PART ll VOLUME 2
Policy Reasoned Justification
 
Transport
  4.1 THE ROLE OF THE PLAN
  4.2 GOVERNMENT POLICY GUIDANCE
  4.3 TRANSPORT TRENDS
  4.4 ISSUES
  4.5 OBJECTIVES
  4.6 POLICY JUSTIFICATION
   
 
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4.1 THE ROLE OF THE PLAN
4.1.1 There is a fundamental interaction between transport and land use activities. Existing and future travel needs and the requirement for transport facilities are closely associated with the distribution of land uses and the development of land. It is the role of the UDP to encompass this interaction and to this end it incorporates the transport policies and priorities for the development of transport infrastructure, management of traffic and control of development.
   
 
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4.2 GOVERNMENT POLICY GUIDANCE
4.2.1 In recent years there have been major changes in national transport policy. Problems of traffic congestion and the damaging effect on the environment, on safety, on health, and on the economy, a recognition by Government that the growing demand for travel can no longer be met by increasing road capacity, and that by encouraging car oriented development a substantial proportion of the population is excluded have led to a change in direction. Key milestones in recent years include PPG13 - Transport introduced in 1994 and March 2001; PPG6 - Town Centres & Retail Development in 1996; the National Cycling Strategy (1996); the Road Traffic Reduction Act (1997); the Government's policy document " A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone" (NDFT) and the related action plan set out in the 10 Year Plan (2000). These documents have been complemented by Local Transport Plans, made a statutory obligation as part of the Transport Act 2000, and the previous package approach set up in the Transport Policies and Programme (TPP) system set up in 1993.
4.2.2 The centre piece of the NDFT is the requirement for local authorities to produce a five year Local Transport Plan (LTP). This is an evolution of the TPP "package approach" and is jointly produced by the five West Yorkshire districts and the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority/Metro. Through the LTP and former package, the highway authorities and passenger transport authority have developed a joint transport strategy resulting in proposals and programmes for integrating transport modes with the objective of encouraging use of public transport, cycling and walking in preference to the private car.
4.2.3 The LTP has built on the strategic principles contained in the respective UDPs and developed the strong common themes. The LTP strategy comprises a series of inter-related measures which are developed into integrated programmes to target investment in town and city centres, along identified corridors and in certain other areas. Separate West Yorkshire strategies have also been produced for cycling, walking, public transport access and (traffic) demand management. The LTP also contains the Road Safety Plan and covers capital maintenance of principal roads and the assessment and strengthening of highway structures.
4.2.4 The LTP sets out the detailed strategies and programmes for investment covering a five year period for the whole of West Yorkshire. It includes measures to:
  • Improve public transport with partnerships between local authorities, Metro and the operators;
  • Encourage more cycling and walking for short journeys; Introduce safer routes to school initiatives;
  • Improve interchange between modes;
  • Manage the demand for car travel;
  • Improve the operation of the highway network through traffic management and traffic calming;
  • Reduce the number and severity of road casualties;
  • Improve accessibility for people with mobility impairments;
  • Improve the distribution of goods by lorries in town centres and to encourage the transfer of freight from road to rail and waterway for longer distance movements.
4.2.5 Through the LTP, joint working and partnerships have been developed with other parties involved in the planning and provision of transport. One of these other parties is the Highways Agency which was established in April 1994. In 1998 the Government published "A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England" which established the principle that trunk roads and motorways should form part of an integrated transport policy. The NDFTRE sets the strategic aim and objectives for the Highways Agency, prioritising maintenance and making best use of existing infrastructure above building new roads. It also supersedes the 1989 white paper, "Roads for Prosperity" and details proposals for the trunk road network affecting the Wakefield District.
4.2.6 The Road Traffic Reduction Act 1997 obliges every local traffic authority to prepare a report containing an assessment of the levels of traffic in its area and a forecast of growth. It must then specify targets for a reduction in traffic levels or in the rate of growth but there is considerable scope for local authorities to apply these to specific areas, types of traffic or times of day according to individual circumstances. The land use strategies in the UDP and the transport strategies in the LTP have a fundamental influence on the future need for travel, travel patterns and the choice between the various modes, and hence the levels of traffic.
4.2.7 Regional Planning Guidance for Yorkshire and the Humber states that the UDP has a key role to play in promoting sustainable development by enabling the integration of transport and land use planning. It reiterates the objectives of PPG 13 to reduce the need to travel and to encourage alternative modes to the car, emphasising the need for the UDP to influence the location and forms of development that foster more use of public transport, cycling and walking.
4.2.8 RPG is concerned with improving links within the region, with other parts of the country and with Europe, particularly for areas of economic decline. It recognises the potential for encouraging more use of rail and waterways for the transport of freight, acknowledging Wakefield Europort and the Channel Tunnel.
4.2.9 Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 provides guidance on how local authorities should integrate transport and land-use planning so as 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. The white paper identified the need to strengthen the influence of PPG 13 building on the existing approach and focusing on better integration between planning and transport, and between different transport modes.
4.2.10 The West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority is a joint authority of elected members appointed by the five metropolitan district councils. Its policies and expenditure programmes are set out in an annual plan, taking account of the revenue funding available from levies on the district councils and the capital funding available through the jointly submitted Local Transport Plan. The West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive or Metro is the organisation responsible for securing the provision of services set out in the WYPTA plan.
4.2.11 The Railways Act 1993 began the process of privatising the rail industry. Railtrack became responsible for track, signalling, and most stations in 1996 and franchises for rail services were sold between 1995 and 1997. The Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) was established to manage the franchises, monitoring performance against a Passenger Service Requirement which sets out a core level of services for each route, and monitoring such as overcrowding, reliability and punctuality. OPRAF's role includes ensuring that commitments agreed in the Franchise Plans, covering such as the procurement of new rolling stock, are met. OPRAF can re-negotiate franchises in the case of take-overs or default, and instigates action plans with operators to cope with growing demand. The Rail Regulator has powers to take action against operators that fail to meet standards and is concerned with enforcing standards for accurate and impartial ticket retailing and information. The Rail Regulator reviews Railtrack's access charges and ensures that their investment targets are being met. The NDFT announced the setting up of a National Strategic Rail Authority to bring together passenger and freight interests, to promote better integration and interchange and to get better value for public subsidy towards fares and network benefits.
4.2.12 In the metropolitan areas the PTEs specify the services to be included in the Passenger Service Requirement and are co-signatories to the relevant franchise agreements. Under rail franchising the role of Metro has become one of tight contractual management and control, using a range of performance and quality monitoring regimes, most of which are based on financial incentives. Metro seeks to influence the investment priorities and programmes of Railtrack and the rail services franchisees to invest in stations to increase their attractiveness for rail travel. The establishment of a fully integrated transport strategy therefore requires joint working with Railtrack and with rail operators. Regional franchised services from Leeds to Sheffield and Doncaster, Leeds to Manchester and Liverpool and Leeds to Goole call at certain local stations in the Wakefield District. From Wakefield Westgate station trains run to the North-East and Scotland, to the Midlands and the West Country, and to London.
4.2.13 More than 40 % of bus journeys are made under the WYPTA concessionary travel scheme which provides assistance for those having limited financial resources as a result of age, disability or family circumstances. More than 70% of bus mileage in West Yorkshire is provided through commercial bus registrations but some 60% of routes have some element of subsidy, usually to extend service periods into early morning, evenings and weekends and to complement commercial routes. The bus stations in the district are owned by Metro except for Wakefield bus station. For improvements to bus services there has been the move towards all parties entering into Quality Partnerships whereby the Council will implement bus priority and physical accessibility measures, operators will deploy high standard vehicles and Metro will provide and maintain bus shelters and timetable displays at bus stops. Initially the arrangements have been corridor based and voluntary but the NDFT sees a major role for more widespread Quality Partnerships having a statutory footing. Metro's activities also include the promotion of public transport through administering a range of prepaid tickets, and the provision of printed timetables, travel centres, a telephone information bureau, a web-site and timetable displays at bus and rail stations.
   
 
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4.3 TRANSPORT TRENDS
4.3.1 The Council monitors transport trends and undertakes and commissions studies to identify transport problems and opportunities, as part of the process of keeping under review matters which might affect the development of the District or the planning of its development. This section briefly highlights the key transport trends to emerge which will continue to influence land use development and the management of traffic.
4.3.2 One of the key trends has been the long term growth in car ownership levels. In the Wakefield District the number of private light vehicles registered increased by 53% between 1979 and 1998. This has been partly due to the reduction in households without a car but also due to the increase in households owning two or more cars. The present ownership levels are however still below the national average and vary considerably between different areas of the District and with the type of household.
4.3.3 The National Road Traffic Forecasts published in 1989 were predicting traffic to grow by between 83% and 142% by the year 2025. However traffic growth slowed down during the 1990's such that the National Road Traffic Forecasts were revised in 1997 but still predict a growth in total traffic of between 36% and 84% by 2031 if the past trends are to continue without a major change in policy and strategy. The growth rates for goods vehicles are predicted to be even higher. From 1999 EU law requires that maximum lorry weights of 40 tonnes are permitted for five axle lorries. To reduce damage to roads and structures the Government has introduced a 41 tonne limit for six axle lorries from 1999. This should increase efficiency but the fear is that it will discourage the transfer of freight from road to rail. The monitoring of air quality has become a requirement through the 1995 Environment Act and traffic volumes will have a major impact on pollution levels in urban locations.
4.3.4 In the Wakefield District traffic flows were rising on average by about 5% per year during the mid and late 1980's. Then from 1990 to 1996, whilst weekday traffic growth slowed down in West Yorkshire overall, where it was below the national trend, in the Wakefield District there was negligible net growth during this period. However there is a considerable variation between different types of road, with some increases in flows being recorded on unclassified and rural roads. Monitoring since 1996 indicates that traffic growth may have resumed in the District. In recent years there has also been a trend towards large increases in traffic at weekends with 3.1% on Saturdays and 7.3% on Sundays in the two years 1996 to 1998 alone. Another trend that was identified in the 1991 census is that between 1981 and 1991 there has been a reduction in the proportion of people living and working within the District indicating that commuting journeys have been getting longer.
4.3.5 Traffic monitoring also takes place on a cordon defined for Wakefield City Centre. There has only been a small increase in morning peak period traffic matched by a decline in the evening peak, with all day traffic levels remaining fairly constant during the first half of the 1990's. During the earlier period of high growth the evening peak increased in duration from thirty to ninety minutes and average speeds reduced. The monitoring of bus passengers has recently been introduced to assess whether policies and measures designed to change modal share are having an effect.
4.3.6 Traffic growth in the ten years from 1987 has been the smallest on the urban roads, averaging just one percent per year. This may be partly due to growth being limited by congestion and this is indicative of the environmental conditions faced by town and city centre residents and visitors due to noise, air pollution, visual intrusion, and severance. Vehicle exhaust fumes have a major impact on the levels of certain pollutants, particularly in congested conditions and recent studies have shown that the car occupants themselves suffer the highest exposure. In 1997 the National Air Quality Strategy was published which has set limits for the levels of specified pollutants that are to be met or bettered by 2005, and so monitoring of air quality is now taking place in the most sensitive locations. Improvements in vehicle technology are having the main impact on traffic related air pollution. If traffic growth continues at its current rate it is expected that this will outweigh any technological benefits.
4.3.7 In the period immediately before bus deregulation in 1986, the earlier falling trend in bus patronage was reversed in West Yorkshire, thanks to stable service levels and a series of promotional initiatives. Since 1986 however, the patronage decline has resumed, with especially steep falls in the early 1990's. In the ten years to 1997/98 bus journeys fell at an average rate of 3.7% per year. Some of the factors contributing to this decline have been rises in fares above inflation and the effects of constraints on public expenditure on concessionary travel and on supported services.
4.3.8 In West Yorkshire rail accounts for only about 6% of travel but because it caters for longer distance journeys the total passenger mileage is around double this. During the mid to late 1980's there was a doubling of rail patronage and since privatisation there has been further growth. This has been the most impressive on the East Coast Main Line. Services operated by Great North Eastern Railways between London and Scotland have increased from 100 to 112 trains per day and passenger volumes have grown by 17% in the two years since privatisation. Virgin Trains operating cross country services are planning to double frequencies between Leeds and Newcastle to meet demand. Northern Spirit operating the regional services have increased Trans-Pennine frequencies to four trains per hour, and aspire to increase frequencies on many short distance routes in West Yorkshire. Unfortunately there are therefore competing demands on the capacity of the infrastructure, particularly on the East Coast Main line itself and where other routes cross it. Railtrack have started major capacity improvements at Leeds station but Wakefield Westgate has also been identified as a bottleneck.
4.3.9 By 1998 there were just three licensed freight operating companies established following the Railways Act. English Welsh and Scottish (EWS) is the main national operator and has set targets to double business (measured by freight moved) over five years and triple over ten years. This is despite a fall from around 17 billion tonne-kilometres per year throughout the 1980's to around 13 billion tonne-kilometres in 1995. Measured by freight lifted the decline has been even worse, from around 150 to 100 million tonnes over the same periods. This has been principally due to the decline in rail freight's core market of transporting coal for power generation and so is of particular significance in this region. To achieve growth will therefore require the move to smaller customers. EWS and the other two operators, Freightliner and Direct Rail Services, have embarked on programmes to acquire new and refurbished rolling stock in order to seek new business. The Government has also significantly increased the funds available for Freight Facilities and Track Access Grants. The projected growth in rail freight will add to the competition for use of the network and the speed differentials between freight and passenger services is a particular problem. Railtrack are developing proposals to cater for increasing freight demand, including raising the standard of gauge.
4.3.10 The Europort rail freight terminal near Normanton opened in 1996. This is one of the locations chosen nationally to ensure that the regions would benefit from the Channel Tunnel and it provides a daily timetabled service to Europe. The main products being carried are bulk steel, some foods, and computer parts. Europort has been developed in conjunction with some 163 hectares of Employment land around junction 31 of the M62 and there is potential for freight transfer to the Aire and Calder canal which can carry barges of up to 300 tonnes.
4.3.11 In 1989 the Government set a target for reducing road casualties by a third compared with average 1985 to 1989 levels by the year 2000. In the Wakefield District this has proved to be unrealistic as the total numbers have continued to increase from 1450 in 1985 to just under 1800 in 1997, the highest ever recorded. This does represent a reduction compared with the projected 1985 to 1989 trend and within the total figure there have been continuing reductions in the numbers of fatal and serious casualties, and in pedestrian casualties. Casualties among the other vulnerable road users, cyclists and motor cyclists, fluctuate from year to year but are relatively small in number due to these modes being little used. The main problem is the continuing increase in the numbers of slight casualties involving car drivers and car passengers. The trends for this district compare favourably with West Yorkshire where the overall increases have been even greater.
4.3.12 Walking as a mode of transport has been in decline for many years. This decline is associated with increasing car ownership and sedentary lifestyles such that even many very short journeys are now made by car where previously people walked, and more dispersed land use patterns have resulted in many short journeys being replaced by longer ones for which walking is not considered an option. Of particular concern is the decline in walk to school journeys as this has an effect on children's levels of exercise and car journeys to schools contribute significantly to morning peak traffic levels. A major factor influencing this is a change in working patterns, particularly for parents, who drop children off on the way to work. As more traffic makes walking more unpleasant and hazardous this creates a spiral of decline. In recent years fears about personal security, especially for children, have also affected people's attitude to walking. Since walking is an essential part of public transport journeys, these factors have also contributed to declining usage.
4.3.13 The availability and pricing of car parking spaces has a fundamental influence on whether people chose to travel by car and hence on traffic levels. Over the last few years the Council has followed a strategy of allocating its more centrally located car parks and on-street spaces in the city centre for short and medium duration to support economic activity, and locating long stay provision on the edges to discourage commuting by car. However the Council only has control over about 62% of the total public spaces, and in the City Centre, about 56% of the total spaces are classed as private non-residential and are mostly free.
   
 
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4.4 ISSUES
4.4.1 A number of important issues arise from the trends outlined above, which need to be addressed in the context of the development of land and management of traffic:
  • The implications of a continuing increase in car-based mobility, which provides the opportunity for and contributes to pressure for dispersal of land uses.
  • Increases in mobility and the growing importance of road haulage are already being reflected in the locational demands of industry, business and warehousing for sites in close proximity to motorway junctions. There are also implications, particularly for the home to work relationships and journeys associated with shopping and leisure. Equally, there are important implications for accessibility for the less mobile sections of the community of a more dispersed land use pattern.
  • Need to recognise and manage the increase in traffic volumes and congestion, and the implications for highway capacity and maintenance of increases in mobility and a growing economy.
  • Concern about the worsening environmental conditions associated with increased traffic volumes, through traffic and heavy goods vehicles using unsuitable roads.
  • Need to reconcile the importance of moving freight to the economy of the District, and the growing public awareness and concern about the environmental impact of increases in heavy goods vehicle movements and the greater emphasis being placed on larger vehicles for moving freight.
  • The role and contribution of public transport in safeguarding travel opportunities and accessibility and, in an era of increasing car use, of attracting passengers to reduce the escalating burden and incidence of congestion on the highway network.
  • Concern about road safety and the scale of injury and suffering caused by road accidents.
  • Need to recognise the role and growing importance of car parking provision with increasing car use, which has a direct influence on the demand for road space and the viability of commercial centres.
  • Need to recognise that cycling and walking are important for the mobility of large sections of the community, and to give full consideration to improving conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and people with special needs.
 
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4.5 OBJECTIVES
4.5.1 It is important that the transport policies reinforce the four aims of the UDP and complement the overall development strategy. In this context the overriding transport aim must be to satisfy travel needs. In terms of land use development and the management of traffic, satisfying travel needs is best achieved by providing for and safeguarding a high standard of accessibility for all sections of the community, including industry and business, and by improving travel conditions.
4.5.2 To address the issues identified earlier and provide the framework for developing transport policies which satisfy this overall aim, three key transport objectives have been identified:
i) To facilitate the operation of a comprehensive, efficient and attractive public transport network.
  This objective recognises that a significant proportion of the population are dependant on public transport for their mobility, and that public transport users are often considerably disadvantaged compared with car owners in terms of accessibility. It acknowledges accessibility is a function of both land use patterns and the prevailing transport system and seeks to encourage and accommodate a comprehensive public transport network, to provide and safeguard travel opportunities for the least mobile sections of the community. Equally, it recognises that such a network can provide an attractive alternative means of travel for car owners, helping to reduce the escalating burden on the highway network, and contribute to a more efficient and effective use of the transport infrastructure.
ii) To minimise the creation of substantial congestion.
  This objective acknowledges that good communication links and a lack of traffic congestion assist economic activity and contribute to better living conditions. It also recognises the need to address the implications of increasing levels of car ownership, traffic growth and the growing importance of road haulage, which compound the pressure on the transport network and the likelihood of congestion and road accidents.
iii) To minimise the need to travel.
  This objective seeks to encourage a land use pattern which minimises the need to travel. It is based on the belief that the general public interest and, especially, the needs of the least mobile sections of the community are best served by containing, and as opportunities arise, reducing the need for motorised travel. At the very least new development should not increase the burden of travel and should make the maximum use of existing transport infrastructure, to reduce the need for additional expenditure. Mobility has increased opportunities and widened choice and led to complex travel movements. Nevertheless, there is growing concern about the scale of resources required for the necessary transport infrastructure, the problems of pollution, noise and the detrimental and unsustainable impact on the environment and finite resources. It is increasingly recognised that it is a waste of resources and squandering of environmental quality to encourage development which perpetuates the need to travel. Indeed it is recognised that a "sustainable" future may well depend on using cars less and consuming less energy.
   
 
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4.6 POLICY JUSTIFICATION
4.6.1 Transport policies have been developed which acknowledge the fundamental interaction between transport and land use activities, and address the trends and issues outlined earlier. They are consistent with the Government's national integrated transport policies contained in A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone (NDFT) published in July 1998, and with the transport strategies for West Yorkshire contained in the jointly produced Local Transport Plan (LTP). The policies also seek to satisfy the principles identified in Strategic Guidance and reinforce the UDP development strategy reflected in the transport objectives.
4.6.2 It should be noted that all proposals for transport investment which involve physical development will also be subject to Environment and Open Land policies in addition to those included within this Chapter.
 
 
Priority for Transport Investment
   
T1 THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO SECURE A BALANCED AND INTEGRATED TRANSPORT SYSTEM. TRANSPORT PROPOSALS WILL BE DIRECTED TOWARDS MANAGING THE DEMAND FOR TRAVEL WHILST SATISFYING ESSENTIAL TRAVEL NEEDS WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON IMPROVING:
  i) ACCESSIBILITY, TRAVEL CONDITIONS AND INTERCHANGE FACILITIES FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT, CYCLING AND WALKING IN ORDER TO MAXIMISE THE USE OF THESE MODES FOR MEETING TRAVEL NEEDS AND TO REDUCE RELIANCE ON THE PRIVATE CAR;
  ii) ACCESSIBILITY FOR INDUSTRY AND BUSINESS - MAINTAINING AND IMPROVING THE STRATEGIC HIGHWAY NETWORK DEFINED IN POLICY T5, IMPROVING ACCESSIBILITY BETWEEN RESIDENTIAL AND EMPLOYMENT AREAS FOR THE LOCAL WORKFORCE;
  iii) ROAD SAFETY - CARRYING OUT IMPROVEMENTS DESIGNED TO ACHIEVE THE MAXIMUM REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER AND SEVERITY OF ACCIDENTS;
  iv) ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS - CARRYING OUT IMPROVEMENTS TO TACKLE THE WORST PROBLEMS AND THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH RESIDENTIAL AREAS AND TOWN CENTRES;
  v) CONDITIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS - CARRYING OUT IMPROVEMENTS DESIGNED TO REMOVE IMPEDIMENTS THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE JOURNEY.
    A BALANCE WILL BE SOUGHT BETWEEN THE BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH TRANSPORT INVESTMENT AND THE IMPACT IT HAS ON THE BUILT AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.
    SPECIFIC ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN TO TRANSPORT INVESTMENT WHICH PROMOTES REGENERATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH POLICY R1.
     
4.6.3 Policy T1 establishes the overall framework for transport investment, to ensure that the funds likely to be available for the provision and maintenance of transport facilities meet the overall transport aim of satisfying travel needs and reinforce the development strategy. It supports the Government's integrated transport policy set out in "A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone", the objectives of PPG13 which address the interaction between land use and transport, and the requirements of the 1997 Road Traffic Reduction Act. It therefore seeks to develop a balanced and integrated transport system that maximises travel opportunities by alternative modes to the car, and which can manage the demand for travel, whilst recognising that the car will continue to play an important role for many people.
4.6.4 Satisfying travel needs is regarded as fundamental. However past trends towards centralisation of services, increasing choice, and dispersal of land uses have made it more difficult for the more sustainable modes to meet travel needs. Growing traffic volumes have increased journey times and reduced reliability for bus operation and worsened road safety and environmental conditions for pedestrians and cyclists. Priority is being given to tackling these problems both because of the present reliance on these modes, and the recognition that increasing demand for car use can no longer be accommodated sustainably and at acceptable cost to society. Present dependence on public transport is relatively high in Wakefield District where the level of car ownership is below the national average. A greater proportion of journeys being made by public transport, cycling, and walking provides benefits to the community at large, including business and industry, by providing a means of reducing delay, costs, pollution, accidents, conserving resources and sustaining a balanced population in settlements that might otherwise become restricted to those with access to a car.
4.6.5 Walking and cycling have been in decline for a number of years. A significant proportion of car journeys are very short and could be undertaken on foot or by bicycle if the concerns relating to danger, severance, environment and personal security can be ameliorated. Moreover public transport can also be made more attractive if pedestrian and cycle links to the network, and interchange facilities, can be improved. Therefore in addition to formulating specific proposals to help pedestrians and cyclists, their needs will also be taken into account as an integral part of the design of traffic management and highway schemes, particularly in urban areas and town centres where pedestrian and cycle flows are concentrated and where pedestrian / vehicle conflict is most severe. The decline in walking to school is of particular concern and the Council will give a high priority to developing safer routes to school schemes.
4.6.6 Good communication links are essential for fostering economic growth, for improving the attractiveness of the District for inward investment and for increasing the competitiveness of indigenous business and industry. A Strategic Highway Network is defined in T5 as a framework for prioritising highway investment. In addition, to support regeneration it is vital to improve accessibility to the commercial centres and industrial areas, particularly from the areas of highest unemployment. The role of rail for transporting goods has been given a boost by the opening of the Europort terminal and the Council will promote its potential benefits for the Districts' industries.
4.6.7 Policy T1 highlights the need to maintain and improve the Strategic Highway Network. Maintaining the highway network is fundamental to making optimum use of the existing infrastructure, in order to ensure the most efficient use of existing resources and to aid the local economy. Maintaining the defined network ensures resources are directed where they will reinforce the development strategy, encouraging regeneration, renewal, and environmental improvement.
4.6.8 Policy T1 demonstrates that high priority will continue to be given to achieving the maximum reduction in road accidents. Through the Local Transport Plan, specific targets are set and progress towards achieving them is closely monitored, with resources being targeted at specific problem locations and types of accident. Attention will also be given to improving environmental conditions, particularly to ameliorating the impact of through traffic and heavy lorry traffic which can cause severe environmental disruption for local communities. Only in exceptional cases is it considered that the provision of local bypasses or relief roads will be the most effective solution to safety and environmental problems. This will itself have other environmental impacts and these will be considered in the light of the policies outlined in the Environment section.
4.6.9 Policy T1 emphasises the requirements to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. "Special needs" covers a wider range than just physical disabilities and includes such as the needs of people with child buggies when negotiating public transport.
 
 
Transport and New Development
   
T2 PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE LOCATED IN ACCESSIBLE LOCATIONS IN ORDER TO ENSURE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
  i) WHERE IT CAN BE SERVED ADEQUATELY BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICES. SITES WITHIN CONVENIENT WALKING DISTANCE OF RAILWAY STATIONS OR OTHER FOCAL POINTS IN THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT NETWORK WILL BE ENCOURAGED;
  ii) WHERE THE TRAFFIC GENERATED CAN BE ADEQUATELY ACCOMMODATED BY EXISTING HIGHWAYS AND WILL NOT CREATE OR UNACCEPTABLY ADD TO PROBLEMS OF SAFETY, ENVIRONMENT OR EFFICIENCY ON THE HIGHWAY NETWORK;
  iii) WHERE, IN THE CASE OF INDUSTRIAL AND WAREHOUSE DEVELOPMENT, IT IS CONVENIENT WITH RESPECT TO THE STRATEGIC HIGHWAY NETWORK AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES. COMPANIES LOCATING NEAR TO THE EUROPORT RAIL FREIGHT TERMINAL WILL BE ENCOURAGED TO MAKE USE OF RAIL OR WATERWAY FOR THE CARRIAGE OF FREIGHT;
  iv) WHERE, IN THE CASE OF RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT, IT IS WITHIN CONVENIENT WALKING DISTANCE OF LOCAL FACILITIES AND WILL NOT CREATE ACCESSIBILITY PROBLEMS TO WORK OR OTHER FACILITIES.
 
4.6.10 The Council is keen to integrate transport and development, recognising the interaction between transport and land use activities. Policy T2 seeks to relate new development to the existing transport infrastructure and, in particular, to public transport services, to avoid badly sited development which might add to the existing transport problems or create new ones. The Council's system of accessibility profiles and the Government's Sustainable Development Guidance will be used to assist in the determination of which types of development are suitable for which locations and on the appropriate parking standards to be applied (Policies T11 and T12). In this context, to meet travel needs, development should be capable of being served by minimum standards of an hourly public transport service and a half-hourly service at peak periods. Opportunities should be exploited to develop sites within convenient walking distance (usually 500m) of railway stations, other public transport focal points and existing bus routes.
4.6.11 This policy should help maximise the use of existing public transport facilities and services, safeguard accessibility for people without access to a car and provide for a greater proportion of the travel demand generated by development to be catered for by alternative modes to the private car. Development may be located where new services would be required or existing ones would need to be augmented or re-routed, subject to this not placing additional demands on the PTA's limited resources for funding tendered services. Developers will be expected to formulate a Green Travel Plan covering all transport requirements. (Separate guidance and assistance will be made available by the Council). A GTP would consider the scope for measures such as car sharing, incentives to use public transport or to cycle or walk, support for new bus or rail services, flexible working, the movement of goods and deliveries.
4.6.12 T2 recognises that new development imposes additional pressures on existing highways. It is important that the generated traffic associated with new development, in combination with the existing traffic flows and development patterns, does not create or materially exacerbate problems of safety, environment or efficiency on the network. For this reason developments may be required to incorporate measures such as traffic calming or safety improvements to the existing highway. To comply with the Road Traffic Reduction Act, any proposals for new or changed highway infrastructure will need to be carefully assessed to ensure that there will be no additional generation of traffic above that generated by the development itself. In order to minimise any adverse environmental impact, all proposals for development will be considered in the light of the policies outlined in the Environment section, in particular E43. Where new development is likely to have a direct impact upon traffic on Motorways, Trunk Roads and the access points to them, the Highways Agency will be consulted. Therefore, development will, in all cases, be assessed against Government policy in relation to Motorways and Trunk roads.
4.6.13 The policy seeks to ensure new industrial and warehouse development is conveniently located in relation to existing communities and the Strategic Highway Network, to encourage shorter journeys, safeguard accessibility for the workforce and maximise the use of strategic communication links, whilst minimising the environmental disruption of heavy goods vehicle movements on local roads. Reference should be made to policies in the Employment section, particularly I1 and I2, for specific guidance on the location of new industrial and warehouse development.
4.6.14 The policy also seeks to ensure new residential development is within convenient walking distance (usually 1km) of local facilities such as first schools, local shops, post office, doctors surgery, chemist etc. in order to minimise the need for motorised travel and avoid excessive travel times for day-to-day activities. This will minimise the extra burden on the transport infrastructure and public resources. Reference should be made to policies in the Housing section, particularly H6, for specific guidance on the location of new housing development.
 
 
T3 PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT SHOULD ALLOW FOR ADEQUATE PENETRATION BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT AND / OR PROVIDE GOOD PEDESTRIAN ACCESS TO THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT NETWORK FROM ALL PARTS OF THE SITE.
 
4.6.15 The layout of development, in addition to its scale and location, can have a significant impact on the provision of, and access to, public transport services. T3 seeks to ensure that the detailed layout of new development provides for convenient access to public transport. To facilitate this, it is important that the design allows public transport to penetrate through the site or provides safe and direct pedestrian access to the public transport network. It is important that the layout of development allows efficient public transport services to be secured.
 
 
Public Transport
   
T4 THE COUNCIL AS A MEMBER OF THE PASSENGER TRANSPORT AUTHORITY WILL SEEK TO SECURE A PROPERLY INTEGRATED, COMPREHENSIVE, EFFICIENT, SAFE AND ATTRACTIVE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM, (INCORPORATING BUS AND RAIL SERVICES), IN ORDER TO MAXIMISE TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES AND TO SATISFY ESSENTIAL TRAVEL NEEDS.
 
4.6.16 The Council believes that public transport has a vital role to play in the life of the District, providing for the essential travel needs of people without the use of a car, and providing the principal means of achieving modal change to reduce reliance on the car. Greater use of public transport is an essential element in strategies to reduce accidents, pollution, fuel consumption and congestion which imposes costs on business and industry.
4.6.17 Despite the rising levels of car ownership in Wakefield it remains below the national average and 38% of households still do not own a car. Access to public transport is an important factor in pensioner households, households with children under five, where individuals are more likely to have restricted mobility because of age or caring for young dependant children, and for women generally. Even in car owning households the availability of a car is often restricted for certain household members, or at certain times. These factors are reflected in the importance attached to public transport, which is currently used by more than three quarters of the population.
4.6.18 The District benefits from a reasonably well integrated and comprehensive public transport network. However, whilst rail travel has been increasing, patronage of bus services has continued to decline. This has the effect of reducing the commercial bus network and constraining the PTA's ability to continue to support socially desirable services. It is vital to reverse this decline which has been polarising opportunities available to those with and without the use of a car. The Council is working with the PTA / Metro, bus operators and neighbouring authorities to develop bus quality partnerships in order to address the whole range of issues that influence the attractiveness of using the bus. Providing good interchange facilities is also vital since most public transport journeys involve the use of other modes. Concerns about personal security and the physical environment are particularly pertinent to vulnerable travellers and need to be addressed in the design of public transport facilities and services.
4.6.19 In rural areas there has generally been a decline in the existence of local facilities such as schools and shops over the years. The need to travel into more urban settlements places a greater importance on public transport for those without the use of a car. Within the District there are several such rural areas. The SESKU area in the south-east of the District is also relatively remote from the main urban centres. Of particular concern is the need to improve public transport accessibility from this area of high unemployment to locations offering job opportunities.
4.6.20 In 1992 passenger rail services were re-introduced on the line between Wakefield and Pontefract. New stations were opened at Pontefract Tanshelf, Featherstone and Streethouse. The Council supports the development of rail services and will encourage the PTA to investigate further opportunities for the introduction or re-introduction of passenger services and new stations. The Council will also encourage the PTA to consider and take advantage of technological advancement on new forms of public transport in its plans for the future development of public transport services.
4.6.21 Measures which the Council can implement as the Planning and Highway Authority to assist public transport are addressed in other transport policies in the Plan. Detailed proposals are set out in the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan.
 
 
Road Hierarchy
   
T5 THE DISTRICT'S STRATEGIC HIGHWAY NETWORK WILL BE USED TO ASSIST IN THE DETERMINATION OF PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT, THE MANAGEMENT OF TRAFFIC INCLUDING HEAVY LORRIES AND THE ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES IN ACCORDANCE WITH POLICY T1. THE ROADS IN WAKEFIELD ARE INCORPORATED IN THE NETWORK IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR PRIMARY FUNCTION:
  CATEGORY 1:
ROADS WHICH CARRY INTER-REGIONAL TRAFFIC;
  CATEGORY 2:
ROADS WHICH LINK MAJOR CENTRES AND WHICH CONNECT THESE CENTRES TO THE CATEGORY 1 ROADS AND TO MAJOR CENTRES IN NEIGHBOURING LOCAL AUTHORITY AREAS;
  CATEGORY 3:
ROADS WHICH LINK SECONDARY CENTRES AND PRINCIPAL DORMITORY SETTLEMENTS TO MAJOR CENTRES AND TO THE CATEGORY 1 AND 2 NETWORK.
     
4.6.22 Map 1 identifies the District's Strategic Highway Network. The classification of the roads recognises their primary function in the road hierarchy. In conjunction with Policy T1 the network provides the framework for traffic management, highway investment and controlling the location of development, particularly major new employment development, to ensure resources and development are directed where they will reinforce the UDP aims.
4.6.23 The network encourages traffic to use the highest appropriate category of road to minimise the environmental impact of through traffic and heavy goods vehicle movements. Policy T10 provides for the regulation of traffic through traffic management schemes and Traffic Regulation Orders.
Map of Road Hierarchy
 
 
Highway Schemes
   
T6 PROVISION IS MADE IN THE PLAN FOR THE FOLLOWING MAJOR HIGHWAY SCHEMES:
  1. SOUTH EAST LINK ROAD
  A628 ACKWORTH BYPASS
  FEATHERSTONE BYPASS
  PONTEFRACT WESTERN RELIEF ROAD
  2. HEMSWORTH - A1 LINK ROAD
  3. WAKEFIELD WESTERN INNER RELIEF ROAD
  4. GLASS HOUGHTON COALFIELDS LINK
  5. A61-A642 LINK ROAD
  WHICH WILL BE INCORPORATED IN THE STRATEGIC HIGHWAY NETWORK. PROPOSALS FOR NEW HIGHWAY OR HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES WILL BE CONSIDERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH POLICY T1 AND VALUE FOR MONEY CRITERIA.
 
4.6.24 T6 provides the policy for incorporating new highway schemes into the Plan and protecting road lines. These major highway schemes are intended to fulfil a number of functions including; opening up major UDP sites for development, improving traffic conditions, alleviating road safety and environmental problems, including the removal of extraneous traffic, improving cross-boundary links from the coalfield and Dearne areas in Barnsley through Wakefield District to the A1 and M62. Details of individual highway schemes are provided in the Community Area Proposals Volumes 3, 4, and 5. Details of the Council's minor highway programme are incorporated in the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan.
 
 
T7 THE HIGHWAYS AGENCY PROPOSES TO UPGRADE THE A1 BETWEEN FERRYBRIDGE AND HOOK MOOR.
 
4.6.25 During the autumn of 1997 the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions carried out consultation on all the schemes in the trunk roads programme inherited from the previous Government. This resulted in the publication, in July 1998, of "A New Deal for Trunk Roads In England". A much reduced programme is now set out but every scheme will start within seven years. It includes the upgrading of the A1 between Ferrybridge and Hook Moor but has abandoned the A1 upgrading between Redhouse and Ferrybridge. However it does announce the commitment to consider measures for this section of the A1, as part of a wider study of the West and South Yorkshire Motorway Box.
 
 
Traffic Management
   
T9 TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SCHEMES, INCLUDING BUS PRIORITY MEASURES, WILL BE INVESTIGATED AND INTRODUCED WITHIN EXISTING HIGHWAYS AND HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES ALONG MAJOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT CORRIDORS, WHERE OPPORTUNITIES EXIST TO IMPROVE THE OPERATING CONDITIONS AND ATTRACTIVENESS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN ORDER TO HELP MANAGE AND REDUCE TRAFFIC DELAYS AND CONGESTION.
 
4.6.26 Policy T9 seeks to address the problem of the increasing burden on the highway network and the incidence of congestion, especially during peak travel times. The policy recognises that it is no longer feasible or desirable to provide additional highway capacity to accommodate car journeys into Wakefield City Centre and the other town centres, particularly for peak period commuting. The bus provides a fairly comprehensive network of routes into the centres and if well patronised is a much more efficient user of road space and capacity.
4.6.27 The approach in the Local Transport Plan is to improve every aspect of bus travel through targeting resources in centres and corridors, co-ordinated through Quality Partnerships. The Council has a significant role to play in carrying out improvements to operating conditions by introducing bus priority measures such as reallocating road space (bus lanes), selective detection at signals, exemptions to turning and access restrictions. These ensure quicker and more reliable journey times and give accessibility advantages over the car. This is essential in order to improve the attractiveness of the bus relative to the car.
 
 
T10 TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SCHEMES WILL BE INVESTIGATED AND INTRODUCED WHERE OPPORTUNITIES EXIST TO IMPROVE ROAD SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS. SPECIFIC ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN TO REGULATING TRAFFIC, AND THE USE OF TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDERS, TO MINIMISE THE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF THROUGH TRAFFIC AND HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES USING UNSUITABLE ROADS, PARTICULARLY IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS AND TOWN CENTRES.
 
4.6.28 Policy T10 provides the framework for removing extraneous traffic from sensitive areas. In town centres and residential areas through traffic and heavy goods vehicles can cause severe environmental and safety problems for residents and pedestrians. Minor traffic management schemes, better signs and directions etc. will often provide a satisfactory solution to these problems. However, where problems exist Traffic Regulation Orders will be introduced to regulate traffic movements.
 
 
Parking
   
T11 THE PROVISION OF PARKING IN DEVELOPMENTS FOR CARS, MOTOR CYCLES AND PEDAL CYCLES WILL BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COUNCILS STANDARDS, MAXIMUM IN THE CASE OF CARS, FOR BROAD CLASSES OF DEVELOPMENT AND LOCATION.
 
4.6.29 The availability of a car parking space is one of the main factors in influencing whether people choose to travel by car. This is recognised in A New Deal for Transport (NDFT), in PPG 6 and PPG 13 where it is stated that a range of maximum standards should be set for broad classes of development and location. The issue of competition between centres is acknowledged and this will be addressed in Regional Planning Guidance and the Regional Transport Strategy.
4.6.30 In existing town centres the amount of new development that will take place will generally be small in relation to that already existing and these centres have public car parks. Public car parks allow for multiple use throughout the day and enable parking provision to be properly organised and managed, thereby reducing the total land requirement and detrimental impact on the transport system. Where public car parks exist, or might be provided, this should be reflected in the parking provision associated with new development and the Council may seek to negotiate a planning obligation in accordance with Policy R2, to ensure appropriate measures are taken to satisfy travel needs. In this way the Council can locate and manage car parks to assist the traffic, environment and economic functioning of the centres. PPG 6 states that there should be comprehensive traffic management and parking strategies for town centres and these are covered in the Local Transport Plan.
4.6.31 In accordance with the above the Council has adopted the parking standards for guiding development set out in the draft version of Regional Planing Guidance. These standards are set out in Appendix 2 and will be subject to reconsideration in the light of the Proposed Maximum Parking Standards set out in the final version of RPG and the outcome of an early review of this aspect of RPG. The provision of secure, covered facilities for cycles is now required for most classes of development in accordance with the National and the West Yorkshire Cycling Strategies. The balance of provision of car parking spaces and the deployment of measures to satisfy travel needs by other modes should be addressed in any Green Travel Plan or Transport Assessment.
 
 
T12 CAR PARKING PROVISION WILL ALSO BE SUBJECT TO THE CONSTRAINTS OF HIGHWAY CAPACITY AND THE IMPACT ON OTHER ROAD USERS, ROAD SAFETY, RESIDENTS OR THE ENVIRONMENT. WHEREVER POSSIBLE PARKING PROVISION SHOULD BE MADE OFF-STREET.
 
4.6.32 T12 acknowledges that there are likely to be certain sites and locations where adoption of the maximum parking standards would still lead to unacceptable traffic impacts. Allowing car parking without regard to available highway capacity would prejudice the efficient operation of the highway network, generate congestion and delay which would be unacceptable to the motorists themselves. In addition, it would exacerbate environmental and safety problems and create conflicts with other road users and neighbouring occupiers which are considered unacceptable. In such cases reduced or no parking provision may be appropriate subject to accessibility or parking requirements being catered for by alternative means. Where alternative provisions for access need to be devised the Council will seek to negotiate a planning obligation in accordance with Policy R2, to ensure appropriate measures are taken to satisfy travel needs.
4.6.33 Wherever possible parking provision should be made off-street, to minimise safety problems and the disruptive impact on traffic movement and highway capacity, which often results from on-street parking. Where road space is seen to be at a premium there is no justification for reducing it to accommodate parked vehicles. Busy streets should be kept as clear of parked vehicles as possible.
 
 
T13 IN TOWN CENTRES CAR PARKING WILL BE CONTROLLED AND PRECEDENCE WILL BE GIVEN TO THE USE OF ON STREET PARKING SPACES AND CENTRAL CAR PARKS FOR SHORT STAY PARKING. WHERE APPROPRIATE, SPECIFIC PROVISION WILL BE MADE FOR RESIDENTS PARKING. LONG STAY PARKING PROVISION WILL BE LOCATED ON THE PERIPHERIES OF CENTRES. CAR PARKING CHARGES AND REGULATIONS WILL BE SET TO OPTIMISE THE USE OF AVAILABLE SPACES.
 
4.6.34 T13 recognises that car parking is a fundamental element of transport policy. The level and location of provision and the charging policy influence the demand for road space.
4.6.35 In town centres priority will be given to short stay parking to maximise the use of available parking spaces and safeguard the attractiveness and viability of shopping and commercial centres. Short stay parking primarily caters for journeys made outside peak periods and is consequently unlikely to create a demand in excess of the capacity of the highway network, nor impose significant disbenefits on other road users.
4.6.36 Long stay parking, however, is primarily required for work journeys and largely governs the traffic levels in urban areas during peak travel times. By restricting long stay parking to sites on the peripheries of the town centres adjacent to the main radial corridors, Policy T13 seeks to strike a balance between the accessibility afforded to the car commuter and the interests of other road users and environmental conditions.
4.6.37 In residential areas in and adjacent to town centres special consideration will be given to safeguarding parking spaces for residents, and to minimising the environmental and safety problems which arise from commuters and shoppers parking in residential streets.
4.6.38 Seen in conjunction with Policy T9 and T14 it provides the framework and opportunity to improve conditions for, and encourage the use of, public transport services, particularly for those people with the option of using a car.
4.6.39 Car parking charges and waiting restrictions provide the means to regulate and maximise the use of available car parking spaces. Car parking charges can be used to differentiate between short and long stay provision. In addition, management schemes could be introduced in long stay car parks designed to encourage maximum occupancy of cars, to make the best use of the spaces available, whilst, minimising the number of cars and burden on the highway network and the likelihood of congestion. Such schemes might incorporate pricing incentives, reserved spaces, restricted access, or company car sharing schemes.
 
 
T14 IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PASSENGER TRANSPORT AUTHORITY OPPORTUNITIES WILL BE INVESTIGATED AND, WHERE FEASIBLE, PROVISION WILL BE MADE FOR LONG STAY COMMUTER PARK AND RIDE SITES ALONG PUBLIC TRANSPORT CORRIDORS.
 
4.6.40 To contain the escalating traffic burden and manage traffic movements on the highway network, it is desirable to relate long stay commuter car parks to the public transport corridors, to encourage and facilitate the use of public transport.
4.6.41 Park and ride might provide an option for people to transfer onto public transport to gain quick and easy access to the main centres, whilst retaining the ability and flexibility of using their cars outside the main urban area. The chequered history of car park and ride and the resistance of car users to transfer to public transport, particularly buses, are openly recognised. Thus opportunities will need to be investigated and tested rigorously for their viability and attractiveness and the benefits clearly demonstrated. Nonetheless, it is increasingly acknowledged that there will need to be further restrictions on the use of private cars in main centres. In A New Deal for Transport the Government has committed itself to introducing the traffic demand management tool of allowing local authorities to charge for the use of road space. With continuing traffic growth, such schemes might provide an attractive alternative for main centres, which might otherwise begin to suffer from unacceptable congestion problems within the plan period.
 
 
Lorry Parking
   
T15 THE PROVISION OF SUITABLY LOCATED AND MANAGED LORRY PARKS AND DRIVER FACILITIES WILL BE INVESTIGATED AND ENCOURAGED AND THE GRANTING OR RENEWAL OF HEAVY GOODS VEHICLE 'O' LICENCES WILL BE OPPOSED WHERE OPERATING CENTRES ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE A ROAD SAFETY HAZARD OR ENVIRONMENTAL NUISANCE.
 
4.6.42 Overnight lorry parking and heavy goods vehicle operating depots are necessary for the efficient movement of freight by road, but can create road safety problems and environmental intrusion. Therefore, the Council will seek to secure the provision of lorry parks and driver facilities in locations which safeguard the residential environment and enable the safe and efficient operation of the highway network. Action will be taken to prevent indiscriminate lorry parking.
 
 
Facilities for Pedestrians, Cyclists and People with Special Needs
   
T16 DEVELOPERS WILL BE EXPECTED TO INCORPORATE APPROPRIATE FACILITIES FOR CYCLISTS, PEDESTRIANS AND PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS, INCLUDING THE PROVISION OF LINKS IN AND TO THE IDENTIFIED NETWORK OF ROUTES.
   
 
T20 PROVISION FOR PEDESTRIANS, CYCLISTS AND PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WILL BE INTEGRATED INTO TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES, IN TOWN CENTRES, RESIDENTIAL AREAS AND OTHER APPROPRIATE LOCATIONS. SCHEMES TO PROVIDE NEW SECTIONS OF CYCLE TRACKS / LANES TO IMPLEMENT AND EXTEND THE NETWORK WILL BE PROMOTED.
   
4.6.43 Policies T16 and T20 reflect the central role given to meeting an increasing proportion of travel demand by walking and cycling, both as single mode for shorter journeys and as part of longer journeys by public transport. For cyclists the Council is developing a network of off-road cycle tracks (also for use by pedestrians) and on-road facilities such as cycle lanes. Certain links in this network have been identified as being appropriate for implementation in conjunction with the development of sites that are allocated in the Plan and so will need to be incorporated into the design of layouts. In other cases layouts will need to provide any necessary segregated connections to the footpath, cycle track or highway network, providing direct access to the pedestrians and cyclists destinations within the development. Particular attention should be given to their needs in new junction layouts associated with developments. Details of the cycle route network are incorporated in The West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan Cycling Strategy, which includes a plan of strategic routes and detailed plans of existing and proposed routes in Wakefield and the other Districts. The proposed cycle routes in Wakefield are identified on the Proposals Maps and in the Community Area Proposals in Volumes 3, 4, and 5 of the Plan.
4.6.44 Development proposals will be checked, and where appropriate conditions attached to ensure the special needs of people with disabilities, women, the elderly and those with small children are met and suitable access is provided. Special attention will be paid to access to public buildings in accordance with Government guidance and the Council's "Access for All " document.
4.6.45 Specific attention is drawn to the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and people with special needs in the design of traffic management and highway schemes in residential areas, particularly in the vicinity of schools and shops, and town centres because this is where pedestrian and cycle flows are concentrated and where pedestrian / vehicular conflict is most severe.
4.6.46 People with disabilities experience special problems in terms of their access to public transport. Consequently the Council, in conjunction with the PTA, will endeavour to ensure that access is improved and will continue to support the Access Bus project. This project provides a District wide door-to-door service for those who have difficulty in using conventional public transport.
4.6.47 The importance of walking and cycling for recreation in the countryside is recognised. Leisure policies are included in the Plan to provide the framework for developing a network of public footpaths, bridleways and wildlife / recreation corridors. The development of the cycle route network will contribute significantly to enhancing such opportunities. The Council's Milestones statement details the strategy for working towards objectives that all public rights of way should be legally defined, properly maintained and well publicised.
 
 
T17 FULL CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO EXTENDING OR INTRODUCING PEDESTRIANISATION SCHEMES IN SHOPPING / COMMERCIAL CENTRES WHERE IT PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT AND ATTRACTIVENESS OF THESE CENTRES, REDUCE POLLUTION, AND ALLEVIATE PEDESTRIAN / VEHICULAR CONFLICT, WHILST RETAINING SATISFACTORY VEHICULAR ACCESS AND CIRCULATION.
 
4.6.48 Most of the movements in the town centres take place on foot and, therefore, the needs of pedestrians are of high priority. Pedestrianisation has proved a successful way of upgrading environmental conditions and reducing pedestrian/vehicular conflict and pollution. Pedestrianisation schemes have been implemented in Wakefield, Castleford, Pontefract, Ossett, Normanton and Hemsworth. T16 makes provision to extend or introduce new schemes in the shopping and commercial centres.
 
 
Freight Movement
   
T18 FOR DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS INCORPORATING ROAD HAULAGE OF MATERIALS OF SUBSTANTIAL VOLUME IT MUST BE DEMONSTRATED, TO THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY, THAT ALTERNATIVE MODES OF TRANSPORT (I.E. RAIL, WATERWAY, OVERLAND OR UNDERGROUND CONVEYOR OR PIPELINE) HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED, AND THE GROUNDS MUST BE SET OUT ON WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN FOUND TO BE ENVIRONMENTALLY UNACCEPTABLE OR IMPRACTICAL. WHERE ROAD HAULAGE CANNOT BE AVOIDED AGREEMENTS WILL BE SOUGHT, AND WHERE APPROPRIATE AND FEASIBLE, CONDITIONS IMPOSED, TO DEFINE TRAFFIC ROUTES AND ESTABLISH OTHER NECESSARY ENVIRONMENTAL AND TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT CONTROLS.
 
4.6.49 As outlined earlier the Council recognises that the movement of goods is vital to the economy of the District. Nevertheless, environmental and road safety problems are created by the increasing movement of freight by road. T18 reflects the Council's and public's awareness and concern about the environmental impact of increases in heavy good vehicle movements, and the greater emphasis being placed on larger vehicles for moving freight. Lorries contribute significantly to problems of noise, vibration, road safety and pollution and are potentially a major contributor to environmental deterioration.
4.6.50 Whilst the Council accepts that lorries will continue to be the principal means of distributing freight, it is of the view that it is important to ensure environmental conditions do not deteriorate as a result. In this context, T18 complements other policies, notably T1, 2, 5, 6 and 10 which seek to reduce and minimise the environmental disruption of heavy goods vehicle movements on local roads and communities, by exploiting opportunities to move coal, colliery spoil and other material of substantial volume by alternative modes of transport.
 
 
Disused Railways and Waterways
   
T19 DISUSED RAILWAY AND WATERWAY ROUTES WILL BE PROTECTED TO SAFEGUARD THE POTENTIAL OF THESE LINEAR CORRIDORS FOR FUTURE TRANSPORT OR LEISURE PURPOSES.
 
4.6.51 T19 seeks to safeguard the opportunity to extend the network of countryside paths and trails as advocated by Policy L6 in the Leisure section. In addition it seeks to retain the opportunity to utilise existing linear corridors for future extensions to the transport network. These corridors might provide an appropriate means of accommodating transport requirements whilst minimising the disruption to adjoining activities and communities. Nevertheless, special attention will need to be paid to the value of these corridors as wildlife habitats, either as discrete sites, or as links between sites of interest.
 
 
Supplementary Planning Guidance
4.6.52 A series of Development Control Guidelines have been approved by the Council to further assist the control of development. These guidelines are listed in Appendix 1 and they will constitute material considerations in the determination of planning applications.
 
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