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Chapter 7 Transport

Introduction

7.1 Transport and communications are essential to the well being and prosperity of any area. The ease with which people can move between their homes and centres of employment, shops and leisure facilities is important to the health of the local economy, as is the ease with which goods are transported. Access to the main national communications network is equally as important. To ease the burden of communications, it is the intention of this Plan to resist the dispersal of development in favour of more sustainable development that is less reliant on lengthy and costly travel. The location and distribution of various land uses directly affects the nature and intensity of transport flows. Hence, reducing the need to travel, especially by car, and to encourage the use of public transport, cycling and walking, has been a primary consideration when identifying land for development.

7.2 In developing transportation policies for inclusion in the Local Plan, regard has been given to Government Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 (PPG13), to the Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands (RSS8), the Derbyshire Local Transport Plan and the Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure Plan.

7.3 The District Council is not the transportation authority, and therefore has very limited control over highway or transport proposals. It is the County Council that is responsible for these matters. The County Council is also responsible for the encouragement of public transport. The District Council, as local planning authority, has a contribution to make towards the transport objectives of the region which can be influenced by policies and proposals in the Local Plan, and also by introducing proposals that can be included in the Local Transport Plan.

National Guidance

7.4 Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport (PPG13) (March 2001) sets out the Government’s latest policy guidance on transportation issues. The main objectives of this guidance are to provide improved access to jobs and services and efficient transport for economic prosperity whilst avoiding environmental damage. The guidance also sets out how the location, scale and density of development can help to reduce the need to travel, especially by car, and promotes the use of more sustainable transport choices for both personal and commercial use.

7.5 It gives a strong commitment to introducing measures that will reduce the impact of transport on the environment and influence the rate of traffic growth. In this respect the increased movement of freight by rail is encouraged. PPG13 emphasises the need to integrate transport and land use policies because the location and nature of development affect the amount and method of travel, and the pattern of development is itself influenced by the transport infrastructure and transport policies. PPG13 advises local authorities to co-ordinate their policies for transport and other forms of development and aim to reduce the need to travel, especially by car. It is on this basis that the aim of this Local Plan’s transport policies is formulated.

Regional Spatial Strategy

7.6 The Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands (March 2005) (RSS8) includes policies which promote a greater, more sustained reduction in car usage, including the development of travel plans, parking levies, road user charging and teleworking schemes. The promotion of public transport including alternative, more environmentally sound forms of transport and the transfer of freight delivery from road to rail are also key aspects of the Strategy.

Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure Plan (January 2001)

7.7 The Joint Structure Plan contains detailed guidance on transportation issues. It reinforces national and regional guidance relating to the location of land uses in relation to the transport network to minimise the need to travel, and to encourage the use of public transport, cycling and walking as alternatives to the use of the car, and to encourage increased movement of freight by rail to help relieve congestion on the roads. Specific proposals for the provision of new transport infrastructure are also set out in the Joint Structure Plan, including road schemes and public transport.

Derbyshire Local Transport Plan

7.8 The County Council has primary responsibility for transportation matters, and produces the Derbyshire Local Transport Plan in conjunction with all relevant district authorities. This document sets any key transport issues and outlines a number of transportation proposals for a five-year period.

South Pennines Integrated Transport Strategy

7.9 The Council is a partner in the South Pennines Integrated Transport Strategy (SPITS) which is led by the Peak District National Park. This strategy proposes measures to both reduce and manage traffic passing through the National Park, and includes proposals for the improvement of transport routes on the edge of the Park.

Highway Proposals

7.10 The main proposals for improvements to the road network within the district are set out below, by settlement.

Clay Cross

7.11 Clay Cross has for some time experienced traffic congestion on the A61. The road through the town is flanked on both sides by a number of accesses, side roads and shops for a considerable length. Current traffic flows cause road safety and environmental problems. Trends in vehicle ownership will only exacerbate the problem, which is likely to lead to severe delays and congestion on the road as it passes through Clay Cross Town Centre.

7.12 The principle of an A61 by-pass for Clay Cross has long been supported as part of providing a high standard strategic route between Chesterfield and Derby, as well as improving environmental conditions through Clay Cross. However, there are no proposals for major improvements on this section of the A61 in the foreseeable future. Consequently, there are no proposals for a by-pass and no specific route for a future by-pass is protected.

7.13 Another route in need of improvement is the A6175 which links the A61 through Clay Cross Town Centre with the M1. A scheme diverting part of this route within the Market Street area, relieving the town centre of traffic and allowing for pedestrianisation of the town centre, has previously been considered and the route protected in previous Local Plans. The scheme is highlighted in the Local Transport Plan and Structure Plan. Although the Local Transport Plan will contribute some funding, it is envisaged as being mainly developer funded through the Clay Cross Town Centre Redevelopment Scheme. Planning permission has been granted for this scheme which includes provision for the Diversion. It will provide for a more extensive east-west by-pass linking the A61 via Bridge Street and Furnace Hill Road with the A6175 at Egstow, east of the town centre. The road will also improve access to the proposed mixed use development at the former Biwaters site.

T1 Clay Cross Diversion

As part of the proposals for the Clay Cross town centre redevelopment scheme, the Council will negotiate for the construction of the A6175 Clay Cross Diversion. The route is protected, as shown on the Proposals Map.


7.14 A study carried out by the Civic Trust on the regeneration of Clay Cross concluded that highway improvements and upgrading of the town centre were at the heart of the town’s needs, if regeneration is to be achieved. Central to these recommendations was the provision of an improved environment for pedestrians, which could include pedestrianisation of the western sections of Market Street and the adjoining areas of Bridge Street and Eyre Street. Such considerations will be important factors in the continuing future redevelopment of Clay Cross town centre, to which the Council is committed.

7.15 The Council will continue to seek every opportunity to alleviate the impact of traffic passing through Clay Cross. The Town Centre Redevelopment Scheme (Policy SH1), and the development at Coney Green will, together, provide a new highway link between the A61, north of the town centre, and Pilsley Road. To the south of Clay Cross, the former Rainge opencast site has a long length of haul road in place from Morton Road. Connection of this haul road northward to Pilsley Road and southwards to the A61 south of Stretton would complete an eastern by-pass to the town. The Council will keep under review the potential of creating this route.

Dronfield

7.16 In 2001 consultants ‘Vantagepoint’ were appointed by the Council to undertake an area regeneration study of the Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate at Dronfield. The study identified that the single access to the Estate and the junction of Callywhite Lane, Green Lane and Chesterfield Road is substandard and is a significant constraint to the future development of the Estate. The report identified that a second access to the Estate off Chesterfield Road is required to facilitate regeneration. A second access is also required to serve additional employment land allocated under Policy E2. The Council will investigate all possible means of achieving a second access to Callywhite Lane.

Wingerworth

7.17 Reclamation and redevelopment of the former Avenue Coking Works, Wingerworth for mixed uses (Policy E4) may provide an opportunity to create a new highway link eastwards from the A61 via the B6038 and the new road to the A617 at Temple Normanton. Such a link would take industrial and other traffic direct to the M1 without the need to pass through Chesterfield. This scheme is not included in the Local Transport Plan.

Eckington

7.18 The proposed route for the Eckington by-pass is long standing, and has been on the agenda since the 1960s. However, due to a lack of financial resources, the scheme has not progressed further. It is not included in the Derbyshire Local Transport Plan, the Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure or any other public document and has, in effect, been abandoned. As a result, it is no longer proposed to protect a route for the scheme in this Plan.

Other Highway Schemes

Markham Vale

7.19 The Local Transport Plan includes funding for the construction of the new Junction 29a to serve the proposed large scale development at Markham Vale, part of which falls within North East Derbyshire District. Improvements to the local highway network will also be required. It is envisaged that this scheme will bring significant economic benefits to North East Derbyshire. This development will create an improved link between Staveley on the A619 and the M1. The Chesterfield-Staveley Regeneration Route, as identified in the Local Transport Plan, would tie into this link. Although just outside North East Derbyshire District, construction of these roads could reduce traffic flows through the district, thus improving the economic position of the area generally, and the position of Chesterfield as a sub-regional centre in particular.

The M1 Motorway

7.20 The stretch of motorway between junctions 28 and 32, which in part passes through the district, has been the subject of a larger M1 Multi-Modal Study undertaken on behalf of the Department for Transport. The Multi-Modal Study is now complete, and its final report recommends widening of the M1 to four lanes in each direction within North East Derbyshire, with additional climbing lanes where appropriate. The Secretary of State is to consider these recommendations in the context of comments received from the Regional Planning Body. The potential impact of these proposals on the surrounding environment is significant, particularly in respect of the section of the motorway which passes close to Hardwick Hall. The Council will seek to negotiate with developers to ensure that the impact on the environment is minimised.

The Impact of New Development on the Highway Network

7.21 The Council will seek to ensure that proposals for development are assessed in the light of environmental impact and road safety implications of traffic generation, and will seek specialist advice from Derbyshire County Council, as Highway Authority, in this respect. Housing, retail, employment, leisure and recreation developments should be located in areas that are served by, or with the potential to be served by, frequent and reliable public transport services.

7.22 Where it is clear that the proposed development would be likely to worsen traffic problems on the highway network, planning permission will normally be refused unless the applicant or developer would be willing to provide the finances for the works necessary to alleviate the problem through a Section 106 Obligation.

T2 Highway Access and the Impact of New Development

Planning permission will only be granted for development which includes access by vehicles provided that:

(a) the development would be served by a safe access with appropriate gradient, width, alignment and visibility;

(b) the site is accessible to a road network of adequate standard to accommodate the anticipated traffic generated by the development safely and without detriment to the character of the road network;

(c) there is satisfactory provision within the site for access, manoeuvring and circulation;

(d) there is no significant adverse impact on the environment or amenity of local communities; and

(e) the needs of pedestrians, people with disabilities, cyclists and public transport users are also taken into account.


7.23 Where a proposed development would generate significant travel movements or traffic impact, the Council will require developers to submit a transport assessment showing the impact of their proposals on the existing highway network and setting out measures to offset any adverse impact including, where appropriate, through the implementation of a travel plan.

Traffic Management

7.24 Traffic management measures can be used to make best use of existing highways, alleviate environmental and safety problems, improve traffic flows, reduce congestion, improve road safety for all road users, improve the environment of the town and village centres and residential areas caused by through traffic, parking/servicing difficulties, and conflicts between users. The measures can include route sign posting, differential surfacing, pedestrian crossing facilities, traffic regulation orders, or special parking schemes. Any schemes should have regard to the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, as well as car users.

T3 Traffic Management

The Council will seek to secure, where appropriate, the provision of, or financial contributions towards the implementation of traffic management measures which arise from the impact of new development. These will seek to reduce congestion and pollution, increase road safety for all road users, giving greater priority to buses, pedestrians and cyclists and minimise the impact of traffic on the environment.


Travel Plans

7.25 Travel Plans include measures to promote cleaner travel choices and reduce reliance on the car. They involve the development of mechanisms, initiatives and targets that will enable an organisation to reduce the impact of travel and transport on the environment and, at the same time, bring other benefits to the organisation.

T4 Travel Plans

The Council will require applications for development to be supported by a travel plan in the following circumstances:

(a) for all *major developments comprising jobs, retail, leisure and services;

(b) for smaller developments comprising jobs, retail, leisure and services which would generate significant amounts of travel in locations where there are local initiatives or targets set out in the Local Transport Plan or Development Plan for the reduction of traffic or the promotion of public transport, walking and cycling;

(c) for new and expanded school facilities which should be accompanied by a school travel plan which promotes safe cycle and walking routes, restricts parking and car access at and around schools, and includes, on site changing facilities and cycle storage facilities; and

(d) where a travel plan would help to address a particular traffic problem which would otherwise lead to a refusal of planning permission on local traffic grounds.

* Major Developments means retail and leisure developments over 1000sq.m gross floorspace and employment developments greater than 2500sq.m. gross floorspace.


Walking and Cycling

7.26 One way of achieving sustainable development is to encourage people to use alternative forms of transport to the car. Walking and cycling are cheap, healthy forms of transport, which also make a positive contribution to improving local and global environmental quality. In order to encourage a greater number of journeys to be undertaken by foot or cycle, it will be important that the Council continues to promote the development of a network of footpath and cycle routes throughout the district. Measures to make walking and cycling safer and more attractive forms of transport will also be encouraged, including cycle and pedestrian priority measures, secure cycle parking facilities and the provision of changing facilities at places of employment and in town centres. Such improvements will be negotiated through Section 106 Obligations in conjunction with proposals for new development.

7.27 The Council is a partner in the East Derbyshire Greenways Strategy that promotes the development of strategic multi-user routes. Linking rural areas to the major centres of population, these routes have the greatest potential for encouraging more journeys to be undertaken by foot, cycle or horse, and for reducing the number of journeys taken by car. In the north of the district, an offshoot of the recently completed Trans Pennine Trail runs through Killamarsh and Renishaw to Chesterfield, the terminus of the southern spur of the route. In the south of the district, the Five Pits Trail is another multi-purpose route. This runs through the parishes of Pilsley, Holmewood, North Wingfield and Grassmoor. It is proposed that these will connect with other existing and planned routes within, and beyond, the Plan boundary in order to provide a coordinated cross boundary approach.

7.28 The National Cycle Network is being developed by Sustrans, a registered charity that designs and builds traffic-free routes for cyclists, walkers and disabled people. An offshoot of the network will link through the Plan area utilising the Chesterfield Canal and the Trans Pennine Trail, and linking with the Five Pits Trail to the south. The Council fully supports the project that may act as an arterial route for a more local network.

7.29 The County Cycle Network is currently mainly based on the Greenways network. Over the next ten years, however, the aim is to expand this into a continuous County Cycle Network. For North East Derbyshire District, this will involve the development of a route from Chesterfield, north to Dronfield, and on to Sheffield.

7.30 In 1998, the Council adopted a Local Cycling Strategy. This complements the County Council’s Cycling Strategy in seeking to promote cycling as an alternative to the car and as a recreational activity, and seeks to promote the provision of a network of cycle routes across the district. The Council will continue to safeguard the route for the Dronfield Cycle Network.

T5 Walking & Cycling

The Council will seek to develop and improve routes and facilities for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, including those routes defined on the Proposals Map.

In conjunction with proposals for development, the Council will seek to secure, where appropriate, the provision of measures to improve footpaths, bridleways and cycleways. Designated routes, as defined on the Proposals Map, will be protected from development.


Public Transport

7.31 Even with increasing car ownership, public transport remains essential to substantial numbers of households without cars or to those members of households where the family car is not available to them. The need is as great in rural areas as it is in towns.

7.32 The Council considers it important to develop a comprehensive network of passenger transport services to meet the needs of the whole community but in particular those of women, children and people with disabilities in order to help prevent social isolation. Rural settlements often have infrequent bus services, which can exacerbate problems of rural isolation for those without access to a private car. The maintenance and, where possible, the enhancement of these bus services, serving local communities is considered essential to the regeneration and future well being of the area.

7.33 The Council does not normally subsidise bus services, but does financially assist certain groups of bus passengers through the issue of bus passes. Wherever possible and appropriate, the Council will seek improvements to public transport services and facilities in conjunction with development proposals.

7.34 The Council supports the increased use of rail as a mode of transport to reduce reliance on the private car. Currently, the only passenger railway station in the Plan area is at Dronfield. This station reopened with District and County financial assistance. Financial support of peak hour services between Chesterfield and Sheffield continues. The Council considers that significant potential exists to increase the number of services operating from Dronfield. The Council will support proposals that seek to achieve this aim.

7.35 The Council also welcomes initiatives to develop and extend rail services within the district as a whole. The County Council has undertaken a feasibility study to investigate the possibility of providing a railway station in the Clay Cross area. Where appropriate, the District Council will seek improvements to public transport provision through Section 106 Obligations in conjunction with proposals for new development.

T6 Public Transport

Public transport facilities will be improved wherever opportunities arise. This will be primarily through the development control process, but may also include environmental improvement schemes and traffic management. New developments should be designed in such a way as to ensure that, wherever possible, public transport facilities are within convenient distance of the whole site. In conjunction with proposals for development, the Council will seek to negotiate S106 Obligations to secure, where appropriate, the provision of, or financial contributions towards, measures to improve public transport services.


Rail Freight

7.36 PPG13 sets out that local authorities should seek to identify and protect sites and routes that could help in facilitating a transfer of freight movement from road to rail. Proposals for new development adjacent to railways can increase opportunities for moving freight by rail. In conjunction with such proposals, the Council will seek to negotiate the provision of suitable facilities to enable the transportation of freight by rail.

T7 Rail Freight

In conjunction with proposals for development adjacent to railway lines, the Council will seek to negotiate the provision of suitable infrastructure to facilitate the transportation of freight by rail.


Disused Transport Routes

7.37 PPG13 encourages local authorities to protect redundant transport routes for either the re-establishment of their former use for passenger or freight movement, or for the provision of new footpath or cycle routes.

7.38 The legacy of coal mining has left a number of disused rail routes throughout the district. These could be put to beneficial use once again in order to increase freight movement by rail, and reduce the number of journeys made by road. The Council will liaise with Network Rail and the Strategic Rail Authority in respect of the protection and re-use of rail routes for the purpose of encouraging the increased movement of freight by rail.

7.39 A number of former transport routes are already in use as recreational trails within the district, including the Five Pits Trail and the former Beighton-Staveley Railway which forms the southern spur of the Trans Pennine Trail. The route of the Chesterfield Canal is currently being restored, and sections are being utilised by the Trans Pennine Trail and the National Cycle Network. The Council will continue to support the re-use of further routes when the opportunities arise. Proposals for the re-opening of former transport routes should recognise that such routes are now often important for their nature conservation value.

T8 Disused Transport Routes

The Council will protect disused transport routes from development which would prejudice either the re-establishment of their original use for passenger or freight movements or, where appropriate, their re-use for recreational purposes.


Car Parking

7.40 PPG13 sets out national maximum parking standards for various forms of land use and development. It advises that car parking provision for developments which are either readily accessible to public car parking or which are well served by public transport should be significantly below the maximum standards. The Council has revised its car parking standards, in accordance with the guidelines set out in PPG13 and RSS8 (see Appendix 4).

7.41 PPG13 also encourages local authorities to consider the need for more rigorous standards, where this could help to reduce dependency on the car.

7.42 As part of the objective of promoting sustainable forms of development, the Local Plan, as guided by PPG13, seeks to reduce the adverse impact of transport on the environment. Despite increasing car ownership, the reliance on the car for work and other journeys needs to be discouraged where there are effective alternatives. Parking provision for new development and other on or off-street parking proposals sought by the Council will reflect the need to balance the legitimate operational requirements of any development with wider environmental considerations.

7.43 In a predominantly rural area however, private car usage will remain an important means of travel for a significant part of the resident population. The provision of adequate car parking will continue to have a direct effect on the attractiveness of facilities and town centres to users. It can, in extreme cases, influence the viability of commercial undertakings. Similarly inadequate parking provision within residential areas causes congestion and other environmental disbenefits.

7.44 Many residential areas were not designed for current levels of car ownership and usage. Every opportunity will be sought to alleviate the problem through increasing off-street parking by taking full advantage of redevelopment proposals. Schemes for the careful management of on-street parking will also be considered along with other traffic management measures.

7.45 The growth in car ownership has led to an increasing awareness of the need to mitigate the worst effects of increased traffic movements. The existing availability of car parking has a major influence on the choice of means of transport. To assist the provision of good quality alternative forms of transport the Council will seek to use financial contributions to fund improvements in public transport and the provision of facilities for cycling and walking. In order to help sustain the vitality and viability of the district’s major shopping and commercial centres the Council continues to provide free car parking in Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh.

T9 Car Parking Provision

In considering proposals for development, the Council will have regard to the maximum parking standards set out in Appendix 4. In cases where development is proposed in locations which are either readily accessible to public car parking or which are well served by public transport, the Council will seek to ensure that levels of additional car parking provision are significantly below the maximum standards.


7.46 In Dronfield, the extension of the existing car park to the east of the railway station onto the remainder of the former goods yard will encourage greater use of the station through park and ride initiatives, and will also provide much needed additional off-road parking spaces to serve the adjoining Chesterfield Road and Sheffield Road commercial area, thus improving the vitality and viability of this area. Network Rail has indicated that the current parking area is adequate for the current amount of passenger travel. Therefore, current temporary uses operating from the site will be allowed to continue until such time as the site is required for car parking.

T10 Car Park, Dronfield Station

Planning permission will be granted for the development of the remainder of the former goods yard to the east of Dronfield station for the provision of public car parking, when the need arises. In the meantime, temporary uses may be appropriate.

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