Conwy Local Development Plan 2007 - 2022
4.8 SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT STRATEGY
4.8.1 Spatial Objectives
SO1, SO7, SO9, SO13.
4.8.2 Sustainable Transport Strategy Statement
188.8.131.52 New development is required to address the transport implications of that development. Larger schemes may be required to prepare transport assessments to illustrate how the amount of trips generated will be accommodated and how accessibility to and from the site by all modes of transport will be achieved. For non-residential proposals which are likely to have significant transport implications, the Government also requires the submission of travel plans, the purpose of which is to promote more sustainable forms of transport in relation to the activities of a particular development (for example; encouraging reductions in car usage and increased use of public transport, walking and cycling).
184.108.40.206 Meeting the travel objectives will require action on two fronts. Firstly, there needs to be positive action brought about through the Regional Transport Strategy to provide a vision and strategy for integrated transport in the County. Secondly, the LDP needs to provide robust policies to ensure that the location of new development supports the above objectives. Partnership working is essential to the achievement of these objectives. This section incorporates the necessary detailed policies to ensure the sustainable transport strategy is delivered.
STRATEGIC POLICY STR/1 – SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT, DEVELOPMENT AND ACCESSIBILITY
Development will be located so as to minimise the need to travel. Convenient access via footways, cycle infrastructure and public transport should exist or be provided where appropriate, thereby encouraging the use of these modes of travel for local journeys and reducing the need to travel by private car and improving the accessibility of services to those with poor availability of transport. The Council will endeavour to improve accessibility and seek to change travel behaviour. This will be achieved by working with our partners to:
- Focus future development in the Plan Area in highly accessible locations, predominantly along the A55 and railway network within and on the edge of the Urban Development Strategy Area within the coastal belt in line with Policy DP/2 – ‘Overarching Strategic Approach’. All development proposals will be assessed against the Council’s Parking Standards as set out in Policy STR/2 – ‘Parking Standards’, mitigate travel in line with Policy STR/3 – ‘Mitigating Travel Impact’ and promote sustainable modes in line with Policy STR/4 – ‘Non-Motorised Travel’;
- Safeguard land to promote accessible communities that encourage integrated sustainable modes of travel in line with Policies STR/5 – ‘Integrated Sustainable Transport System’ and STR/6 – ‘Railfreight’. The Council will further improve public transport and promote sustainable modes and improvements to public transport services. Improvements to rail stations and bus stations will be sought to assist as interchanges between modes and promote sustainable travel behaviour. Development shall contribute towards these improvements where the need is required in line with the Policies DP/1 to DP/6. Improvement routes identified in the Regional Transport Plan for Conwy shall be safeguarded;
- Promote walking and cycling throughout the Plan Area as part of an integral and highly sustainable means of transport in line with Policy DP/4 – ‘Development Criteria’. The design and construction of walking and cycling facilities and infrastructure will be improved to make walking and cycling more attractive, direct and safe in line with Policy DP/3 – ‘Promoting Design Quality and Reducing Crime’. Quality and convenient pedestrian crossings will be promoted to facilitate safe and direct movement across busy roads. Development shall contribute towards these connections and quality cycle parking where appropriate in line with The Development Principles and the Council’s Parking Standards set out in Policy STR/2;
- Transport schemes which lead to improvements in accessibility will be supported in principle. In considering development proposals, the potential for more sustainable means of transport related to the uses and users of the development must be addressed, including the preparation of Travel Plans.
220.127.116.11 Good accessibility means that the community can access their needs (for example; shopping, education and employment) easily and without the need for a car. Accessibility can be improved by locating development at appropriate locations and by improving public transport, walking and cycling facilities and services. The development needs of the community will be met by locating the majority of development in the accessible locations, predominantly along the A55 and Rail Network corridor, within the Urban Development Strategy Area where there are key links to regular transport. Providing good accessibility can change travel behaviour towards more sustainable modes, however, travel planning, education and demand management are essential elements of the overall transport strategy. Improving accessibility and reducing car dependence helps to improve equality, reduce congestion and responds to the challenges of climate change and environmental sustainability. To improve the offer of sustainable modes of travel, health of the community and the environment, the Council will allocate land for an interchange facility at Llandudno Railway Station.
18.104.22.168 For relatively short journeys walking and cycling are both highly desirable means of sustainable transport which also support a healthy lifestyle. Census data (2001) shows the majority (66%) of Conwy residents who are economically active use their car to travel to work and whilst 14% of residents walk to their place of work, only 1.7% cycle. Unfortunately, walking and cycling to some areas is obstructed because major roads and roundabouts act as barriers to pedestrians and cyclists. Walking is part of almost every trip, and people are less likely to walk to a local shop or bus stop if the pedestrian environment is poor or appears threatening. Some roads, streets and junctions have been designed such that walking and cycling have become subordinate to the free flow of traffic. Improvements to walking and cycling options and their safety will be targeted within all settlements, primarily where access to employment and retail is required, in Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Colwyn Bay and Abergele and for leisure and tourism purposes along the coast and river corridors. Examples would be the implementation of the Wales Coastal Path Improvement Programme and the Conwy Rights of Way Improvement Plan. All new developments will need to provide quality walking and cycling facilities and contribute towards sustainable improvements in the surrounding community as appropriate.
22.214.171.124 Walking and cycling are particularly important in centres where there are many people shopping, working, living and playing in close proximity. These centres can accommodate very large numbers of walkers and cyclists without the congestion, noise and pollution problems that can be created by a relatively small number of motor vehicles. To encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport, contributions towards improvements in health and protection of the environment will be sought. The Council will seek to implement new footbridge links at Llandudno Junction railway station and in Colwyn Bay between the town centre and seafront.
126.96.36.199 The LDP, therefore, seeks to make significant improvements to sustainable transport to improve walking and cycling options and their safety and to improve links to other sustainable modes of transport in the Plan Area and, in particular, to the Urban Development Strategy Area. To achieve this, the Council will work with partners to secure developer contributions and seek funding for improvements to cycling and walking, where required, to expand the SUSTRANS National Cycle Route 5 through the construction of a new cycle/pedestrian bridge connection at Foryd Harbour and to provide for a more complete network linking Conwy with Denbighshire. The completion of the National Cycle Route 5 at Llandudno is also being progressed.
188.8.131.52 In accordance with the Wales Transport Act 2006, the Taith consortium, which is a partnership of Local Authorities with transport responsibilities in North Wales, are required by the Welsh Government to produce a Regional Transport Plan (RTP). The RTP is a strategy for identifying and delivering improvements to our transport system over the next 25 years. The North Wales RTP has been produced and became operational in April 2010.
4.8.3 Parking Standards
Policy STR/2 – PARKING STANDARDS
- Car parking provision should be in accordance with the Council’s maximum standards, to reduce dependency on the car and to promote more sustainable forms of transport.
- In locations with good accessibility to facilities and services, and served by high quality public transport, the Council will seek to reduce the amount of car parking provided, in line with the Conwy Parking Standards.
- Secure cycle storage should be provided in accordance with the Council’s standards.
184.108.40.206 The availability of car parking can have a significant effect on people's choice of transport. Accordingly, Government policy seeks to restrict levels of parking associated with new development in order to reduce the use of the car and promote more sustainable modes of transport. Car parking can also occupy a great deal of space and, therefore, impacts upon the appearance of development and the efficient use of land. TAN18 Section 4 states ‘controls of parking, charging and limits on provision or time may be appropriate when they complement land use policies, contribute to the reduction in congestion and safeguard amenity’. The purpose of this policy and SPG is to manage demand for certain types of parking, in order to promote the environmental, social and economic goals of the plan. Where opportunities arise, for example on mixed use sites, shared-use parking and car pooling will be encouraged to minimise provision. The Council will review its parking standards in light of the Regional Transport Plan.
4.8.4 Mitigating Travel Impact
Policy STR/3 – MITIGATING TRAVEL IMPACT
- New developments will be required to mitigate the undesirable effects of travel such as; noise, pollution, impact on amenity and health and other environmental impacts.
- Where a proposed development is likely to have significant transport, social or environmental implications, the Council will require developers to submit a Transport Assessment and a Travel Plan with the planning application. A Road Safety Audit may also be required.
- Where the proposed development is considered to have significant transport implications on a wider area, financial contributions will be required towards improvements in transport infrastructure, in particular to support public transport, cycling and walking, in accordance with the development principles in Section 4 – Spatial Policies and Supporting Development Management Policies.
- The Council may also require developers to submit a Transport Statement for other development proposals where there is need to understand the traffic impact of the proposal.
220.127.116.11 It is important that all development mitigates its transport impact. 'Major development' proposals or development proposals with 'significant transport implications', as set out in TAN18, will be required to produce a Transport Assessment and a Travel Plan (as set out in Policy STR/3). A Transport Statement should be submitted alongside all other development proposals to enable the applicant to demonstrate to the Council that they have properly considered the transport impact of the proposal and taken into account how to mitigate them. The level of detail of the Transport Statement will vary according to the scale and complexity of the application in line with national guidance and Policy DP/6 – ‘National Planning Policy and Guidance’.
18.104.22.168 A primary planning consideration is to ensure that development proposals achieve a suitable connection to the highway that is safe for pedestrians, cyclists, occupants of vehicles and other road users. Equally important is the need to ensure that road safety is not jeopardised by allowing proposals which would generate levels of traffic beyond the capacity of the surrounding road network.
4.8.5 Non-Motorised Travel
Policy STR/4 – NON-MOTORISED TRAVEL
The Council will support increased levels of non-motorised travel, including cycle use and walking, by ensuring that travel generating developments are located and designed to facilitate and encourage short distance trips between home, work, schools and colleges, other suitable destinations and for leisure. Apart from minimising the distance between trip origins and destinations, development proposals should ensure:
- That adequate safe and secure cycle parking is provided in accordance with the standards in Policy STR/2;
- That detailed designs and layouts encourage cycling and walking.
22.214.171.124 The above hierarchy sets out the priority for the delivery of infrastructure provision for non-motorised modes through the planning process, for example; through Section 106 contributions. Although listed in priority order, no one priority should be promoted to the exclusion of others. The first priority is to connect to larger centres of attraction, both within or adjacent to the County, including the Urban Development Strategy Area and the Main Villages. These centres have a range of services and facilities, including schools and employment areas. This offers greater value for money in terms of the range of the population who could potentially use the routes. In addition, ‘Safer Routes to Schools’ is already delivered from a separate funding source. Leisure and recreation routes are also an important resource, particularly to improve access to the surrounding countryside as part of a healthy lifestyle.
126.96.36.199 The Regional Transport Plan includes separate strategies on walking and cycling and recognises their importance and the need to secure improvements to the capacity, quality and safety of the network. At the same time, existing public rights of way need protecting. The Council, through its local Highways Authority, is responsible for keeping the definitive rights of way maps up to date and for developing Rights of Way Improvement Plans. Public paths in rural areas (footpaths, bridleways and byways) provide an important resource for walkers and, in appropriate cases, for cyclists and horse riders.
4.8.6 Integrated Sustainable Transport System
Policy STR/5 – INTEGRATED SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT SYSTEM
In order to improve the transport system, accommodate development needs and enhance communities, the following schemes will be safeguarded and promoted as shown on the Proposals Map:
- Llandudno Railway Station – Deliver a high quality sustainable transport interchange facility;
- Llandudno Junction – Improve integration and enhance access to the retail, leisure, entertainment and business areas through the creation of a new footbridge from Llandudno Junction Railway Station;
- Foryd Harbour – Promoting the Sustrans National Cycle Route 5 and a new connecting pedestrian/cycle bridge at Foryd Harbour in Kinmel Bay;
- Kinmel Bay – To promote a link road between Parc Hanes and Ogwen Avenue to improve overall access in the area;
- Former Vale of Clwyd Railway in Kinmel Bay – Safeguard as a route to promote improved community access;
- Wales Coastal Path Improvement Programme and the Conwy Rights of Way Improvement Plan – To improve accessibility to the coast and countryside for local communities and visitors;
- Colwyn Bay – Improved access between the town and the seafront as part of the Colwyn Bay Masterplan and coastal defence project.
188.8.131.52 The availability and use of public transport is a very important element in determining planning policies designed to reduce the need for travel by car. To this end, national policy requires local planning authorities to explore the potential, and identify any proposals, for improving public transport by rail, including the re-opening of rail lines. Such routes could also provide walking and cycle routes as an interim measure prior to the introduction of rail services.
Policy STR/6 – RAILFREIGHT
The Council supports the movement of freight by rail and the existing railfreight facilities at Llandudno Junction and Penmaenmawr are safeguarded for this purpose.
184.108.40.206 For many years, the movement of freight by rail had been in decline, primarily as a result of competition from road transport. However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence in the use of rail nationally for the movement of freight but this has not been reflected locally. Many of the previously existing railfreight facilities in the Plan Area have been either removed or redeveloped except for the facilities that remain at Llandudno Junction and Penmaenmawr. These facilities consist of (i) sidings alongside Llandudno Junction Railway Station, (ii) the adjacent railfreight terminal at Llandudno Junction, and (iii) the ballast loading facility at Penmaenmawr. The railfreight terminal is currently unused, and part of the site has temporary planning permission for storage.
220.127.116.11 The Council supports the transfer of freight from road to rail and considers there is potential for the movement of freight by rail. Opportunities to create alternative railfreight facilities in the Plan Area are almost non-existent. The North Wales Joint Transport Board (TAITH) commissioned a strategic study into the potential for railfreight in North Wales in association with the development of the Regional Transport Plan. The study concluded that there was potential at Llandudno Junction for the movement of supermarket goods by rail, and for the movement of waste by rail as part of a wider North Wales initiative. TAITH supports the retention of railfreight facilities and the Council is mindful to safeguard all such facilities in the County, while there is the prospect of the further use of these facilities for railfreight purposes.