7. Transport

7.1.

The policies and proposals of this chapter are concerned specifically with the movement of people and goods within North Kesteven. However, in considering these issues, this chapter’s provisions cannot be looked at in isolation from the rest of the Plan.

7.2.

The Local Plan’s locational strategy identifies four tiers of settlements within the District, taking account (amongst other factors) of their ability to act as focal points for wider hinterlands, and the opportunities they offer for travel by bicycle, public transport or on foot. The locational strategy seeks to concentrate most new development in existing settlements and, particularly, in the District's towns and service villages. By doing so, it is intended that:

  • The service and employment role of the towns and service villages will be enhanced;
  • Appropriate levels of local employment and services will be provided in other villages;
  • The majority of new homes will be built in locations that are close to jobs and services; and
  • Conditions will be created that will support and enhance the viability of public transport services.
In short, it is intended that the Plan’s provisions will promote a pattern of development that should, over time, reduce the need to travel, improve the choice of travel modes and reduce the frequency and length of necessary journeys.
7.3.

The Local Plan seeks to address North Kesteven's movement and transport requirements in ways that are appropriate to the District’s particular characteristics and circumstances. In some parts of the District, there is scope for progress towards a more balanced, less car-dependent approach, but it must be recognised that North Kesteven is a predominantly rural District, within the more remote and sparsely populated parts of which opportunities to promote alternatives to the use of private cars are limited. It must also be recognised, however, that people living within those parts of the District who do not drive or have access to a car can be seriously disadvantaged in terms of access to facilities and services.

7.4.

Transport policies must be viewed not only alongside the locational strategy and other policies in this Local Plan, but also alongside the Local Transport Plan for Lincolnshire, produced by the County Council and proposals set out in the Greater Lincoln Greenways and Quiet Roads Strategy, which has been endorsed by the District Council. The Greater Lincoln Greenways and Quiet Roads Strategy sets out schemes to develop a network of Greenways and Quiet roads within an 8 mile radius of Lincoln City Centre consisting of largely car free routes connecting town and countryside for shared use for people of all abilities on foot, cycle or horseback, and roads where vehicle flows and speeds are kept relatively low, enabling people to more safely share the road space with motor vehicles. The current 2nd Local Transport Plan for Lincolnshire was published in March 2006, to cover the period 2006/7 to 2010/11. It sets out both broad transport strategies and detailed proposals, and is used as a primary tool in the allocation of funding for transport projects. In drawing up this Local Plan, and particularly its Transport policies, the Local Transport Plan has been taken fully into account and measures and proposals in the two Plans are intended to complement and support each other. The mechanism for the on-going co-ordination of responsibilities for transport, highways and car parking matters is provided by the active participation and input by the District Council on consultation undertaken by Lincolnshire County Council, as local highway authority, on the development and progress of the Local Transport Plan and its integrated transport strategy. A co-ordinating mechanism is also provided by the District Council participating in working groups and committees that consider transport and planning strategies and initiatives that specifically affect the Lincoln Policy Area.

7.5.

The policies of this chapter aim to ensure that: the necessary transport infrastructure is provided; new development does not unnecessarily increase car use; and opportunities for journeys to be made by public transport, bicycle and on foot are maximised. This approach accords with the provisions of the Council’s Local Agenda 21 strategy, and will contribute to all three of the Council's objectives:

  • A good quality of life for all residents - Ease of access to services, facilities, employment, family, friends and other members of the community is a crucial contributor to a good quality of life. Being excluded from such facilities and contacts because they are too remote and adequate transport is either not available or not affordable, can be very damaging - both to individuals and to society as a whole. Coupled with the locational strategy and other policies, the transport policies of this Local Plan are intended to enhance accessibility across the District.
  • A thriving and prosperous economy - Efficient transport systems and efficient distributions of land-uses are key contributors to economic efficiency. Policies that are designed to reduce the number and length of journeys that have to be undertaken (for instance by providing for a better range and choice of facilities closer to the places where people live), that enable more needs to met through single, multi-purpose trips, and that promote the use of a wider range of travel modes should lead to reduced congestion and consequent savings in time and money.
  • A clean green and safe environment - The policies in this Local Plan are designed to reduce the environmental impact of travel in North Kesteven, helping to protect both the local environment and contributing to the protection of the global environment.

POLICY T1 - Accessibility to developments View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for developments that will generate or attract significant numbers of journeys, only if:

  1. Adequate and effective measures are taken to facilitate access by all modes of transport, with particular emphasis on enabling and promoting safe and convenient access by public transport, walking and cycling; or
  2. The site’s location and the infrastructure serving it are satisfactory, or can be made satisfactory, as part of the development.

Justification

7.6.

This policy applies to most substantial developments, including offices and other places of employment, shops, commercial leisure, and any other use that can be expected to attract significant numbers of users or visitors. In most cases, it will not be sufficient to demonstrate that the development will be accessible by car, as the overall objective is to reduce dependence on cars wherever possible and to promote and facilitate access by other modes of travel.

7.7.

In considering accessibility issues, the Council will be mindful of the fact that the District is predominantly rural, that much of its population is dispersed, and that, in some parts, opportunities for people to travel by means other than the private car can be limited. Consequently, all judgements of whether a location is relatively accessible or not will be made in the context of the overall levels of accessibility throughout the District. In view of the rural nature of most of the District, the Council will normally need to be satisfied that safe provision will be made for accessing developments of the kind to which this policy applies by car, but developers will be expected to take suitable steps to ensure that their proposals do not increase car-dependency or require more journeys to be undertaken by car.

7.8.

Prospective developers will be expected to prepare and submit Transport Assessments in conjunction with applications for planning permission, providing sufficient information for the Council to assess both the transport implications of the proposed development and the means by which it is proposed that the requirements of this policy will be met.

7.9.

The location of the site proposed for development will greatly influence both the acceptability (or otherwise) of the proposal and the requirements for provision of access facilities and infrastructure. The District's towns and, at a smaller scale, its service villages will normally be the most appropriate locations for developments of this type. Where good public transport services already exist and people can already get to the site safely and conveniently by foot and bicycle, it may be that all that will be required is to ensure that suitable connections and access points are provided (see policy T3). However, where such accessibility is not adequate, developers will be expected to provide or contribute to the provision of suitable infrastructure improvements and facilities, where such contributions would be necessary, appropriate and properly related to the development.

7.10.

Where, to achieve acceptable accessibility, improvements or new provision must be made outside the development site itself, developers will normally be expected to conclude adequate and appropriate agreements with relevant public authorities and/or private stakeholders prior to planning permission being granted.

7.11.

It will often be appropriate to devise Travel Plans in connection with major new developments for such uses as employment, shopping, services, leisure, health and education, and uses from and above the following thresholds:

  • Food and non food retail, cinemas and conference facilities, and D2 (other than stadia) - 1000 Sq m
  • B1 including higher and further education and office - 2500 sq m
  • Stadia - 1500 seats.

Such plans draw together an integrated range of measures to deliver sustainable transport objectives, such as:

  • reducing car use and promoting alternative modes of travel - e.g., through car-sharing schemes, dedicated bus services, making provision for pedestrians and cyclists (including secure bike parks (covered and adequately supervised), showers etc.);
  • reducing traffic speeds and improving road safety;
  • promoting more environment-friendly delivery and freight movements, home delivery services etc.
7.12.

Where Travel Plans are appropriate, the Council will expect them to be submitted in conjunction with planning applications alongside the required Transport Assessment. The District Council also encourages existing businesses and organisations whose activities generate substantial numbers of journeys to prepare Travel Plans (regardless of whether they are proposing new development) and will be happy to provide advice and assistance (normally in conjunction with the County Council, as Highway Authority).

POLICY T2 - Public Transport Facilities View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for developments that will support the provision of public transport services.

Justification

7.13.

In Lincolnshire, public transport is provided mainly by buses and conventional trains. These are operated by private companies on a commercial basis, with public subsidy being allowed in only very limited circumstances. There are also a number of community transport schemes such as the Dial-a-ride services, which provides door-to-door transport. The provisions of this policy will enable direct infrastructure development and development that can be expected to underpin the viability of services by concentrating appropriate uses and activities in places with good (or potentially good) public transport connections. Viability of public transport depends largely on being able to attract sufficient passengers for each service and this is more easily achieved in larger, more densely populated urban areas, than in relatively sparsely populated rural areas. By concentrating most new development into the towns and service villages, this Local Plan’s locational strategy should, over time, help to increase the potential for operating viable public transport services in North Kesteven and between North Kesteven and the larger urban centres beyond the District.

7.14.

The Local Transport Plan includes a co-ordinated strategy for “widening travel choice across all public passenger transport modes”, called “InterConnect”. It encompasses:

  • Local bus services;
  • Rail services;
  • Community transport schemes;
  • Public transport information;
  • Public transport interchange with other modes.
7.15.

The InterConnect strategy aims to enable public transport to make effective contributions to the following policy areas:

  • Sustainable alternatives to the car;
  • Social inclusion, particularly in rural areas;
  • Integration across modes;
  • Access for the disabled;

and it is intended to link with other transport initiatives on:

  • Community Travel Zones;
  • Rural Priority initiatives;
  • Walking and cycling; and,
  • Travel Plans.
Full details of the InterConnect strategy can be found in the Lincolnshire Local Transport Plan.
7.16.

A notable feature of North Kesteven’s public transport infrastructure is that rail has particular potential for development. Sleaford is located at a railway “crossroads”, with lines leading to Lincoln, Grantham and Nottingham, Peterborough and Boston converging on the town. This gives potentially good connection to both the larger urban centres within the region and the national railway network. Just as significantly, in terms of this Local Plan’s locational strategy, both North Hykeham and a number of the District’s service villages – Metheringham, Ruskington and Heckington are also served by rail, and offer opportunities for improvement of their services. There may also be an opportunity for the opening of a new railway station at Washingborough or Heighington and such proposals would be strongly supported by the District Council. The Local Transport Plan notes that, of all Lincolnshire’s large market towns, “Sleaford is the best served by rail, and well connected to local villages such as Ruskington and Heckington…Sleaford, together with Spalding, are key locations in the Rail Passenger Partnership project. Through the Partnership, the (County) Council will apply the InterConnect strategy to the interurban corridors of Lincoln-Sleaford, Sleaford-Spalding and Spalding-Peterborough, with intermediate hubs for connections with local bus services at Metheringham, Ruskington, and Donington”. Although the basic track and station infrastructure is in place to provide good connections by train within the District and with neighbouring urban centres, it is considered that the potential of the network is not being realised at present, with services being rather infrequent and mostly under-used. A programme of facility and service improvements is set out in the Local Transport Plan and the targets for the period up to 2005 / 06 include:

  • To increase rail ridership into Sleaford by 20%;
  • To increase rail ridership between Lincoln and Sleaford by 40%; and
  • To increase rail ridership between Sleaford and Spalding by 100%.
7.17.

The emphasis given in this Local Plan’s locational strategy to Sleaford, North Hykeham and the identified service villages – particularly those with rail connections - is intended to support and complement the Local Transport Plan’s objective and proposals for public transport development based on the InterConnect strategy.

POLICY T3 - Maximizing travel choice View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for developments consisting of groups, complexes or estates of buildings sharing common access roads or drives, only if the layout and design of the development incorporates:

  1. Safe and convenient links with the surroundings for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles; and
  2. Safe and convenient provision within the site for walking and cycling (and for encouraging walking and cycling) and access by public transport, as well as travelling by car,
and, generally, the needs of pedestrians and cyclists are given priority over the needs of motor vehicles and their drivers within the development.

Justification

7.18.

This policy relates to business/commercial, residential and mixed-use developments involving groups of buildings served by new roads, streets and/or drives. This includes, for example, employment or business parks, housing groups and estates and mixed-use streets and courts. Ensuring that access within such developments is convenient and safe for all users (catering for the needs of vehicles, but not at the expense of the needs of pedestrians and cyclists) is important if people are to be encouraged to choose non-car modes of transport when possible.

7.19.

The layout and design of new residential developments is a matter that has generated particular concern (and is also dealt with in policy H2). The past decade has seen increasing realisation that what had become the conventional approach to the design and layout of new housing areas was not only producing bland, uniform estates of houses with little sense of local identity, but was also actively promoting car-dependency and, in the process, discouraging walking, cycling and use of public transport. The starting point for the design of most housing estates and groups was the laying out of roads to facilitate easy access by cars and service vehicles and the parking of at least two cars within the curtilage of each house. The needs of pedestrians and cyclists were very much a secondary consideration and using the layout and design of estates to actively encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport rarely received any thought at all.

7.20.

As most daily journeys originate from home, the location of homes in relation to places of work, places of education, shops and other facilities obviously has a major influence on people's travel-mode choices. However, the way that the wider home environment either encourages or discourages one mode of travel over another is also significant; it effectively sets the context for subsequent decisions. Designing new housing areas so that walking and cycling is both safe and convenient and, where possible, public transport is readily accessible, can encourage people to choose those modes of travel for more of their journeys. This will often involve placing their needs and their convenience above the needs of car drivers and service vehicle operators - whilst still ensuring that vehicle movements are catered for safely (if more slowly and perhaps not quite so conveniently).

7.21.

Both the government publication referred to as "Design Bulletin 32" and The Lincolnshire Design Guide for Residential Areas contain advice and guidance on these matters. Approaches are constantly evolving and improving, however, and other up-to-date sources of "best practice" should also be consulted when new developments are being planned. The Council will seek to work with developers and their designers and the Highway Authority to accommodate approaches that meet the appropriate requirements in new ways. Pre-application consultation with the Council's planning officers is strongly recommended.

POLICY T4 - Safety View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for development proposals that will not adversely affect the safety of people using roads, cycleways, footpaths, bridleways or railways.

Justification

7.22.

The safety of people using transport infrastructure and networks is a paramount consideration, which needs to be taken properly into account in the location and design of development proposals. Nearly all developments require safe access to a public highway, and consequently, it is important that the nature and volume of the traffic that will be generated is understood and catered for adequately. The generation of traffic of a type or volume that would adversely affect safety on the wider highway network must be avoided (either by refusing permission for the development or, if appropriate, ensuring that adequate alterations and improvements are provided for).

POLICY T5 - Parking provision View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for proposals that include provision for the off-street parking of cars, bicycles and motorbikes in accordance with the Council's adopted maximum parking standards, set out in Appendix 4. Provisions which exceed the maximum standards will be permitted only in cases where retail and leisure developments within or on the edge of a town centre will provide parking facilities that will serve the town centre as a whole.

Justification

7.23.

It is often desirable to provide off-street space for parking cars and other vehicles that may be associated with the use and operation of new buildings and other developments. Standards for such provision have been prepared by Lincolnshire County Council and adopted by the District Council, and these should be used as a guide to the provision to be made in association with particular development proposals. The provision of parking for disabled people will be additional to the adopted maximum parking standards set out in Appendix 4.

7.24.

The Council will expect applicants to demonstrate that their proposed car parking provision strikes an appropriate balance between highway safety, the promotion of sustainable travel modes and choices, convenience, security, amenity, design quality and townscape/landscape impact. As a general rule, the Council will expect car parking provision for individual developments to be minimal where access by other modes of transport is good and/or there is adequate public parking provision in the vicinity. Where it would be more appropriate to improve accessibility by public transport or other modes, or to increase the supply of public car parking in the vicinity (or improve its quality), the Council may seek developer contributions to such provision or improvements in lieu of on-site parking provision (see policy C4).

POLICY T6 - Roadside services View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for the development of roadside services, provided that the development proposed:

  1. Will be limited primarily to serving the needs for fuel, refreshment or accommodation of people travelling on primary routes across the District;
  2. Will not provide facilities that are likely to attract additional journeys;
  3. Will not adversely affect the safety or convenience of road users; and
  4. Will not adversely affect the character or appearance of its surroundings.

Justification

7.25.

Roadside services include filling stations, cafes, restaurants, and hotels/motels catering specifically for people on journeys, and which consequently require a roadside location. There are many other uses (such as shops or entertainment facilities) that could gain commercial advantage from a roadside location, simply because they would be located alongside routes used by large numbers of people. However, such uses normally depend on additional journeys being made, rather than simply serving the needs of people who are already travelling. Uses of that type are, therefore, more appropriate to town and service village centres (see policy R1), where a single trip can often fulfil several purposes. This policy does not, therefore, allow for that type of development.

7.26.

In considering planning applications for roadside services developments, the Council will be concerned to protect the countryside from unnecessary or poorly located/designed development, and to avoid impeding the free-flow of traffic through the proliferation of such facilities. The provisions of the Landscape & Wildlife and Historic Environment chapters, and of many Core Policies (particularly C3, C11, C13, C17, C18, C19, C20 and C21) may also be important in determining such applications.

POLICY T7 View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for developments that would not prevent or hinder the planned provision or improvement of desirable transport infrastructure. In particular, land required in connection with the construction and operation of the proposed Lincoln Eastern By-pass (as shown on the Proposals Map) will be safeguarded from any development that would prejudice the provision of that road.

Justification

7.27.

This policy applies to transport infrastructure (including the construction and/or improvement of roads, footpaths, cycle facilities, bus routes and railways, car parking and modal interchanges) planned and programmed for commencement during the period of this Local Plan or within a reasonable period thereafter. It is in the public interest (see policies T1 and T2) that such provision should be made and it is, therefore, inappropriate to permit development that would prevent or hinder the completion of such schemes.

7.28.

The safeguarding of the proposed Lincoln Eastern By-pass merits specific reference as this road scheme is considered to be of crucial importance to the resolution of transport problems in the Lincoln area.

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