transportation it states local authorities should integrate their transport programmes and land use policies to help:
- To reduce growth in the length and number of motorised journeys
- Encourage alternative means of travel which have less environmental impact; and hence
- Reduce reliance on the private car
6.3 These general objectives in relation to land use and transportation are repeated in PPG3 “Housing”, PPS6 “Planning for Town Centres” and PPG13 “Transport”. In addition and more specifically, these government advice notes also advise that LPAs should:
- Seek to reduce car dependence by facilitating more walking and cycling, by improving linkages by public transport between housing, jobs, local services and local amenity, and by planning for mixed use
- Manage both access by car and parking as part of an overall strategy for town centres;
- Promote improvement in the quality and convenience of less environmentally-harmful means of transport so that they provide a realistic alternative to the car; and
- Meet the access and mobility needs of disabled people.
- Promote more sustainable transport choices for both people and for moving freight;
- Promote accessibility to jobs, shopping, leisure facilities and services by public transport, walking and cycling, and
- Reduce the need to travel, especially by car
6.4 At a national/regional level there have been a number of multi-modal studies undertaken or on-going on behalf of the Government, some of which are relevant and have significant potential transportation and environmental impacts on the Borough.
6.5 Consultants undertaking the London to Ipswich Multi Modal Study (LOIS) have recommended a balanced package of measures to address both rail and road congestion within the London to Ipswich corridor over the next 30 years. The Government has asked the Highways Authority to carry out further work to bring forward proposals for improvements to the A12/M25 junction and for the upgrade of the A12 (M25 to Chelmsford) to dual 3 lanes, with completion by 2013. Other proposals being appraised further include quality bus and coach corridors and priority including the A12 between London and Colchester and Great Eastern Mainline enhancements.
6.6 The M25 London Orbital Transport Study (ORBIT) has made recommendations to tackle congestion and unreliable journeys on the M25. As a result the Government is seeking to progress the widening of the M25 between junctions 27 (M11) and 31 (Dartford Crossing) to dual 4 lanes, again to be completed by 2013. Development of an orbital coach system is also to be encouraged and the Government is considering the ORBIT recommendation for further examination of the case for a multi-modal Lower Thames Crossing.
6.7 In addition, the London to Southend Movement Study includes investigation of improvements to the A127 and to the London (Liverpool Street) to Southend (Victoria) rail line.
Replacement Structure Plan
6.8 The RSP Transport Strategy focuses on managing the demand for travel and distribution, achieving integration with land use planning, and the implementation of sustainable transport choices. Policies promote, therefore, investment priorities in support of regeneration within designated areas, accessibility, public transport, walking and cycling, and traffic management.
6.9 However, policies also identify the need to develop and maintain key road corridors as identified by the County-wide road hierarchy in order to achieve economic prosperity, optimise safety and capacity, and discourage the use of less suitable routes. At the more local level, the road network will be managed, improved and maintained to support access to the strategic roads, facilitate major development proposals, support sustainable forms of transport, contribute to environmental improvements and allow safe and efficient local trip making.
Local Transport Plan
6.10 In the Essex Local Transport Plan (LTP), the Essex-wide Transport Strategy is set out in relation to urban areas, rural areas and inter-urban movement. In urban areas the LTP advises that a balance needs to be struck between the need to manage car use and the need to maintain the commercial viability of town centres. This will continue to be achieved through the existing package approach applied to all large towns, including Brentwood, whereby schemes and measures are implemented which encourage alternative modes of travel to the car, especially at peak times i.e. provision of bus priorities, footpaths and cycle-ways, car parking availability and pricing.
6.11 In rural areas the distances between settlements and the lack of both local employment and a full range of community services means that the role that can practically be played by public transport, walking and cycling is limited, and demand for car travel will continue to grow. In some cases limited local highway improvements will be needed, aimed mainly at improving safety and the environment, but public transport will be maintained through conventional and innovative means for the social needs of rural communities.
6.12 An increase in demand for inter urban travel by road, passenger transport and rail freight is to be catered for, although the strategy states it may not be possible to cater for the full increase in demand for road based traffic.
6.13 The Borough and County Council have, in partnership, developed and prioritised a 10-year programme of transport measures upon which the Brentwood element of the LTP’s 5-year plan proposals is based.
6.14 The highest priority is the “High Street Area Study”. Proposals for High Street Improvements have been agreed by Essex County Council, and work is to be progressed on the design process.
6.15 The second priority is the decriminalisation of parking enforcement. Development control policies to reduce car use, such as maximum parking standards, are unlikely to be effective unless the Local Authority has sufficient control over on-street parking.
6.16 Finally, the Borough Council has also been able to negotiate significant amounts of funding for transport measures through planning agreements, which will be directed towards the projects with the highest priority in the agreed Strategy with the County Council. The LTP sets out the agreed Capital Programme of Schemes for the County, and an Integrated Transport Capital Programme for each Borough/District is updated on an annual basis.
6.17 In support of the LTP, the Council has adopted a Transport Strategy that places emphasis on the following core areas:
- Overall reduction in the number, length and time of journeys
- More travel by rail, bus, cycling or walking
- Less dispersed development pattern
- Rail and road networks more closely aligned to the emerging development pattern
- Improved accessibility of town centres
- More closely integrated public transport networks and services, with private transport and with cycling and walking facilities
- Less local, area-wide and global environmental damage caused by transport provision
- Reducing the dangers associated with travel
- More socially and geographically equitable accessibility
Brentwood Community Plan
6.18 The Community Plan’s strategic objectives that are relevant to the Replacement Local Plan Transport Policies are set out under the heading “Transportation” and includes:
“To encourage the use and development of transport facilities which have less reliance on cars and less impact on the environment, by:
- Reducing the number, length and time of journeys
- Encouraging more travel by rail, bus, cycling and walking
- Improving accessibility to local facilities and services, including health services
- Achieving a better integration of public transport facilities with private transport and cycling and walking facilities
- Reducing the dangers associated with travel”
THE AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PLAN’S TRANSPORT POLICIES
To encourage sustainable travel patterns and reduce the need to travel
- To assist in the provision of an integrated, energy efficient, safe and convenient transport system for people and goods without unacceptable detrimental impact upon people, the environment or the local economy
- To integrate land use and transport in order to reduce the need to travel and minimise the possible detrimental impact of traffic on the environment and local amenities
- To minimise conflict between different modes of travel
- To encourage alternative forms of transport to the private motor car and lorry
The Brentwood Road Network
6.19 Brentwood is well located in relation to both the regional and national transport network. The M25 generally forms the western boundary of the Borough with the A12 Colchester/Ipswich Road passing through the centre and the A127 Southend Arterial Road running through the south of the Borough. Both the M25 and the A12 are part of the Trans European Highway Network.
6.20 However, by contrast the local road system is poor and has had no major expenditure at all since the 1960s. This has meant that Brentwood faces considerable local transport problems. High car ownership and the fact that Brentwood High Street is the main through route and a Principle Urban Distributor as well as the main shopping centre give rise to heavy congestion, particularly at peak times, in the town centre. These problems in Brentwood Town Centre and on the principle roads leading in to the centre are further exacerbated by a combination of employment and school traffic (there are a significant numbers of schools on the periphery of the town centre).
6.21 In addition, traffic levels on the M25 at peak times have far exceeded the original forecast flows. Greater use is also being made of the A12 (commuter and east coast port traffic) and the A127 (commuter and South Essex industrial traffic) to link into the national motorway network via the M25 and also to Central London. When these roads become slow moving or stationary, due to some incident or simply the volume of traffic, drivers (often including those of heavy goods vehicles) use alternative routes through the centre of Brentwood and adjacent residential streets causing additional noise, pollution and congestion in these areas.
The Rail Network
6.22 Brentwood has good rail links with the Liverpool Street to Norwich, Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria, and the Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness lines all passing through the Borough. There are four stations within the Borough at Ingatestone, Shenfield, West Horndon and Brentwood.
6.23 The presence of these rail links encourages high levels of out-commuting and many of the rail users arrive at the station interchanges by car during the morning peaks when the numbers of trips being undertaken is already high.
Car Ownership and Car Usage
6.24 Brentwood is an area of high car ownership, with levels above the Essex average and significantly higher than the National averages in 2001 (see Table 6.1). The level of car usage is correspondingly high with the worst problems being experienced in the a.m. peak. Journeys to work give rise to significant traffic movements, including trips to rail stations, but journeys to school are also significant, with the average distance increasing and with fewer children making their own way to school.
Table 6.1: Car Ownership (%) 2001 Census
6.25 The result of these combined traffic movements is congestion, noise, pollution and increased risk of accidents especially during the morning and evening peaks. Whilst, however, the worst problems occur during the peak travel period, off peak is now also a cause for concern1.
6.26 Such problems are anticipated to worsen in the future. Car ownership has continued to increase since 1991 (Essex Travel Diary figures for 1999/2000), as has the associated level of traffic flow. Traffic growth in Brentwood is forecast to increase by 6-18% between1998 and 2011 (source: Essex Local Transport Plan – The Essex Approach to Transport, July 2000). Whilst this is the lowest forecast increase in Essex it is clearly significant in terms of the existing high levels of car usage in the Borough.
NEW DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSPORT
6.27 The Council will promote the widespread use of Travel Plans (Green Transport Plans, Company Travel Plans, School Travel Plans) by businesses, schools, hospitals and other organisations within the Borough. Such plans should set out how it is proposed to reduce car usage, increase the use of public transport, cycling and walking and provide for more environmentally friendly delivery and freight movements. Travel Plans should be submitted alongside planning applications for major commercial and leisure developments or smaller developments in sensitive locations, new or expanded school facilities, and where they may address local traffic problems which would otherwise have led to a refusal of permission. Such plans should have measurable outputs, which relate to Local Transport Plan targets and arrangements for enforcement, in the event that agreed targets are not met. Applicants will be expected to enter into a legal agreement setting out how such measures are to be achieved.
THE COUNCIL WILL EXPECT BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS AND OTHER USES TO ADOPT TRAVEL PLANS. ALL APPLICATIONS FOR PROPOSALS WHICH ARE LIKELY TO GIVE RISE TO SIGNIFICANT TRANSPORT IMPLICATIONS (EITHER OF THEMSELVES OR IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER PROPOSALS) WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A TRAVEL PLAN INCORPORATING, FOR EXAMPLE, MEASURES TO REDUCE TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE SITE BY CAR, PROVISION OF ON SITE FACILITIES FOR CYCLISTS, CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE IMPROVEMENT OR EXPANSION OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT PROVISION, AND THE PROMOTION OF SAFE CYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN ROUTES.
APPLICANTS WILL BE EXPECTED TO ENTER INTO A LEGAL AGREEMENT SETTING OUT HOW ANY MEASURES REFERRED TO ABOVE ARE TO BE ACHIEVED
A Target and Indicator for monitoring this policy is set out in Chapter 13.
Impact on the Transport Network
6.28 Whilst policies aimed at achieving sustainable development seek to change the emphasis and priorities between different modes of transport, the car will continue to be an important means of transport for many journeys, and may in rural areas continue to be the only real option for travel. It will also be important to continue to invest in the existing highway network to ensure that travel, whether by private car, public transport, cycling or on foot, is safe and efficient.
6.29 Development proposals giving rise to levels of traffic that would have an adverse effect on highway safety, prejudice the free flow of traffic, increase congestion to an unacceptable extent or give rise to adverse environmental conditions, and which cannot be overcome by mitigation measures, will not be granted permission.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR PROPOSALS WHERE:
i) AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PROPOSAL INDICATES AN UNACCEPTABLE DETRIMENTAL IMPACT ON THE TRANSPORT SYSTEM WHICH CANNOT BE RESOLVED BY AGREED MITIGATION MEASURES
ii) IT DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THE CURRENT COUNTY HIGHWAY AUTHORITY'S GUIDANCE AS SET DOWN IN THE FOLLOWING PUBLICATIONS:
a) “THE ESSEX DESIGN GUIDE FOR RESIDENTIAL AND MIXED USE AREAS – SERVICE AND ACCESS”
b) "THE HIGHWAY ASPECTS OF DEVELOPMENT CONTROL"
6.30 The Council is committed to implementing traffic management measures as a means of promoting more sustainable forms of travel, enhancing local amenity, reducing congestion and improving road safety. The introduction of additional lanes on approaches to junctions and the introduction of mini roundabouts, for example, have been seen as particularly effective. Congestion on the main road network inevitably leads to environmental problems in adjacent residential streets as drivers seek alternative routes or "rat-runs" to avoid the delays. In order to control traffic movement in residential areas and provide safer and more pleasant conditions, the Council has, and will continue to, implement traffic calming measures to deter through traffic, decrease vehicle speeds and provide greater pedestrian safety. The design and layout of the Clements Park development on the Warley Hospital site has sought, through road narrows, humps and other measures, to achieve a 20 mph zone.
6.31 The Transport Act 2000 makes provision for local traffic authorities to designate “Home Zones” and “Quiet Lanes”. A home zone can consist of one or more residential streets (or part of one) in which the living environment clearly predominates over the provision for traffic. Through innovative street design, landscaping and highway engineering, the intention is to control traffic flow speeds to allow pedestrians to move about or children to play in safety, whilst still allowing for vehicle access. Similarly, quiet lanes, which should have a rural character, would incorporate measures to control vehicle speeds in order to encourage their use by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
6.32 The Council will seek to identify appropriate opportunities for the designation of home zones and quiet lanes, subject to the agreement and funding by the local traffic authority. The Council will ensure that Traffic Management proposals reflect the needs and views of the local area through proper consultation with residents and local businesses.
SUBJECT, WHERE APPROPRIATE, TO HIGHWAY AUTHORITY AGREEMENT AND FUNDING, TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT MEASURES WILL BE INTRODUCED WITHIN THE BOROUGH TO:
i) IMPROVE HIGHWAY SAFETY THROUGH TRAFFIC CALMING (INCLUDING THE USE OF 20 MPH ZONES) PARTICULARLY IN MORE SENSITIVE AREAS SUCH AS RESIDENTIAL AREAS, SHOPPING AREAS, NEAR SCHOOLS AND RURAL LANES
ii) PROVIDE FOR THE CREATION OF “HOME ZONES” AND “QUIET LANES”
iii) PROMOTE SAFE WALKING AND CYCLING
iv) GIVE PRIORITY TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT
v) MANAGE ON-STREET PARKING IN A MANNER COMPATIBLE WITH THE SUSTAINABLE CAR PARKING STRATEGY SET OUT IN POLICY T8
vi) IMPROVE THE QUALITY AND ATTRACTIVENESS OF THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT
vii) HELP TO AVOID OR MANAGE TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN CENTRAL AREAS
Lorry Traffic in Residential Streets
6.33 Lorries are more environmentally intrusive than other vehicles. They take up a greater amount of road space and can cause more congestion. The number of lorry trips is forecast to grow in the future, but at a much lower rate than car trips, partly due to the trend towards larger lorries able to carry heavier loads. Although there is little evidence to suggest, at present, that `rat running' by lorries during the peak times is a serious problem within the Borough generally, certain roads are used as alternative routes. Any lorry traffic using residential streets is undesirable and it is seen as important that lorry routes are generally restricted to the major roads that are best suited to carry them.
THE COUNCIL WILL PURSUE A REDUCTION IN THE LEVEL OF LORRY TRAFFIC AND OTHER LARGE VEHICLES USING RESIDENTIAL OR OTHER INAPPROPRIATE ROADS WITHIN THE BOROUGH.
6.34 Previous policies of the Local Plan required that any new development, including extensions, etc, should be accompanied by adequate parking provision in order to prevent additional traffic generated by such developments parking in nearby residential streets, or within car parks intended for use by shoppers. In considering whether provision for parking in connection with any proposal for development was adequate, regard was had to the Council’s car parking standards, which set out the level expected to be provided as a minimum. However, more recent Government guidance, which seeks to achieve sustainable development, has fundamentally changed the attitude to parking provision.
6.35 The availability of car parking is a major influence on the choices people make on the means of transport for journeys. Reducing the amount of parking associated with development proposals is seen by Government as a significant component of a package of planning and transport measures aimed at promoting sustainable transport choices.
6.36 PPG13 advises that parking policies should be coordinated with parking controls and charging set out in the Local Transport Plan, and should complement land use policies on the location of development.
6.37 As set out above, sustainability is at the heart of the planning and transport processes. With regard to car parking, PPG3, PPS6 and PPG13, in particular, translate the thrust of sustainability into a need to minimise the amount of car parking provision in order to discourage the use of the car and encourage the use of more sustainable transport modes. Government guidance requires local planning authorities to set out standards for parking as maxima rather than minima, indeed, the guidance precludes minimum standards other than for disabled parking.
6.38 This fundamental change in the way in which parking standards are expressed has been incorporated into the recently revised vehicle parking standards for Essex published by the Essex Planning Officers Association, and adopted by Essex County Council. These standards provide the basis for the standards to be adopted in this Borough, as set out in Appendix 2.
ANY PROVISION FOR VEHICLE PARKING WILL BE EXPECTED TO COMPLY WITH THE PARKING STANDARDS SET OUT IN APPENDIX 2
Public Car Parking Strategy
6.39 The policies that are adopted by an authority for the provision of car parking for private development proposals should also be compatible with the authority’s wider car parking strategy.
6.40 In the light of the advice set out in PPG13, the Council’s revised car parking strategy is, in broad terms, to:
i) Seek to maintain existing levels of short stay car parking in existing shopping areas in order to maintain their commercial viability;
ii) Reduce the levels of long stay provision (other than existing commuter car parking at the Borough’s rail stations); and
iii) Critically assess proposals for any additional car parking against the Plan’s overall objective for achieving sustainable development.
6.41 It is important that the detailed policies of the car parking strategy are complemented by a wider set of transport policies and proposals aimed at providing improvements to the transport network that facilitate or at least encourage greater use of non-car modes of transport. The Council does not have direct control over public transport provision and will need to work with and encourage the public transport operators to undertake the required improvements to infrastructure and services. However, the Council can seek to facilitate such improvements through “Green Travel Plans” and traffic management measures that promote walking, cycling and public transport.
EXISTING AND FUTURE PROVISION OF PUBLIC CAR PARKING WILL BE BASED ON THE FOLLOWING GENERAL STRATEGY:
i) EXISTING LEVELS OF SHORT TERM CAR PARKING IN THE BOROUGH’S SHOPPING AREAS WILL BE MAINTAINED IN ORDER TO RETAIN THEIR ECONOMIC VIABILITY.
ii) LONG STAY CAR PARKING PROVISION WILL BE CRITICALLY ASSESSED AND, WHERE APPROPRIATE, REDUCED
iii) PROPOSALS FOR ANY ADDITIONAL CAR PARKING WILL BE CRITICALLY ASSESSED AS PART OF POLICY OBJECTIVES TO ENCOURAGE THE DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF ALTERNATIVE MODES OF TRANSPORT TO THE PRIVATE CAR.
Off-Street Public Car Parking
6.42 Good quality secure parking is important to maintain the vitality and viability of town centres, and to enable retail and leisure to flourish. PPG13 warns that parking strategies should not create perverse incentives for such development to locate away from town centres, or threaten future levels of investment in town centres through the application of car parking policies. The guidance states that, whilst there will be greater opportunities for reducing levels of parking in areas with good accessibility to non-car modes, local authorities should be cautious in prescribing different levels of parking between town centres and peripheral locations.
6.43 Existing levels of short stay parking to retain commercial viability is, therefore, to be retained in the Borough’s main shopping centres. PPG13 advises that local planning authorities should ensure that the scale of parking is in keeping with the size of the centre. Additional short stay parking should clearly, therefore, be assessed against the objectives of sustainable development. Greater use of shared car parking is to be encouraged where peak levels of use do not coincide.
6.44 The provision of additional long stay parking is clearly contrary to government planning policy guidance and is to be discouraged. Existing long stay spaces may be justified until improvements in alternative modes of transport have been achieved – but consideration needs to be given to their replacement by other uses and/or their transfer to short-term spaces where this can be justified.
6.45 There are also initiatives that the Council can use to limit the need for long-stay parking and to encourage more sustainable travel, such as car sharing, through promoting the adoption of Travel Plans by businesses, schools, etc. and through the use of planning obligations, in appropriate cases, when granting permission for new development. [These are considered further elsewhere in this Plan.]
6.46 Short-stay parking has been particularly limited within Ingatestone village centre. Some additional parking was provided recently on land to the rear of the Bell Public House, together with the development of a new doctors’ surgery. Additional land to the south of the surgery had been allocated in the existing adopted Local Plan for further car parking and is subject to an extant planning permission, but reappraisal of the use of this land, taking account of the guidance on parking in PPG13 and the identified need for affordable housing within the village, has led the Council to re-allocate this land for housing purposes. If it is found that there is a continuing unmet demand for additional public car parking provision in Ingatestone village centre, any proposal will need to comply with the policies in this Plan.
THE COUNCIL WILL PRIORITISE THE USE OF PUBLIC CAR PARKS FOR SHORT-STAY PARKING THROUGH ITS MANAGEMENT AND PRICING POLICIES. EXISTING SHORT-STAY PUBLIC CAR PARKING LOCATED IN BRENTWOOD TOWN CENTRE AND THE BOROUGH’S DISTRICT SHOPPING CENTRES WILL BE RETAINED WHILST LONG-STAY PUBLIC PARKING WILL BE CRITICALLY ASSESSED AND, WHERE APPROPRIATE, REDUCED. ANY ADDITIONAL SHORT-STAY PUBLIC PARKING PROVISION WILL BE CONSIDERED IN THE CONTEXT OF:
i) ITS IMPORTANCE IN ENHANCING THE VIABILITY AND VITALITY OF EXISTING SHOPPING CENTRES
ii) ITS POTENTIAL FOR PROVIDING FOR SHARED SHORT-STAY USE
iii) THE LEVEL OF EXISTING OR POTENTIAL CONGESTION
iv) ITS IMPACT ON ENCOURAGING SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT CHOICES
v) ITS IMPACT UPON THE AMENITIES OF THE SURROUNDING AREA
THE QUALITY OF SHORT-STAY PUBLIC CAR PARKING WILL BE ENHANCED, WHERE POSSIBLE, THROUGH IMPROVED LANDSCAPING, PEDESTRIAN ACCESS, SECURITY, LIGHTING, SIGNING AND PUBLICITY, MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE
6.47 The Council recognises the importance of short-term on-street parking facilities to both local shopkeepers and shoppers by catering for passing trade and those customers wishing to make short visits. However, on-street parking tends to hinder the circulation of traffic within the immediate area and can give rise to safety concerns.
6.48 Outside the immediate shopping areas, on-street parking, which results from overspill parking from local shops and other businesses or from the rail stations, can be a cause of nuisance to local residents.
6.49 All day parking in residential streets by people who work nearby or who commute to work elsewhere may prevent residents from gaining access to their property. Cars continually parked along the street can also be a serious detriment to the visual amenity. In an attempt to overcome these problems, residents' parking schemes have already been introduced in some areas (mainly at present within the Town Centre and Brentwood Station Area) and the possibility of extending such schemes to other areas will be considered in appropriate circumstances.
6.50 Such problems may well increase as a consequence of the use of maximum parking standards. PPG13 advises that local authorities should adopt on-street measures to complement land use policies. The Council will be faced with the practical and financial implications of dealing with this, although PPG13 advises that it would be appropriate to negotiate contributions towards the costs of introducing on-street parking controls from a developer in the vicinity of their site. On-street waiting restrictions, parking enforcement and residential parking schemes will need to be considered in appropriate locations to respond to problems of on-street parking
SHORT-TERM ON-STREET PARKING WILL BE RETAINED IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO EXISTING LOCAL SHOPPING AREAS OUTSIDE BRENTWOOD TOWN CENTRE TO ASSIST THE ECONOMIC VIABILITY OF THE RETAIL UNITS IN THOSE AREAS. ELSEWHERE, RESTRICTIONS UPON ON-STREET PARKING WILL BE INTRODUCED, WHERE APPROPRIATE, TO IMPROVE HIGHWAY SAFETY, REDUCE TRAFFIC CONGESTION, PROTECT THE AMENITIES OF ADJACENT RESIDENTS AND ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PARKING STRATEGY SET OUT IN POLICY T6.
WHERE APPROPRIATE, DEVELOPERS WILL BE EXPECTED TO ENTER INTO A LEGAL AGREEMENT REGARDING THE MAKING OF A CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS THE COST OF INTRODUCING ON-STREET PARKING CONTROLS IN THE VICINITY OF THEIR SITE, AND, WHERE APPROPRIATE, CLAUSES MAY BE INSERTED INTO THAT AGREEMENT TO RESTRICT DEVELOPMENT UNTIL SUCH TIME AS A PARKING CONTROL SCHEME HAS BEEN IMPLEMENTED.
THE INTRODUCTION OF RESIDENTS' PARKING SCHEMES OR ALTERNATIVE PARKING RESTRICTIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED IN APPROPRIATE STREETS.
Commuter Car Parking
6.51 The present level of commuting out of the Borough is high. It is important, therefore, that adequate car parking is provided at the stations for commuters and that any parking provided is retained as such. PPG13 advises that whilst parking provision at rail stations can increase the potential catchment population for rail services, it can at the same time exacerbate road congestion. The level of parking provision at railway stations is a balance of these considerations. On the positive side, commuter parking may encourage “park and ride” to longer distance destinations, thereby reducing the length of car journeys and taking traffic off the roads. However, it may also have the negative impact of discouraging travellers from using local bus services and increasing local road congestion in the vicinity of the station. Lack of commuter parking, though, may potentially increase “kiss and ride” and also have an unwanted impact on congestion.
6.52 Whilst retaining existing levels of commuter car parking, therefore, proposals for additional parking will be carefully assessed in the context of the Council’s overall car parking strategy and in particular the impact on promoting more sustainable transport choices. Rail and bus operators will be encouraged to improve interchange facilities to promote greater use of public transport, cycling and walking as a means of access to rail stations. Opportunities for incorporating other appropriate uses on station car parks, as part of a mixed-use development, will also not be precluded.
THE EXISTING COMMUTER CAR PARKS AT BRENTWOOD, SHENFIELD, INGATESTONE AND WEST HORNDON RAILWAY STATIONS SHALL BE RETAINED. HOWEVER, CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO PROPOSALS FOR MIXED USE OF THE SITES FOR CAR PARKING AND OTHER APPROPRIATE USES, SUBJECT TO NO REDUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF COMMUTER PARKING AND SUBJECT TO OTHER APPROPRIATE POLICIES IN THIS PLAN. ANY PROPOSALS FOR ADDITIONAL COMMUTER CAR PARKING WILL BE CONSIDERED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE COUNCIL’S CAR PARKING STRATEGY AS SET OUT IN POLICY T6, AND IN PARTICULAR TO ITS IMPACT ON ENCOURAGING SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT CHOICES.
NETWORK RAIL WILL BE ENCOURAGED TO IMPROVE STATION FACILITIES FOR THOSE ARRIVING ON FOOT OR BY BICYCLE AND TO WORK WITH PUBLIC TRANSPORT OPERATORS AND OTHERS TO IMPROVE TRANSPORT MODE INTEGRATION THROUGH SUCH MEASURES AS IMPROVED INTERCHANGES, INTEGRATION OF SERVICES, THROUGH TICKETING AND COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL INFORMATION.
Short Stay Parking Demands at School Sites
6.53 Schools generate (mainly short-stay) parking demands in local areas and in many cases no provision is available for car parking on site. Because of the considerable increase in second-car ownership, many local problems have been generated due to parents dropping off and picking up children by car.
6.54 The proposed new car parking standards restrict even further the amount of on-site parking to be provided on education sites. It will, therefore, be necessary to encourage, and require where appropriate, schools and other such uses to adopt green travel plans aimed at increasing travel to and from the site by means other than the motorcar, e.g. “walking buses”, improved cycling facilities, etc.
Parking for Disabled Persons
6.55 The one area of parking standards where authorities are encouraged to increase the provision (apart from cycle/motor cycle parking) is for disabled persons. The availability and accessibility of parking spaces is especially important for those persons with mobility problems. The Council will be seeking to provide appropriate levels of well-located, convenient, accessible and safe parking bays for people with disabilities.
THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO PROMOTE AN ENVIRONMENT WHICH IS ACCESSIBLE TO ALL THROUGH:
i) THE PROVISION OF APPROPRIATE NUMBERS AND SUITABLY DESIGNED CAR PARKING SPACES FOR DISABLED PERSONS WHICH ARE EASILY ACCESSIBLE TO PEOPLE WITH LIMITED MOBILITY, AND IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO SHOPS AND OTHER FACILITIES.
ii) ENSURING THAT DEVELOPMENTS, INCLUDING TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE, ARE ACCESSIBLE TO AND FUNCTIONAL FOR DISABLED PEOPLE, AND
iii) THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT IS LAID OUT AND DESIGNED TO FACILITATE SAFE ACCESS FOR DISABLED PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO ARE BLIND OR PARTIALLY SIGHTED OR HAVE LIMITED MOBILITY.
See also Appendix 2
6.56 The deregulation of bus services and privatisation of the rail network has brought many changes in the level of services offered. The Council is committed to increasing travel by public transport by supporting measures to increase the quality and lower the cost of these services. The Borough Council has little direct influence over the provision of services, but it will, in consultation with the County Council, Rail Track and the bus and rail operators, continue to support the retention of existing services as a minimum level of provision and, wherever possible, encourage the provision of additional services. The need for improvements to inter-urban and rural passenger transport facilities is particularly evident, and the Borough Council will continue to consider and support community transport schemes in rural areas.
6.57 Substantial funding for public transport improvements has been negotiated as part of major development proposals at Clements Park on the former Warley Hospital site, Sainsbury food store and the BT office development on the former St. Faiths Hospital, and the Council will continue to explore further opportunities for funding through major development proposals.
6.58 The Council has in the past assisted bus services by the provision of, for example, bus shelters, lay-bys and bus turnaround facilities. It will continue to assist in the provision and improvement of these facilities for the bus operators and their passengers wherever possible.
6.59 It will also seek to work with the bus companies to develop Quality Bus Partnerships with the aim to provide service improvements such as lower vehicle floor heights to improve accessibility, new bus stops, electronic information etc.
THE COUNCIL, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COUNTY COUNCIL AND BUS OPERATORS, WILL CONTINUE TO SEEK, AS A MINIMUM, THE RETENTION OF EXISTING SERVICES AND, WHERE POSSIBLE, TO ENCOURAGE THE INTRODUCTION OF IMPROVED AND NEW SERVICES THROUGH QUALITY BUS PARTNERSHIPS. THE COUNCIL WILL ALSO SEEK TO ACHIEVE, WHEREVER POSSIBLE, THE PROVISION OF TRANSPORT INTERCHANGE IMPROVEMENTS AND OTHER ADDITIONAL FACILITIES, INCLUDING THE PROVISION OF BUS SHELTERS, LAY-BYS AND BUS TURNAROUND FACILITIES.
WHERE APPROPRIATE, CONTRIBUTIONS WILL BE SOUGHT TOWARDS THE IMPROVEMENT OF BUS SERVICES AND FACILITIES IN ASSOCIATION WITH PLANNING PERMISSION FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT
6.60 The Borough is served by two rail lines, London (Liverpool Street) to Norwich and London (Fenchurch Street) to Southend, with four stations at Brentwood, Shenfield, Ingatestone and West Horndon. Rail travel, particularly commuter travel into London, is an important element of the Borough’s transport network. The Council will continue to discuss with Rail Track the need for improvements to the rail stations within the Borough, in order, for example, to increase accessibility, extend the range and quality of passenger facilities and improve modal integration and interchange facilities. Such proposals are often associated with further property development and whilst this would not necessarily be precluded, account would need to be taken of the general constraints on development close to congested railway station sites (see also Policy T9 regarding commuter parking).
6.61 For a number of years, proposals have been discussed for a new rail link between east and west London, referred to as Crossrail, and previously involving both Brentwood and Shenfield stations. Transport for London and the Strategic Rail Authority are working in partnership through Cross London Rail Links Ltd, which has been allocated a budget to carry out feasibility work, and to determine the optimum route, stations and service pattern. In July 2003, the Government authorised work to proceed on a public consultation prior to a draft hybrid Bill being put before Parliament for construction of the rail link. The Secretary of State for Transport introduced the hybrid Bill into Parliament in February 2005, and also issued Directions under the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 safeguarding the route and associated works for the Crossrail project. These are not proposals of the local planning authority and will not be determined though the development plan process, but will be considered in Parliament under the hybrid Bill procedures, which provide opportunities for petitions to be made by those directly affected by the scheme. The extent of the ‘Safeguarded Area’ is shown on the Proposals Map.
6.62 Whilst the Council is supportive of the principle of Crossrail, this must be subject to the case being made for an overall improvement in rail services for the Borough and subject to the Council being assured that there will be no detrimental environmental or transport impacts, particularly in the vicinity of the rail stations, as a consequence.
THE COUNCIL, IN CONSULTATION WITH NETWORK RAIL, THE TRAIN OPERATORS AND OTHERS, WILL CONTINUE TO SEEK, AS A MINIMUM, RETENTION OF EXISTING SERVICES AND, WHERE POSSIBLE, ENCOURAGE THE INTRODUCTION OF IMPROVED AND NEW SERVICES. SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT WILL BE GIVEN TO THE REFURBISHMENT OF RAIL STATION BUILDINGS AND OTHER IMPROVEMENTS IN FACILITIES FOR RAIL PASSENGERS INCLUDING TRANSPORT INTERCHANGE IMPROVEMENTS.
THE COUNCIL WILL SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF CROSSRAIL, SUBJECT TO THE CASE BEING MADE FOR AN OVERALL IMPROVEMENT TO RAIL SERVICES FOR THE BOROUGH, AND SUBJECT TO NO UNACCEPTABLE ENVIRONMENTAL OR TRANSPORT IMPACTS AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE PROPOSALS.
WHERE APPROPRIATE, CONTRIBUTIONS WILL BE SOUGHT TOWARDS THE IMPROVEMENT OF RAIL SERVICES AND FACILITIES IN ASSOCIATION WITH PLANNING PERMISSION FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT
6.63 Where bus services have been lost altogether or run less frequently, alternative forms of transport have become more important for those people who have no access to private transport. Taxis can assist in filling this need. The Council will, therefore, continue to improve taxi facilities particularly in the shopping areas and at rail interchanges.
THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO ACHIEVE ADDITIONAL TAXI FACILITIES WITHIN THE BOROUGH, WHERE APPROPRIATE.
OTHER TRANSPORT MODES
6.64 Encouragement and support for greater use of cycling as a mode of transport is an important element of a more sustainable transport strategy. Cycles take up less road space, reduce congestion and do not give rise to the pollutants associated with motor vehicles. Cycling is not only environmentally friendly but has recreational and health benefits. Brentwood currently has low cycle usage, with the number of cyclists in Brentwood representing approximately a third of the national average, and few cycle routes. Opportunities for encouraging cycling by improving facilities for cyclists at, for example, rail stations and within shopping areas as well as through developing more safe cycle routes will be pursued.
6.65 Although the Council first produced a Cycle Strategy in 1996, Essex County Council was unable to fund any of the projects. In 1998 the Brentwood Cycle Strategy was updated so as to be greatly more proactive in providing cycling facilities, and aims to double the amount of cycling in Brentwood by 2002. During 2000/2001 the Council allocated £40,000 towards cycle development. Additional funding has also been made available in conjunction with major development proposals. In 1998 Sainsbury funded a segregated cycle facility along the western side of the site between North Road and William Hunter Way. British Telecom’s development of the St. Faith’s hospital site provided funding for two new routes, a segregated on-road cycle lane between the site and the London Road/Mascalls Lane junction and a shared cycle and pedestrian route through St. Faith’s Park linking London Road to Weald Road. A new route is planned through the open space at Warley Hospital, which would link Crescent Road (and the Brentwood Rail station) with Mascalls Lane (and the Rural network), and connect with the cycle network through the new residential development at Clements Park. Proposals for redevelopment of the Transco site, off St. James Road, will also include provision for cycle ways linking to London Road.
6.66 New routes, primarily bridleways, are being developed in conjunction with Essex County Council and the Thames Chase Project team linking Warley to Tyler’s Common and Cranham. These “Greenways” will primarily be recreational routes. Modifications to routes through Donkey Lane Plantation, Hartswood and Little Warley Common have recently been carried out.
6.67 These and other proposed improvements and additions to the cycle network are shown on the Proposals Map and listed in Policy T14. Cycling will also be encouraged wherever possible through other measures associated with development proposals, green transport plans, initiatives such as “Safer Routes to School” and, with the agreement and funding from the Highway Authority, implementation of rural traffic calming measures and the creation of “Quiet Lanes”, and other traffic management proposals.
CYCLING WILL BE PROMOTED AS AN ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF TRANSPORT TO THE PRIVATE CAR, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BRENTWOOD CYCLE STRATEGY, THROUGH:
i) THE PROVISION OF IMPROVED CYCLE PARKING AND OTHER FACILITIES AND NEW CYCLE ROUTES AS PART OF HIGHWAY INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS/TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT MEASURES AND, WHERE APPROPRIATE, IN ASSOCIATION WITH PLANNING PERMISSION FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT. PARTICULAR ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN TO THE FOLLOWING PROPOSED CYCLE ROUTES AS INDICATED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP:
(a) LONDON ROAD, MASCALLS LANE TO BT OFFICE SITE
(b) BT OFFICE SITE, LONDON ROAD TO WEALD ROAD
(c) LA PLATA, LONDON ROAD TO ST JAMES ROAD/KAVANAGHS ROAD
(d) A129 ONGAR ROAD
(e) A1023 BROOK STREET TO CHELMSFORD ROAD
(f) B1002 ROMAN ROAD, MOUNTNESSING
(g) NORTH ROAD
(h) WESTERN ROAD/WESTERN AVENUE
(i) PARK ROAD/WEALD ROAD
(j) HART STREET/CROWN STREET /COPTFOLD ROAD
(k) KAVANAGHS ROAD/ CROMWELL ROAD/VICTORIA ROAD
(l) MIDDLETON HALL LANE
(n) ROSE VALLEY/KING EDWARD ROAD
(o) CRESCENT ROAD, THROUGH CLEMENTS, PARK TO MASCALLS LANE
ii) THE IMPLEMENTATION, SUBJECT TO HIGHWAY AUTHORITY AGREEMENT AND FUNDING, OF A PROGRAMME OF RURAL TRAFFIC CALMING SCHEMES AND THE CREATION OF “QUIET LANES”
ii) THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SAFER ENVIRONMENT BY INTRODUCING ACCIDENT REMEDIAL SCHEMES, ROAD SAFETY INITIATIVES AND MORE SECURE CYCLE PARKING
iii) THE PROVISION OF IMPROVED AND NEW CYCLE PARKING AND OTHER FACILITIES FOR CYCLISTS IN THE MAIN SHOPPING AREAS, AT PUBLIC RECREATION AND LEISURE FACILITIES, AT PUBLIC BUILDINGS, SCHOOLS AND IN THE WORKPLACE.
iv) THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF IMPROVED CYCLE PARKING AND FACILITIES AT PUBLIC TRANSPORT INTERCHANGES AND BETTER ACCOMMODATION FOR CYCLES ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT.
A Target and Indicator for monitoring this policy is set out in Chapter 13.
6.68 Walking, as a recreational activity, can be an end in itself but is generally a means to an end i.e. getting from one place to another (home to work/shop) or as part of a multi modal journey whether it be to or from the car or to the rail station or bus stop. Invariably walking is only an alternative transport mode for the shortest journeys. However walking can be encouraged and facilitated through the design and layout of developments, the location of services and facilities, and through mixed use and higher density developments. Walking can also be encouraged through safe and securely designed footpaths and through the use of surface treatments and detailing to help the mobility impaired.
6.69 Promoting walking as a means of transport will increase social equality, improve health and reduce pollution.
6.70 The opportunity will be taken, therefore, to improve facilities for pedestrians as part of development proposals, through the use of traffic calming measures and pedestrian priority at junctions, promoting “Safer Routes to School”, and, subject to Highway Authority agreement and funding, the creation of “Homes Zones” and “Quiet Lanes”.
THE COUNCIL WILL PROMOTE WALKING AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE USE OF THE CAR, PARTICULARLY FOR SHORTER TRIPS, THROUGH:
i) THE PROVISION OF SAFE AND CONVENIENT PEDESTRIAN ROUTES
ii) IMPROVED CONDITIONS FOR PEDESTRIANS BY, FOR EXAMPLE, INCREASING PEDESTRIAN PRIORITY, WIDENING FOOTPATHS, IMPLEMENTING TRAFFIC CALMING MEASURES AND RESTRICTING VEHICULAR ACCESS
iii) PROMOTING HIGH DENSITY AND MIXED USE DEVELOPMENTS IN CENTRAL AREAS AND NEAR TO MAJOR TRANSPORT INTERCHANGES
iv) PROTECTING EXISTING LOCAL SHOPPING FACILITIES AND OTHER SERVICES WITHIN EASY WALKING DISTANCE OF RESIDENTIAL AREAS
v) PROMOTING THE SAFER JOURNEYS TO SCHOOL STRATEGY
vi) THE CREATION OF “HOME ZONES” AND “QUIET LANES”, SUBJECT TO HIGHWAY AUTHORITY AGREEMENT AND FUNDING.
WHERE APPROPRIATE, CONTRIBUTIONS WILL BE SOUGHT TOWARDS THE IMPROVEMENT OF PEDESTRIAN FACILITIES AND ROUTES IN ASSOCIATION WITH PLANNING PERMISSION FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT