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Chapter 8
8.1 Objectives
  1. To reduce the adverse impact of transport on the environment.
  2. To meet the economic and social needs of the District.
  3. To decrease traffic created by new development by providing or funding a choice of transport modes, integrating land use planning and locating development in accessible areas that would create the least traffic.
  4. To raise awareness and encourage alternative and more sustainable forms of transport to the private car.
  5. To improve mobility and accessibility for all members of the community; promoting initiatives to reduce the need to travel, locating development in or near to the hatches and neighbourhoods to obtain the best possible use from public transport, pedestrian and cycle networks.
  6. To improve user safety and personal security.
  7. To integrate transport strategy with development plan policies and proposals.
8.2 Introduction
8.2.1 The Transport objectives, policies and proposals of the Local Plan complement the Government’s policies for transport and the policies in RPG9, including the PAER status, and interpret them at a local level. They are also closely associated with the Structure Plan and the Local Transport Plan – Harlow Area Transport Strategy (HATS).
8.2.2 HATS sets out the contribution that Harlow aims to make to the targets set out in the Essex County Council Local Transport Plan, and to the national target of achieving a sustainable and integrated transport system at a local level, so that a more sustainable balance is created between all modes of transport, private and public, whilst not restricting the ability to travel.
8.2.3 The Local Plan contains the land use policies to underpin proposals contained within HATS which directly involve the development or use of land or have land use implications. HATS contains policies, objectives and initiatives for the period 2001-2005.
8.2.4 Regional investments and issues which will have transport impacts within the plan period are the West Anglia Route modernisation, any expansion at Stansted Airport and any outcomes from the London-Stansted-Cambridge Study and London-South Midlands Multi Modal Study. The London to Ipswich Multi Model Study (LOIS) proposed:
  a) A new rail link between Chelmsford and Epping via Ongar with links to Stratford and possibly Cross Rail 2 at Kings Cross;
  b) A rail link via Harlow/Sawbridgeworth to Stansted Airport;
  c) The A414 to Dual 2 Standard between A12 and Harlow.
8.3 Local Transport Plan Strategy for Harlow
8.3.1 In order to improve the transport network in Harlow the ‘Local Transport Strategy’ has been developed, and adopted by the Council. This lists a programme of policies, objectives and initiatives for the period 2001-2005. This document is closely linked to, and complements, the Local Plan.
8.3.2 The Strategy identifies four corridors and details the improvements to be made in each of them. This includes measures to improve public transport, cycling and walking facilities, complemented by demand management and accident reduction measures. These measures and identified corridors are in the ‘Harlow Area Transport Strategy’.
8.4 Reducing The Need To Travel
8.4.1 Transport demands have grown considerably in Harlow over the life of the Local Plan Adopted in 1995, and these demands will increase with new developments proposed as part of this Local Plan. Recent changes in the Government’s attitude to transport were set out in the White Paper “A New Deal For Transport: Better For Everyone” in July 1998. This moved the emphasis away from the road building programme, and accommodating the needs of the private car in new developments, to a more integrated and sustainable approach.
8.4.2 It is essential for reasons of economic prosperity and the environment that there is multi-modal accessibility to new developments generating the equivalent of 50 passenger car units or more during the peak hour, this constitutes a major generator of travel demand. This policy complements other policies in the Local Plan for development to be located in accordance with the sequential test.
T1 The sustainable transport strategy will continue to be developed and implemented. The demand for travel needs to be managed and integrated with land use planning. Therefore planning permission for new developments that are major generators of travel demand will only be granted if the development is located in existing centres, or in other locations that are well served by public transport and accessible for people walking and cycling or provides funding for public transport.
8.5 Promoting Accessible Development
8.5.1 The access needs and transport implications of all development proposals will be fully considered. They should make adequate provision for the access requirements of all prospective users, in addition those modes of travel should be promoted which minimise environmental impact and promote social inclusion, which means giving greater priority to walking, cycling, public transport and meeting the needs of disabled people.
8.5.2 The modal hierarchy in Policy T2 will be used to ensure that all decisions consider their effect on walking, cycling, etc. in a development’s layout and design and that priority is given to higher ranking modes (e.g. pedestrians and disabled people) where appropriate, and particularly if all modes cannot be satisfactorily accommodated.
T2 New development should be accessible by all forms of travel with complete integration with existing transport networks, including provision for disabled people, pedestrian and cycle routes, passenger transport and road traffic. The Council will require barriers to movement between new development and adjacent areas to be reduced through good design and layout, particularly for walking and cycling, and will consider the needs of different types of transport in relation to the ranking in the following modal hierarchy:
  1. Pedestrians and disabled people;
  2. Cyclists;
  3. Public transport users, including trains, buses, coaches and taxis/private hire vehicles;
  4. Powered two wheeled vehicles;
  5. Rail freight;
  6. Commercial business users (including deliveries and heavy goods vehicles);
  7. Car borne shoppers and visitors;
  8. Car borne commuters.
8.6 Transport Impact Assessments
8.6.1 For major developments which will create a significant increase in the demand for travel a “Transport Impact Assessment” (TIA) will be required. This should explain how the proposed development contributes to the objective of reducing the need to travel, and encourage a greater proportion of trips to be made by sustainable means of transport. The scope and content of TIA’s will vary according to the location, nature of the proposed development and its impact on the transport network. TIA’s will generally be required for developments generating the equivalent of 50 passenger car units or more.
8.6.2 The Structure Plan requires Local Plans to assess the wider cumulative effect of existing and committed development on the environment and the multi-modal capacity of the transport system. This is achieved through HATS, the Environmental Appraisal and other policies in this Local Plan.
8.6.3 Where appropriate the Council will negotiate with developers to secure contributions to either on or off-site transport improvements. This can include improvements and new connections to the cycleways/footpath network, public transport infrastructure, interchange facilities, new bus services, telematics, and improvements to the highway including highway verges. Contributions should be related to measures that meet the objectives of the HATS package.
T3 Applicants for all major developments which will generate the equivalent of 50 passenger car units or more per hour will be required to produce a comprehensive Transport Impact Assessment which effectively demonstrates:
  1. How and to what extent the development will minimise the duration and number of journeys;
  2. How the development will encourage a greater proportion of journeys to be made by modes other than the private car;
  3. How movement generated by the development can be accommodated on the surrounding transport network;
  4. How the transport needs of the development can be accommodated whilst maintaining or improving road safety and the surrounding environmental conditions for the local community.
  Where significant impacts are identified, development will be refused unless measures to reduce these impacts to acceptable levels are provided.
8.7 Green Commuter Plans
8.7.1 In April 1999 the Council adopted an interim policy statement for “Green Commuter Plans” (GCP), which sets out a package of measures to minimise the negative impact on the environment of travel to and from the workplace. This statement is now included in the Local Plan as policy. PPG13 states that Travel Plans that deliver sustainable transport objectives should be submitted alongside applications, this applies to developments falling into the categories in the policy. This is also a key initiative within HATS. Guidance on the measures in a GCP will be set out in Supplementary Planning Guidance.
T4 Applicants will be required to produce a Green Commuter Plan for all applications for planning permission for both new and expanding employment generating developments as follows:
  1. Development at which 30+ staff will be employed;
  2. Extensions to existing car parks by 10+ parking spaces;
  3. Extensions of existing premises that would result in 10+ extra staff being employed and an overall staff of 30+ being employed;
  4. Other instances where the location and/or nature of the development are particularly sensitive.
  In cases of speculative or outline developments a planning condition will be imposed, requiring businesses to submit and agree their Green Commuter Plan prior to occupation of the site. Developers may be expected to enter into a legal agreement to ensure that the measures in the Green Commuter Plan are implemented. The aim is to ensure the delivery of sustainable transport objectives.
8.8 Design in Reducing the Need to Travel
8.8.1 The length and number of trips can be reduced through the use of design. Good layout in the form of urban structure and landscape can enable easy access to local facilities e.g. by avoiding impermeable cul de sacs, and by encouraging people to walk or cycle as an alternative to the private car. Development will be encouraged to use measures that reduce the dominant environmental impact of the car in areas that are well served by means of travel other than the car.
T5 Development proposals with innovative layouts and mixed land uses that reduce the length and number of journeys undertaken by the private car will be granted planning permission.
8.9 Cycling and Walking
8.9.1 Harlow is ideally suited to cycling and walking, it is a compact urban area, and has an extensive cycleway and footpath network. It is estimated that 40% of journeys to work in Harlow currently made by car are less than 3km in length, many of these could easily be made by bicycle or on foot. It is the Council's intention to promote walking and cycling especially for journeys of shorter distances, as the most environmentally friendly way to travel, as a leisure activity and to improve people's health. Within HATS the targets in the National Cycling Strategy have also been adopted.
8.9.2 Cycling and walking will be promoted as an alternative to using the car by:
  • The provision of a safe and convenient network of cycle and pedestrian routes linking homes, workplaces, community facilities and transport interchanges;
  • Safeguarding and improving the existing public rights of way and cycleway networks and making major destinations more accessible for walkers and cyclists;
  • New development will be required to make convenient and safe provision for cyclists and pedestrians, including consideration to the provision of new footpaths and cycleways adjacent and within any site, particularly near principal or secondary routes; and connection of the development to the existing public rights of way and cycleway network where necessary;
  • The need for related facilities will also be considered, including adequate lighting and using junctions priority and other traffic management measures to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians;
  • Passenger transport companies will be encouraged to accommodate cycles on trains and buses, provide good access, secure cycle parking facilities, and provide information and sign posting on the cycle networks at public transport interchanges.
8.9.3 Cycling is more likely to be the preferred method of travel where there is adequate provision for cyclist facilities and to safely secure bicycles.
T6 New developments including redevelopments, changes of use and town centre and transport interchange improvements will be required to provide:
  1. Appropriate safe, direct cycleways within the development;
  2. Where appropriate, contributions to improve and develop cycleways serving the development;
  3. Where appropriate, links to the existing cycleway network;
  4. Safe, secure and convenient cycle storage in accordance with the “Adopted Vehicle Parking Standards”;
  5. Where appropriate, other facilities for cyclists such as employee showers, lockers and information and maintenance points.
8.9.4 Extensions to the existing cycleway network are proposed in HATS.
T7 The following improvements will be made to the cycle network within the Local Plan period, as indicated on the Proposals Map:
Ref.No. Cycleway
Town Centre Cycleway
Southern Way Cycleway
Edinburgh Way Cycleway
8.10 Passenger Transport
8.10.1 The Council recognises the important role public transport plays in meeting the demand for travel, reducing traffic congestion and improving the environment. Its direct role in the provision of passenger transport services is very limited, however measures that will increase the use of bus and rail, or improve services, will be supported and encouraged.
8.10.2 A “Quality Bus Partnership” is being developed in HATS. The objectives of this partnership are to identify quality bus corridors, determine infrastructure, service and vehicle improvements, consider demand management measures required to complement any improvements, identify funding responsibilities, programme works, and implement and review proposals. The strategy for buses is to improve their speed and reliability through the use of express bus routes, and priority at traffic signals and junctions.
8.10.3 Passenger facilities at transport interchanges are to be improved. The development of the Bus Terminus as a key transport interchange to provide an attractive sheltered area for passengers is a high priority. Proposals to improve Harlow Town Railway Station include improved station facilities, priority for buses, pedestrians, cyclists and passengers, improved passenger information, cycling facilities, access and facilities for disabled people, and parking. Harlow Mill Station requires improvements to create safe and attractive passenger facilities. The wider use of CCTV, design initiatives and other measures to increase personal safety at all interchanges will be encouraged.
8.10.4 Developments will be required to make appropriate provision for rail, bus and taxi use and should take account of the need for wider improvements to passenger transport. If a development is to be served by public transport, the Council will negotiate with the developer or impose conditions on any planning permission to secure adequate provision for access and facilities. A safe, reliable and convenient network of passenger transport services, which meets the needs of the community and encourages social inclusion, will be promoted in partnership with transport agencies and operators. The Council will seek improvements to public transport facilities when major new developments as defined for TIA are proposed and ensure public transport is provided at the early stages of such schemes. This will benefit Harlow and can act as a catalyst to attract further business. The access to any new developments by public transport should also be as convenient as possible to encourage use.
8.10.5 Particular priorities will include:
  • Raising the standard of accessibility to passenger transport services through the better design of infrastructure;
  • Introducing measures such as bus priority;
  • Improved passenger transport co-ordination and integration;
  • Improved interchange facilities for passengers;
  • Improved responsive time tabling and service reliability;
  • ICT investment;
  • Raised awareness and an increase in the availability of information.
T8 The Council will secure the provision of adequate public transport access and facilities at major developments by means of negotiations with developers and/or the imposition of conditions on planning permissions.
  These negotiations and/or conditions will ensure that access improvements and facilities are provided at an early stage of the development process, or as otherwise identified through a Transport Impact Assessment.
8.11 Vehicle Parking
8.11.1 Government Policy as set out in PPG13 (Transport) requires development plans to set maximum levels of car parking for broad classes of development which will encourage sustainable transport choices and promote development in locations which are well served by public transport, walking and cycling. The PPG encourages the adoption of more rigorous parking standards where this is considered appropriate. The parking standards for Essex have been reviewed, with a view to reducing the level of parking provision for new developments in general, especially on sites that are readily accessible by public transport and modes of transport other than the car. This aims to support and encourage sustainable transport choices. The standards adopted in the RHLP are derived from the Essex Vehicle Parking Standards.
8.11.2 To allow for flexibility in car parking provision the Council will encourage developers of town centre sites and other appropriate locations to enter into agreements, either for the provision of their non-operational car parks in publicly controlled car parks, or for commuted payment for reductions in car parking provision to provide for other schemes in HATS.
8.11.3 The provision of adequate parking for the needs of disabled people is essential as part of developments. Also required are facilities for motorcycles. Parking for disabled people and for two wheeled powered vehicles shall be in accordance with the adopted "Essex Vehicle Parking Standards". Other facilities shall be considered, such as lockers, information and maintenance points (which may be shared with cyclists).
T9 Vehicle parking for new developments shall be provided in accordance with the adopted Vehicle Parking Standards. These Standards are expressed as a maximum, and justification will be required for the amount of car parking proposed on the basis of operational needs and, if applicable, a Green Commuter Plan.
  Where the amount of on-site car parking can be reduced, a contribution may be sought by negotiation from developers for use on schemes within the Harlow Area Transport Strategy.
  Adopted Vehicle Parking Standards are included at Appendix 2.
8.12 Road Planning
8.12.1 PPG13 states that local authorities should include in the Local Plan all schemes in the published trunk road programme, giving an indication of their priority and timing where known, and also states that abandoned road schemes should be listed. The Structure Plan does not identify any planned improvements to the primary route network within Harlow.
8.12.2 The regional ‘London Stansted Cambridge Study’ has identified that the re-routing of the A414 is important as part of the regeneration of Harlow. This in principle is supported by the Council but is subject to any alternative route being environmentally acceptable and having proven economic and community benefits. It is unlikely that such a scheme will be programmed within this Local Plan period up to 2011.
8.12.3 Including the A414 and related issues, major new highway improvement will not generally be permitted, except where it is essential for regeneration of the town, related to major development or comprehensive redevelopment, or to assist a package of transport and environmental improvement measures. In such cases their environmental and community impact must be acceptable. Minor highway improvements will be carried out to improve road safety, access for all modes of transport, and the environment. Where highway improvements are required by new development the works should be funded by the developer.
T10 Highway construction and improvement proposals will be considered as follows:
  1. Proposals for major new highway and improvement schemes will not be permitted, except where they are essential to facilitate major new development, the regeneration of Harlow or comprehensive redevelopment as part of a package of transport and environmental measures which have taken into consideration the environment and community impact;
  2. Where they implement measures to support passenger transport, cycling, pedestrians and improve road safety; or support environmental improvement schemes;
  3. Where minor highway improvements will be implemented to improve road safety, improve conditions for pedestrians, cyclists, disabled people and passenger transport, and improve the environment of the town.
8.12.4 In new developments although the aim is to minimise car usage, for safety and to reduce impact on adjacent roads, suitable new access roads to the main highway are required to be provided by the developer.
8.12.5 The new road link for Newhall to the A414 is indicated on the Proposals Map. This route is indicative until detailed proposals are submitted for the development at Mark Hall School which will then identify the exact line of the road.
T11 A link road from Newhall to the highway network, the A414, is required.
8.13 Traffic Calming and Management
8.13.1 Traffic calming has been used in an effort to achieve a better environment for many residential areas in the town. Its benefits include a reduction in accidents, traffic noise, and through traffic, and it therefore encourages walking and cycling. Throughout the District, the introduction of additional traffic calming measures will be supported.
8.13.2 The Council wishes to support appropriate measures to relieve congestion in Harlow. Measures such as the allocation of bus lanes, bus priority measures, cycling and walking facilities especially at junctions will be encouraged. Other measures such as junction improvements, road widening and dualling could be considered if appropriate.
8.13.3 In many medium and high-density residential areas cars dominate the streets creating a hostile, often dangerous community environment where people are discouraged from using the street for anything other than a car park. The Council has in the past improved environments through the 'New Streets' scheme, but now the government and council are welcoming a newer initiative called 'Home Zones'. This is an initiative where a street or group of streets is redesigned so pedestrians have priority and cars travel at little more than walking pace. Drivers are forced to drive slowly by features such as speed tables, road pinching, trees and bushes and extended pavement areas where people can sit and children can play. The design guidance is set out in the "Essex Design Guide for Residential and Mixed Use Areas." The creation of 'Home Zones' will be encouraged in consultation with the local community, with the aim to change the way that streets are used and to improve the quality of life in residential streets by making them places for people, not just for traffic."
T12 Where practicable, new highways will be required to incorporate traffic calming and other traffic management measures.
8.14 Freight
8.14.1 Most of the freight carried through Harlow is taken by road; this is associated with problems of pollution, noise, vibration, and an increase in the demand for road space. PPG13 advises that the carriage of freight by rail or water rather than by road should be encouraged if it can provide a viable alternative.
8.14.2 Harlow is fortunate in that it is served by a railway which is adjacent to one of the town’s major employment areas. Wherever there is a viable alternative to road based transport, sites for freight handling should be in locations that are well served by both road and other means of transport. Notwithstanding, it is likely that in the foreseeable future the majority of freight will be carried by road, and development which attracts significant amount of freight should be located where they have ready access to the Primary Route Network (A414), as specified in the Economic Regeneration Chapter.
T13 The movement of freight will be provided for as follows:
  1. Development with significant freight or goods movement should be located where there is the potential for rail access. Otherwise, such development should be located where there is ready access to roads higher in the road hierarchy and where heavy goods vehicles are less likely to affect the surrounding area;
  2. Existing and potential rail freight facilities are to be safeguarded, particularly if adjacent to or near the existing rail network.
8.14.3 There are limited opportunities in Harlow to achieve new rail freight facilities. In order to meet the requirements of PPG13 these facilities need to be safeguarded. Harlow has an existing rail freight site at Harlow Mill which is safeguarded to ensure the opportunity to provide rail freight facilities in the future. Investment in new infrastructure will therefore be encouraged. Operational redundancy can only be taken into consideration if another potential site can be identified.
T14 The existing railway sidings at Harlow Mill are allocated, and thereby safeguarded for future use as a Rail Freight Facility.
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