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7 Transport

AIMS - PROMOTING ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE

7.1 This Chapter sets out the proposed Core Planning Policy in relation to the aim of 'promoting accessibility for all'. It also takes account of the other aims, including addressing climate change. Accessibility means how people access their needs, including employment, shopping and community services. Accessible locations will be defined as within 30 minutes walking or cycling distance of a retail centre, primary school, secondary school and GP surgery. This shows what will be done to address these aims and sets out the key transport projects that will be provided to deliver sustainable development in the District. The implementation and monitoring Chapter sets out local indicators to measure what is being done. The Core Strategy objectives relating to transport are:

Accessibility

To reduce the need to travel by locating development in sustainable locations where it will enable people to access employment, housing, retail provision, public transport and key services; such as education, healthcare, recreational facilities and open space.

Transport

To make it safer and, easier for the community to travel to jobs and key services by improving sustainable forms of transport such as public transport, walking and cycling and seeking to reduce carbon emissions.

7.2 The Council will work with Essex County Council, the Highways Agency and bus and railway providers to improve accessibility, provide sustainable transport, reduce congestion and manage travel behaviour and demand for transport to reduce the rate of road traffic growth.

7.3 Putting most new development in the Main Towns, with the necessary highway improvements to support these developments, and improving sustainable transport to these developments, will support this aim.

7.4 The Council intends to identify ways to bring about a shift away from car use to public transport, walking and cycling, by ensuring urban extensions are linked to the urban structure through pedestrian andcycling routes and a high standard of public transport and with area wide improvements in that provision.

7.5 The Council and its partners also intend to encourage the efficient use of existing transport infrastructure, to improve access to jobs, services and leisure facilities and to enable the provision of infrastructure and transport services necessary to support existing communities and development proposed.

Main Accessibility and Transport Issues

7.6 82% of people in the District own a car or van and most travel to work by car. The reliance on the car needs to be reduced, where possible, to promote and deliver sustainability, tackle the impacts of climate change, reduce congestion and pollution and encourage healthy lifestyles by providing high quality walking, cycling and more efficient local public transport.

7.7 Braintree District Council, as the Local Planning Authority, has little direct control over the main transport networks because they are managed by the County Council, the Highways Agency and Network Rail. To support the District's economy, the main road network (in particular the A12, A120 east of Braintree and A131 at Halstead) needs to be improved, and the main rail network should continue to be improved and the Braintree branch line should be upgraded to increase the capacity of this route. Support for the Gainsborough branch line should also be continued. However, any improvements will require either government funding and / or substantial private sector investment and are likely to be long term.

7.8 Local road networks also need to be maintained and improved at key points to encourage more efficient local public transport, improve air quality, and reduce local congestion. The use of the car for local trips in the main towns needs to be minimised as far as practicable, to reduce congestion, pollution, and promote healthier living. Development should be located and designed to promote walking, cycling, and public transport in preference to the car, and should also promote good standards of access for everyone. Realistic and viable alternatives to the car need to be promoted for long trips and commuting.

7.9 Almost 30 villages have less than one bus per week to their local centre, so many people rely on community transport or family and friends to get about in order to access the services they need. Public transport needs to be improved, whilst recognising that the use of the car will still be necessary for many people and non-car travel modes may not be practical in the more isolated rural parts of the District.

7.10 An assessment has been undertaken of the highway improvements that will be required to provide for the future development of Braintree and Witham up to 2026. This has identified the need for a new link road between Springwood Drive and Panfield Lane, in Braintree to provide for the traffic movements associated with the proposed Panfield Lane growth location.

7.11 The principal aim of the link road is to provide a local connection to enable residential traffic from the potential development to travel to and from the south and west via the B1256 Pods Brook Road and A120, without having to travel through Braintree Town Centre.

7.12 The highways assessment states that this link road will need to be designed to ensure that any heavy goods vehicle trips are discouraged from travelling to and from the north of Braintree via the new link road, Panfield Lane and Deanery Hill. It should also prevent other traffic from diverting from the strategic road network to use this link. It should therefore be provided as a local road, incorporating traffic management measures, to prohibit HGV movements to the north.

7.13 This assessment also identifies junction improvements, which will be required for the future development of Braintree and Witham, which will be funded through developer contributions. In addition, pedestrian and cycleway links and quality bus improvements will also be required through developer contributions to provide for the future growth in the main towns and key service villages.

7.14 The Council, Essex County Council and Network Rail also support the provision of a footbridge at Witham station to link the Easton Road car park to the station and cycle/footbridges at Freeport, Braintree and Motts Lane, Witham. The Witham station footbridge would improve access to the station and also provide cycle parking for the station. The construction work is scheduled to commence in 2010. Theproposed Freeport Bridge would provide pedestrian and cycle access across the Braintree Branch line to Freeport Factory Outlet Centre and Braintree Retail Park and to Freeport railway station for residents in the Mill Hill area of the town, which would reduce vehicle movements between these locations. The proposed Motts Lane foot/ cycleway bridge would improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists by replacing a level crossing across the main London to Norwich railway line. It would provide a route from the northern part of Witham, and from the proposed Forest Road growth location for pedestrians and cyclists to employment areas, avoiding the congested Braintree Road railway bridge.

Policy CS7

Promoting Accessibility for All

The Council will work with partners to improve accessibility, to reduce congestion and reduce the impact of development upon climate change.

Future development will be provided in accessible locations to reduce the need to travel.

Sustainable travel will be encouraged through the requirement for travel plans from major developments, employers and institutions.

Sustainable transport links will be improved, including provision of and contributions for cycling and walking and quality bus partnership.

Traffic and car parking will be carefully managed to encourage sustainable travel.

The promotion of community based initiatives such as car pools, car sharing and voluntary mini- bus services will be encouraged.

Table CS7 Key Transport Projects Provision

Witham Station Footbridge across railway line
Freeport, Braintree Cycle/Footbridge across railway line
Feasibility Study of Braintree Railway Branch Line
improvements to improve frequency of service
Capacity improvements at Pods Brook Road / Rayne Road
roundabout in Braintree
Spine road from Springwood Drive to Panfield Lane,
Braintree designed for local traffic only
Creation of new access and improvements at the A131 /
Cuckoo Way roundabout
Motts Lane foot and cycle bridge in Witham
Capacity improvements at Hatfield Road / Gershwin
Boulevard roundabout in Witham
Improvements to the Cypress Road / Braintree Road
roundabout in Witham

 

 

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