Docstoc

Transport

Document Sample
Transport Powered By Docstoc
					                            TRANSPORT

 1       Background


6.1.1 The Staffordshire Moorlands is a predominantly rural District, comprising
      the NE of Staffordshire lying between the North Staffs conurbation and the
      Peak District. Covering an area of 222 square miles the majority of the
      94,489 population (about 55%) live in the three market towns of Leek
      (19,880), Cheadle (12,166) and Biddulph (19,512). 1 (The above figures
      do not include the Peak Park area). The Moorlands has a slightly lower
      unemployment rate than nationally [further information relating to
      employment levels can be found in the Employment Issues paper].

6.1.2 These three towns have close links with larger population areas within a
      „travel to work‟ radius such as the North Staffordshire conurbation,
      Macclesfield, and Greater Manchester. Major roads in the District include
      links between Leek and Stoke, Macclesfield, Ashbourne and Buxton;
      Biddulph to Stoke and Congleton; and Cheadle to Stoke, Uttoxeter and
      Ashbourne.

      Car, Bus and Rail

      Car

6.1.3 Car ownership within the District is significantly higher than the England
      average: 83.1% of Moorlands2 households have at least one car,
      compared to 73.2% across England. However within the District there are
      notable pockets falling below this, such as certain “disadvantaged” wards
      including Leek North (67.5%), Biddulph East (70%) and Cheadle North
      East (77.2%).

      Bus

6.1.4 There are at least 18 private bus operators running services throughout
      the District (many services are under contract from Staffordshire County
      Council).          There       are    services      from     Hanley    to
      Leek/Werrington/Endon/Caverswall (at frequency 25mins-2 hr+). Other
      services connect Hanley to the fringe Moorlands villages only, at similar
      frequencies. There is a complete Macclesfield-Leek-Ashbourne service
      5/times a day; with less frequent connections to Stockport and Derby.

6.1.5 There are limited routes that serve rural areas in the Moorlands, and these
      are generally much less frequent. These include:

        Leek-Buxton-Bakewell (3 hourly)
        a Warslow link to Sheffield via Peak Park villages (twice daily);
        other routes connecting Peak Park villages to Leek, Ashbourne or
         Buxton (1.5 hours- once a day)


                                                                                1
         “dial a bus” schemes such as Moorlands Traveller and Moorlands
          Traveller East which serve the rural areas of the District east of Leek.

6.1.6 Three services connect Leek with Biddulph (Leek-Biddulph-Congleton,
      Leek-Biddulph Moor-Biddulph, and Leek-Rudyard-Biddulph-Congleton),
      however these are relatively infrequent services. Baker Bus provides a
      regular (30 min) service between Biddulph and Hanley. A quality
      partnership route connects Werrington and Cheadle with Hanley and
      Uttoxeter 7/times each day. Another route links Cheadle with Weston
      Coyney and Uttoxeter. However only one service links Leek with Cheadle
      (9 times a day).

      Rail

6.1.7 At present the District only has one public railway station, at Blythe Bridge,
      along the Stoke to Derby line. Regular services link Blythe Bridge to Stoke
      (between 45mins- 1hr 40m frequency, Mon – Sat, dependent on time of
      day; on Sunday there are less frequent services). There are however
      tourist/leisure rail facilities at Churnet Valley and Foxfield.

      Journey to Work Patterns

      Work Journeys out of the Moorlands2

6.1.8 2003 Ward data1 reveals that out of the 45,724 employees recorded as
      resident in the Moorlands:
           23,574 (51.56%) of these worked within the District2
           12,233 (26.75%) worked within the North Staffordshire conurbation
           Other significant clusters include work-journeys to Congleton (1,989
            or 4.35%), Stafford (1,630 or 3.56%), Macclesfield (1,212 or
            2.65%), and adjacent rural areas.

     Work Journeys into and within the Moorlands2

6.1.9 2003 Ward data1 reveals that out of approximately 31,684 employees
      recorded as working in the Moorlands:

      23,574 (74.40%) of these were resident in the Moorlands2; versus 8,110
       (25.60%) employees commuting into the Moorlands2. Of the 8110
       employees commuting into the District, notable clusters include workers
       from: the North Staffordshire conurbation (4,882 or 60%); Stafford
       (533); Congleton (488) and Macclesfield (186).
      58.47% of people working in the Moorlands2 worked in the three main
       towns. Leek accounted for 32.17% of this total, Biddulph and Cheadle
       combined about 26.3%. The remaining 41.53% worked in the remainder
       of the District2 .
      These three towns exhibit high incidences of employing local workforces,
       with approximately 54.62% of all Leek employees resident in Leek 5. The
       respective figure for Biddulph is 68.80% and Cheadle 49.69% 5. However



                                                                                   2
       the employment linkages between the three towns are much less
       pronounced.
      In places homeworking is also significant. In Biddulph for example this
       represents 21.62% of all those working in Biddulph (the District-wide
       figure is 16.23%).

      Outside Leek, Cheadle and Biddulph

6.1.10 In the rural areas of the District outside the three main towns, the travel to
       work patterns are more complex. This “rural area” contains a number of
       larger villages including Blythe Bridge/Forsbrook, Werrington/Cellarhead,
       Cheddleton, Brown Edge, Endon, Upper Tean etc., and accounts for about
       a third of District-based jobs. About 16.25% of employees working in this
       area, originate from the North Staffordshire conurbation; 15.39% from
       Leek, Cheadle and Biddulph combined; and the remaining 57.84% from
       somewhere within the District beyond the three towns.

6.1.11 The reason for this overall picture is unclear, however it may be explicable
       by those residents of the larger villages (Werrington, Forsbrook etc)
       working in these, or adjacent settlements within the District, rather than in
       what may appear on the face of it to be “rural employment”. The 16.25%
       figure may be explicable by for example, in-commuting from the
       conurbation to peripheral villages such as Werrington/Cellarhead, Blythe
       Bridge/Forsbrook, Endon, Brown Edge etc. An even greater number of
       people from this area (that is the Moorlands outside the three main towns)
       travel to the North Staffs conurbation to work - about 61% of all journeys
       out of the Moorlands. However, incidences of homeworking within this
       area is also significant (at 23.76%).

6.1.12 The pie chart below illustrates a breakdown of work destinations of those
       workers resident in the Moorlands2. Note that “North Staffs” refers to the
       North Staffordshire conurbation of Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle under
       Lyme.


              Work Destinations of Staffordshire Moorlands
                   Resident Workers (Census 2001)

                        11.12%
                                        17.30%                LEEK
               2.65%

              3.56%                                           CHEADLE
              4.35%
                                                              BIDDULPH
                                                  7.03%
                                                              REST OF DISTRICT
                                                              NORTH STAFFS*
                                                  6.16%
                                                              CONGLETON
                                                              STAFFORD
               26.75%
                                                              MACCLESFIELD
                                         21.07%
                                                              OTHER

                                                                                    3
       Means of Transport

6.1.13 A breakdown of work-travel movements both out of the Moorlands2 and
       into and within the Moorlands2 reveals that the private car is still the most
       prevalent transport mode. The relative percentages (to 2 decimal places)
       of certain means of transport are set out below:

      Means          of Journeys out of the Journeys into and            Overall (%)
      Transport         Moorlands (%)       within the Moorlands
                                            (%)
      Private car or    92.20%              64.53%                       75.92%
      motorcycle
      Private car:      83.18%              56.35%                       67.39%
      Single
      occupant
      worker
      (approximate)4
      Bus and taxi      4.74%               3.80%                        4.19%
               3
      All Rail          0.57%               0.21%                        0.35%
      Cycling           0.71%               1.70%                        1.29%
      Walking           1.37%               13.08%                       0.56%
      Total journeys    22,150              31,684                       53,834.

6.1.14 It should be borne in mind that the above travel to work figures are based
       on the means of travel constituting the biggest part of the journey- in reality
       work journeys may comprise combinations of different modes.

       School Journeys

6.1.15 There were 14,540 schoolchildren 16 or under in 2006 6 within the
       Moorlands2. Complete data setting out travel to school transport methods
       for individual schools is also not available*. However where County have
       introduced „safer routes to schools‟ initiatives with select schools, such
       information has been recorded. This anecdotal evidence can provide a
       „sample‟ of student travel patterns. County data collected from 35
       participating schools between July 2004 and March 2006 revealed:

       of 841 school staff

         78.8% arrived by private car (68.1% alone)
         19.6% walked or cycled and only 0.6% used public transport;

       of 18,986 pupils

         80.3% arrived by private car (75.5% as an only child)8
         13.2% walked or cycled8
         5.3% arrived by (school/private) bus.

       Colleges and Sixth Forms




                                                                                       4
6.1.16 2006 figures indicate that Moorlands schools contained over 1,050 16-19
      students (full & part time). In the same year Leek College contained
      approximately 2,927 full/part time students7 (thus total about 3,977). It has
      not been possible to obtain data about transport methods in all cases*.
      However 2006 data from Leek College reveals that at least 7.7% of its
      students use bus.

      Travel Characteristics

6.1.17 Private car use is by far the most prevalent journey to work method,
       particularly for journeys to and from the identified clusters of the North
       Staffs conurbation, Stafford, Congleton and Macclesfield, and the District.
       The overall figure for private car and motorcycle travel to work journeys,
       into, within, and out of the Moorlands is about 76%1. Also notable is the
       high incidence of single occupant worker journeys. Anecdotal evidence
       points to a similar predominance of car use (including high single
       occupancy rates) in relation to educational journeys. Although in the case
       of students it is difficult to obtain travel data relating to the residential
       origins and places of study*.

6.1.18 Bus and rail patronage is very low: the overall combined figure for work-
       travel journeys involving bus, rail, and cycling is less than 6%. Again
       anecdotal evidence gives a similar reading for educational journeys.

      Bus and Rail

      Perhaps the high incidence of car-commuting work journeys can be
      attributed to factors including: the higher than average car ownership rate,
      the relatively low frequency of bus services, and arguably the inadequate
      coverage of these routes (at serving, for example, rural areas beyond the
      main towns). Because of low patronage (low population density) on rural
      routes it is relatively more difficult for bus operators to secure funding from
      Government or County sources. In rural areas, particularly the more
      sparsely populated areas, the role of the bus appears to be more focused
      on social inclusion/access to key services than on achieving modal shift.
      Generally, modal shift requires a good frequency of service, which except
      on key inter-urban corridors (which serve rural areas beyond the main
      towns) will not be high enough to attain modal shift.

6.1.19 Most of the District remains unserved by train, and the station at Blythe
       Bridge provides links to Stoke and Derby, but no direct links exist to
       employment “hotspots” eg Congleton, Macclesfield, Stafford or
       Manchester (connections via Stoke on Trent). The hilly terrain (and wet
       climate) can understandably act as a deterrent to cycle use or walking.
       There may also be other reasons for the prevalence of the car, including
       attitudes of car owners, perceptions about public transport, and the “car
       driving culture”.

6.1.20 The above statistics identify employment travel „hotspots‟, and also point
       to the high incidence of single-occupant worker car-commuting journeys.


                                                                                   5
      It is therefore suggested that there is scope to significantly reduce car
      numbers (within and beyond the planning process) simply by targeting
      improvements to public transport services linking these „hotspots‟; and
      encouraging greater car sharing (for example by promoting Travel Plans,
      see para 3.7).

6.1.21 In the case of schoolchildren and students, clearly those under 17, and a
       high proportion of other students, will either not be able to drive, nor have
       access to a car. In the case of Leek College there is anecdotal evidence to
       suggest that where public transport is not available (or lacks a convenient
       direct route) this can preclude/discourage enrolment from „inaccessible‟
       locations by such students. It must also be borne in mind that part time
       study such as evening or weekend classes, would generate demand for
       public transport to access these establishments, at „off-peak‟ hours, for
       instance. Clearly there is potential to reduce car congestion associated
       with student travel, either through encouraging alternative modes (for
       example through „safer routes to school‟ initiatives) and again by
       encouraging car sharing and the adoption of School Travel Plans.

2     Policy Context

      Overview of Policy

6.2.1 The broad thrust of national and regional Planning Policy has been that
      sustainable development should form the cornerstone of the Planning
      process. The goals of national and regional economic growth cannot be
      achieved at the cost of environmental (and social) considerations such that
      it would be unsustainable. Transport patterns, particularly the inexorable
      growth of use of the private car – must be altered. Equally development
      patterns should not have inequitable social consequences such as making
      some developments relatively less accessible to some sections of the
      public, for example to those without access to the car.

6.2.2 Development patterns generally should be guided in a way which reduces
      the need to travel, particularly by private car. Where travel journeys are
      unavoidable, planning should guide development such that it favours
      journeys by walking and cycling in the first instance, followed by rail then
      bus, and finally the car. Proper integration between different means of
      transport is equally important to encourage greater confidence in non-car
      travel for longer journeys.

6.2.3 Development, particularly at higher densities, should be directed to urban
      areas or settlements well served by public transport where there is a range
      of facilities, employment opportunities etc, such that the need to travel is
      reduced. The more closely related these uses are to public transport, the
      more effectively they can be served by it; whereas dispersed development
      patterns reduce the effectiveness of public transport. For this reason the
      mixing of land uses in urban areas is encouraged, and the recycling of
      „brownfield‟ land over greenfield is usually preferable, unless „greenfield‟
      sites perform better in such „sustainability‟ terms. By focusing development


                                                                                   6
      within urban areas this also serves the dual function of protecting the
      countryside from inappropriate and „unsustainable‟ patterns of
      development.

6.2.4 The Core Strategy must therefore address two broad transport issues:
      1.   promoting sustainable patterns of development that reduce the
           need to travel; and
      2.   encouraging a shift away from using the car in favour of walking
           and cycling (for shorter journeys), and bus and rail.

      Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport (2001)

6.2.5 PPG 13 is the primary Policy document relating to transport issues in
      planning. It recognises how the control of car parking provision in urban
      centres can play a large part in changing means of travel away from the
      car, particularly if combined with traffic management measures and
      measures to improve public transport. Reduced levels of parking can free
      up land for other development and increase densities. Because of this
      parking requirements should now be expressed as maxima and not, as in
      the past, minima; and developers should not normally be required to meet
      even maximum standards where they do not themselves propose this.
      Authorities should consider relaxing parking standards further in more
      central locations in closer proximity to public transport connections. This
      could involve setting criteria to determine what constitutes close proximity
      (for example, suitable walking distances).

6.2.6 Authorities should ensure that parking levels should be consistent
      between central and out of centre locations (or between competing
      centres) to prevent areas with greater parking having an unfair advantage
      at attracting car-borne users. Development Plans should be consistent
      with the Local Transport Plan and its Parking Strategy affecting their area
      (see paras 2.15-2.18, and 3.15 below) in relation to parking controls,
      charges and on-street enforcement.

6.2.7 The guidance also states that new developments should provide for
      alternative transport modes (eg cycle routes and parking, contributions for
      bus routes etc), particularly where a need is identified via a Transport
      Assessment (TA) accompanying the planning application. Authorities
      should also consider, in partnership with other agencies, how rail networks
      can be expanded, for example by preventing development on presently
      disused routes. Travel Plans (TPs) (strategies adopted by employers,
      schools etc containing targeted measures designed to alleviate car use to
      their premises) are heavily promoted, and the guidance sets out which
      types of planning applications must now be accompanied by TPs.

6.2.8 The guidance also promotes the growing phenomenon of homeworking
      (where it would not be inappropriate in residential areas in amenity terms).
      Homeworking reduces the need for work-travel journeys (although it can
      be associated with less frequent work journeys covering longer distances,



                                                                                 7
      and therefore less use of public transport).       The District already
      experiences a high incidence of those in employment working from home.

      Planning Policy Statement Note 7: Sustainable Development in Rural
      Areas (2004)

6.2.9 The key objectives of this guidance are to promote more sustainable
      patterns of development around towns and villages, thereby protecting the
      countryside, and to promote the rural economy and particularly the
      agricultural sector. The Guidance sets out in what circumstances
      development (both new build and building conversions) is appropriate in
      the countryside. In many cases remote rural areas or small settlements
      may not be appropriate for future growth because of the increased need
      for travel to services etc, particularly by car. For this reason Authorities
      should consider which settlements or groups of settlements should act as
      a focus for future development, based on their size/ the availability of
      facilities/services within them, and access to public transport links; thereby
      reducing the need to travel. [See also Rural Issues & Community
      Facilities Issues Paper].

      Regional Spatial Strategy for the West Midlands (RSS) (2004)

6.2.10 Authorities preparing Local Development Frameworks (LDFs) and Local
       Transport Plans (LTPs) must take the Policies of this RSS into account.
       The main thrust of the RSS is to tackle the unsustainable trend of
       decentralisation of population and jobs away from the Region‟s Major
       Urban Areas (MUAs) such as Birmingham and Stoke. The RSS states that
       Stoke (a MUA) and the lesser centres in the Region (in this case Leek,
       Biddulph and Cheadle) must act as the foci of future growth. The RSS
       sets annual maxima for residential completions that apply across
       Staffordshire up to 2021, and each District will need to determine how best
       to distribute housing across their settlements. However this document is
       presently being reviewed so the scale of future growth is to some extent
       uncertain.

6.2.11 Policy T5 sets out the wider vision for the Region beyond the MUAs (ie the
       smaller towns, settlements, and rural areas). Priority should be given to
       developing integrated public transport links (and interchanges) within sub-
       MUA urban areas to serve these areas and their hinterlands. In remoter
       rural areas Authorities should identify which individual settlements (or
       groups of settlements) should act as a focus for services/facilities to meet
       people‟s needs, and distribute new housing etc accordingly. Authorities
       should aim to improve public transport links connecting these areas with
       their rural hinterlands (Policies RR1, 2 &4).

6.2.12 Strategies to improve cycling and walking in urban areas should also be
       reflected in Development Plans and Local Transport Plans- for example by
       developing coherent cycling/walking networks serving towns and
       hinterlands; by re-allocating roadspace in favour of cyclists/pedestrians
       where appropriate; and by “ensuring that new developments…improve


                                                                                   8
      walking and cycling access”. The employment of Transport Assessments
      and Travel Plans can assist this.

      Staffordshire Structure Plan 1996-2011

6.2.13 This takes a similar stance to national and Regional guidance in that it
       instructs that future development patterns should reduce the need to
       travel. Through the LTP the Highways Authority will continue to work on
       an integrated transport strategy which will “reduce the growth in the length
       and number of motorised journeys [and] improve the availability,
       accessibility and efficiency of non-car modes including public transport”.
       Structure Plan Policies will ensure that “new developments are located in
       areas well served by public transport and… improved facilities and
       services are provided at an early stage by developers”.

6.2.14 Walking and Cycling networks are also supported as in the RSS; and the
       implementation of traffic management techniques, such as highway space
       re-allocation away from the car (such as bus/cycle lanes), and controls
       over on- and off- street car parking provision, will be implemented to
       control the volume/speed of traffic on the County‟s roads. This is
       particularly important to remove congestion/increase efficiency within the
       economically important Strategic Highway Network (the County‟s major
       motorways and trunk roads).

      Local Transport Plan

6.2.15 Local Transport authorities are required by the Transport Act 2000 to
       prepare Local Transport Plans (LTPs) for 5 year periods. The majority of
       the Staffordshire Moorlands is covered by the Staffordshire LTP 2006-
       2011. The North Staffordshire LTP covers the administrative areas of
       Stoke-on-Trent, urban Newcastle-under-Lyme and the Parishes of Brown
       Edge, Endon and Stanley, Bagnall, Werrington, Caverswall and Forsbrook
       within the Staffordshire Moorlands.

6.2.16 The main purpose of the LTP is to explain how Staffordshire County
       Council proposes to spend money allocated by Central Government for
       local transport improvements. The LTP has to identify the following:

           What the local transport problems are

           The potential solutions that must:
           focus on the Central Government priorities of reducing congestion
            and air pollution and improving accessibility and road safety;
           complement regeneration initiatives, community strategies and land
            use planning;
           be deliverable within the resources made available by Central
            Government and take account of any other funding opportunities;
           provide value for money.

           How the achievements of the LTP will be measured.


                                                                                  9
6.2.17 The main transport priorities in Staffordshire are better accessibility,
       creating safer roads, and effective and efficient highway maintenance.
       Other important issues detailed in the Plan, include reducing the impact of
       traffic and improving air quality.

6.2.18 The LTP is material to planning applications and must be taken into
       account by Authorities preparing Development Plans (LDFs). The County
       Highways Authority should work with LPAs (and other Agencies) in
       achieving the goals of the LTP.

      Previous LTP Achievements in the Moorlands

6.2.19 Staffordshire‟s first LTP 2000-2005 had numerous achievements relating to
       transport in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

6.2.20 The Alton Towers Transport Strategy has been developed to help alleviate
       traffic congestion and improve road safety in Alton village. Measures
       include improvements to the existing transport network and a proposed
       privately funded Eastern Access Road to Alton Towers. A preferred route
       has been agreed with all affected landowners. Highway improvements in
       Alton to help relieve existing traffic and road safety problems and
       conditions for pedestrians have been implemented in conjunction with
       complementary road maintenance schemes.

6.2.21 The Biddulph Bypass was completed on programme in October 2003. One
       of the main aims of the bypass is to act as a catalyst for regeneration
       initiatives in Biddulph. This process of regeneration is underway with a
       programme of traffic management and amenity measures being introduced
       in the town centre, funded jointly by the County, District and Town
       Councils.

6.2.22 The Leek West Community Safety Scheme and North West Leek Safer
       Routes to School Scheme (SRS) have been completed and the majority of
       the Biddulph SRS has also been implemented. The implementation of the
       majority of measures derived from the Biddulph Cycle Strategy has also
       been completed.

6.2.23 North Staffordshire Bus Quality Partnership routes 32 and 32A have been
       completed and an improvement scheme for Leek Bus Station has been
       undertaken including upgraded pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.

6.2.24 The A520 Wetley Rocks has been subject to significant traffic management
       and road safety measures including new signing, road markings, safety
       cameras and pedestrian facilities.

      Proposed LTP Schemes for the Moorlands

6.2.25 In Staffordshire‟s LTP 2006-2011 rural isolation is recognised as an
       important issue. The majority of Staffordshire‟s rural population is quite


                                                                               10
       mobile, as car ownership levels are high. However, people living alone in
       rural areas can experience more isolation than their urban counterparts.
       These people often have difficult in accessing services or visiting family
       and friends. Lower public transport frequencies can limit journey
       opportunities, contributing to rural isolation. Staffordshire‟s 2006-2011 Bus
       Strategy complements the LTP and attempts to improve social inclusion in
       rural areas [see LTP Bus Strategy para 2.29 below].

6.2.26 The North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership (NSCRP), with
       members from the North Staffordshire Rail Users Group and local
       authorities, has been established to promote the Crewe-Stoke-Uttoxeter-
       Derby rail service with the aim of increasing patronage levels. The
       Partnership‟s officer will work with the local community and the train
       operator to raise the profile of the line, and will enable the train operator to
       better understand the needs of patrons. Staffordshire County Council will
       support projects developed by NSCRP, with funding if appropriate, where
       the projects are shown to contribute towards achieving LTP objectives.

6.2.27 A mapping exercise has been undertaken to assess the suitability of the
      countryside within Staffordshire for outdoor recreation and the anticipated
      demand. Factors such as the proximity of the population to the
      countryside, agricultural land classification, ecological sensitivity, land
      amenity value, and the density of the recorded rights of way network have
      been assessed. The outcome of the exercise will enable an assessment of
      the existing demand for countryside access, areas where there is a
      shortfall in access provision, and areas most appropriate for encouraging
      further public access.

6.2.28 The District Council is expected to acquire ‟Decriminalised Parking
       Enforcement‟ powers from August to October 2007. Better enforcement of
       parking regulations will facilitate smoother flow of traffic and reduce impact
       of vehicles in towns, safety will be improved and Resident Parking Zones
       will improve quality of life. Re-investment of surplus revenues in local
       transport facilities will help to achieve LTP2 aims including those set out in
       the Accessibility Strategy.


       LTP Bus Strategy

6.2.29 This forms part of the LTP, the primary aim being to improve accessibility
       by increasing bus usage to services (particularly in rural areas), and
       affecting modal shift away from the car. Two central objectives that attract
       LTP funding are, (1) to improve the coverage and frequency of services-
       within and between urban areas, particularly along busy transport
       corridors,- and (2) within remoter rural areas.     Other important work
       includes disseminating timetable information to the public, and promoting
       improvements to design of buses, including lowering floors to
       accommodate the elderly/disabled.




                                                                                    11
6.2.30 With regard to rural services, the Strategy identifies three main types of
       service which should integrate to provide a comprehensive bus network.
       Rural services should:

      -   Provide a link to at least one primary or secondary centre;
      -   Operate at least six days per week to larger villages, with an evening
          and/or Sunday service provided based upon assessment-smaller
          villages may be provided with a service on less than six days per week
          dependent upon demand;
      -   Provide interchange to the primary network wherever possible;
      -   Provide interchange at rail stations where practicable.

      The level of service provided on a given rural route will be dependent on
      the population of settlements on the route.

6.2.31 The County work with private operators as part of „public transport
       partnerships‟ and Quality contracts to improve services around the urban
       areas. For example funding has implemented/improved services between
       Hanley and Leek Cheadle and Biddulph respectively. For rural services
       funding is available from sources including Rural Transport Grant (over
       £1m/annum across Staffordshire) and „rural bus challenge‟. So far these
       have been responsible for establishing:

       the Moorlands Traveller (1999) – a demand responsive service in an
        adapted minibus, covering a small section of the Moorlands (that area
        east of Leek, Ipstones and Froghall, and extending into the Peak Park),
       Moorlands Traveller East (2002) – an expansion of the above service,
        extending northwards into the Peak Park, and
       Postbus serving the Leek to Wetton area (now replaced by timetabled
        bus)

6.2.32 The County also work with an established Rural Transport Partnership
       for West Derbyshire/North Staffordshire. This aims to promote social
       inclusion and tackle rural isolation through improvements to transport
       provision and access to services. The Partnership does this by:

               Increasing awareness and promoting the use of, existing public
                and community transport services;
               Improving co-ordination and integration of existing transport
                services;
               Working with communities and groups prone to social exclusion
                to identify their transport needs and solutions;
               Promoting walking, cycling and car sharing opportunities etc;
               Assisting in the development, implementation and monitoring of
                new transport services.

      The Partnership includes representatives from local authorities, statutory
      bodies, and voluntary community organisations. Bidding for funding is
      also possible to the Countryside Agency or County Transport Authority for
      new services e.g. dial a ride minibuses.


                                                                                    12
6.2.33 Following a conference held through the auspices of the Staffordshire
       Rural Forum in June 2005, Staffordshire County Council has been working
       towards the establishment of a single, countywide, Rural Access to
       Services Partnership (RASP). This partnership will have close links with
       the Local Strategic Partnerships and the Staffordshire Rural Forum.

      Provisional North Staffordshire Local Transport Plan(2006/7- 2010/11)

6.2.34 This is the equivalent LTP for the North Staffs conurbation (it includes a
       western portion of the Moorlands). Its vision is “to create and maintain an
       integrated and sustainable transport for North Staffs to facilitate
       regeneration and to create opportunities for people to live, play and travel
       in a safe and pleasant environment”.         Its aims are similar to the
       Staffordshire LTP aims, with additional aims of supporting regeneration
       efforts, reducing fear of crime, and enhancing quality of life in the
       conurbation. These aims translate to objectives which informed the
       production of the “North Staffordshire Integrated Transport Study”
       (NSITS) – a long term framework for transport planning in the conurbation.

6.2.35 The main strategy involves increased bus services and new park and ride
       facilities around the conurbation periphery, in combination with other
       measures such as encouraging walking/cycling. Other possibilities include
       congestion charging in the centre, and some smaller road schemes, to
       reduce congestion.

      Community Strategy (2003-2010)

6.2.36 This document is presently being reviewed. All Local Development
       Documents including the Core Strategy must be produced in accordance
       with it. The Strategy‟s central aim is to “promote social economic and
       environmental wellbeing” across the District and contains 7 crosscutting
       strategic ambitions which relate to different aspects of improving quality of
       life in the District. Some of these cross-relate to transport. Most notably:

         Ambition 7 that “everyone who wishes may access services, learning
          opportunities, employment, health provision, and leisure activities in a
          way that is effective and sustainable”.

6.2.37 Priorities include addressing passenger transport needs in the District and
       promoting integration of passenger transport, thereby helping to combat
       car use and to help retain (through patronage) existing community
       facilities; also to improve access to services in rural areas, and direct new
       services in a way which combats social exclusion and isolation. Further,
       Ambition 4, “that local areas and towns are regenerated…” includes a
       priority to “develop a local infrastructure that encourages business growth
       [and] helping people to access jobs”.

3     Issues



                                                                                 13
6.3.1 The direction of the Core Strategy must take the following issues into
      account.

       Distribution of Future Development

6.3.2 The principle of distributing development in sustainable locations where
      employment, housing and other facilities can be provided close together is
      clearly set out in Government guidance. This is important to:- sustain rural
      economies, to protect the countryside from inappropriate development, to
      ensure that future rural residents have access to a range of
      facilities/services, and to reduce the need to travel. Planning Policy will
      make it necessary for the Council to decide how best to accommodate
      future development across the District to meet the needs of everyone.

6.3.3 The Moorlands has a range of settlements varying in size from the three
      main market towns of Leek, Cheadle and Biddulph (between 10,000-
      20,000), through to smaller settlements of 4-7,000 population such as
      Werrington/Cellarhead, Blythe Bridge/Forsbrook, Brown Edge/Endon. At
      the lower scale there are also a number of isolated rural settlements with
      populations of less than 500.1

6.3.4 There are different ways of approaching the issue of distribution of
      development. Development could be distributed between the 3 market
      towns. Alternatively, there could be a settlement hierarchy, for instance,
      with the towns of Leek, Biddulph and Cheadle as the top tier followed by
      larger villages which serve a wider rural community, are accessible and
      have some community facilities as the second tier and smaller more
      isolated villages with very few or no community facilities as the lowest tier.
      Development could then be concentrated in only the towns and larger
      villages. Alternatively development could be spread more evenly across
      the towns and the rural area.

       Key Settlements

6.3.5 There are a number of different ways of approaching the issue of where to
      locate new development in rural areas. The concept of key settlements is
      recognised in Government policy as a way of achieving sustainable
      development in rural areas. Key settlements are generally larger villages
      that have a range of existing facilities for example, a school, one or more
      shops / post office, village hall, leisure facilities etc. The idea behind this is
      that these key settlements will be the focus of most new development and
      serve a wider rural hinterland requiring access to services and facilities.

       Increasing Bus and Rail Service Use

6.3.6 The documents set out in       the Policy Context section above promote the
      greater use of buses and        trains, as an alternative to the car, for work,
      education and even tourist     use. In spatial terms this means targeting bus
      service improvements for        intra-urban trips, inter-urban trips, and trips
      linking urban areas with       their hinterlands. For trains, the Council‟s


                                                                                     14
      commitment will be to ensure that presently disused routes/facilities with
      potential for re-use remain undeveloped (e.g. Stoke to Leekbrook line).
      Integration between means of transport is also to be desired (e.g. linking
      bus stops to railway stations).

6.3.7 Additionally the Council will continue to promote the adoption of company-
      and school- travel plans across the District. These Plans are sometimes
      required as a condition of planning consent where for example an
      establishment seeks to expand which would have significant impacts on the
      local highway network. These Plans often contain measures to require, for
      example, the establishment to provide a bus service as a way of reducing
      (particularly single occupant) car-commuting. Separate to the planning
      process Staffordshire County Council Sustainable Travel Team will continue
      to approach organisations to promote greater adoption of sustainable travel
      initiatives and Travel Plans including Staffordshire Share-A-Lift scheme.

6.3.8 At present applications for developments likely to have significant transport
      implications require a transport assessment. Where appropriate, the
      Highways Authority can require developer contributions for highway
      improvements, or contributions towards the provision of public transport,
      walking and cycling facilities. New developments should be, as far as
      possible accessible by a range of means of transport. Coordinating future
      development with existing development can also assist in bringing forward
      improvements to existing public transport infrastructure, through the
      development control process in this way. Increased population catchments
      would therefore increase demand for existing services, which may have
      positive spin-offs as it would increase revenues of public transport operators
      which may in turn result in improvements to services. The danger of a „do
      nothing‟ approach of neither discouraging car use or encouraging greater
      public transport use is that (according to predictions) car use will continue to
      grow, demand for public transport services will decline; congestion on roads
      will increase, therefore making road conditions relatively worse for
      pedestrians/cyclists, and increasing traffic delays. Reduced demand for
      public transport services would result in decreasing revenue for public
      transport operators, possibly resulting in contracted service provision, and
      thereby exacerbating the problem.

6.3.9 The breakdown of commuting patterns highlighted above would appear to
      suggest that there is potential to expand bus journeys (at the expense of the
      car) simply by targeting the most prevalent work and study journeys (and
      the times these take place).

6.3.10 In practice, the Authority has limited powers with regard to the provision of
       bus services within the District, as services are largely provided by private
       operators. Occasionally requirements upon developers to contribute to
       improved services, new waiting facilities, or changes to the highway in
       favour of buses near to the development, may accrue from the development
       control process; for example where a development would have significant
       highways impact. The nature/extent of contributions is based on guidance
       from the County Highway Authority and LTP. Sometimes in finely balanced


                                                                                  15
       applications additional commitments such as funding for public transport
       infrastructure may help make a scheme acceptable.

6.3.11 The Highways Authority works alongside bus operators as part of Public
       Transport Partnerships, which seek to improve the levels of service,
       conditions (and design) of buses in their area. Sometimes funding is
       available from the LTP for such improvements, including for example
       subsidising certain bus routes to increase „accessibility‟ to key facilities, as
       part of the Staffordshire Bus Strategy.

       Car Parking Provision and Parking Standards

6.3.12 The Council owns or rents about 28 public car parks across the District,
       including in the three main towns of Leek Cheadle and Biddulph, and other
       settlements including Blythe Bridge, Upper Tean and Oakamoor. The
       majority of these are pay and display. In the case of Biddulph and Cheadle,
       one or two centrally located car parks serve the entire town centre. In the
       case of Leek, a large number of smaller car parks are spread out
       throughout the centre. Council car parks serve the needs of both short term
       and long term visitors.

6.3.13 At present anecdotal evidence (in the form of occupancy rates) suggests
       that in the three main towns the existing level of town centre provision is
       sufficient. However during outdoor market days for example in Leek there
       is a perception of parking shortages. This could be explicable by not only
       the reduced capacity associated with stalls upon parking areas, but also by
       increased visitor numbers during these days. However It has also been
       suggested that the location of car parks in terms of the centre determines
       their use i.e. the nearer to the centre or intended destination the higher the
       patronage, and vice versa (it would appear users are only prepared to travel
       short walking distances). An additional point is that at present there are no
       time restrictions which would differentiate between long- and short- stay
       customers in the more central car parks. It is preferable for long stay
       customers (typically work commuters) to use more peripheral car parks, and
       thereby freeing up more central parking for short stay customers (shoppers
       etc). This current situation may be having the effect of reducing available
       capacity in central car parks in towns away from short stay customers.

6.3.14 Car parking levels in town centres affects levels of car use, because, in
       part, the availability of convenient parking affects the decision to drive.
       Because of this, control over parking levels is often used as a „demand
       management‟ technique (a „stick‟ measure) by Authorities seeking to
       encourage the use of alternatives to the car.

6.3.15 Planning authorities must of course balance the competing issues of
       encouraging alternatives to the car in accessing centres, with the desire to
       maintain the economic vitality of these centres. Car parking control should
       also take account of competing centres by showing consistency across
       comparable centres, such that one centre is not disadvantaged in favour of
       another by virtue of restrictions in car parking. In other words, Authorities


                                                                                   16
      should ensure that their own traffic demand measures (include parking
      management) are consistent with the LTP for their area. The Staffordshire
      LTP‟s Parking Strategy has 3 main objectives including “to maintain the
      economic viability of town centres”, “to restrain the level of car based
      commuting” and “to consider and cater for the diverse needs in the County
      whilst developing regional goals”. The Staffordshire Moorlands Parking
      Strategy (2005) has been produced in accord with this, including the central
      objective of providing “appropriate level of parking facilities at an
      appropriate cost to users and Council taxpayers”.

6.3.16 Decisions about the number of public car parks to serve town centres, their
       capacities, and their locations, involve planning trade-offs between the
       benefits of these facilities to, for example, the economic health of the town,
       against their impact in amenity terms and the encouragement to make the
       journey by car. This is particularly acute in the more historic or
       architecturally rich urban areas. Also, arguably, the decision to impose car
       park charges in town centres may have the effect of discouraging some car-
       borne visitors.

6.3.17 A related concern is that insufficient off-street parking provision (or perhaps
       avoidance of parking charges) can lead to problems of on-street parking
       within and adjacent to town centres. In October 2007 the Council will
       acquire powers under ‟Decriminalised Parking Enforcement‟ measures
       which will allow the Authority to prosecute drivers who for example, park on-
       street on double yellow lines, or within resident parking zones.

      Park and Ride

6.3.18 Some Councils have successfully employed „park and ride‟ schemes on the
       edge of settlements in their District, as a method of reducing car use into
       these centres. However these schemes are most effective in serving larger
       settlements with a wider range of services, and they must be viable in terms
       of patronage.

      Currently the only example in the Moorlands is the Roaches P&R operating
      from Tittesworth Reservoir off the A53. According to Staffordshire County
      Council, Park and ride will only generally be viable in one or more of the
      following circumstances: - where existing parking is in short supply; - if
      P&R journey times will be competitive against other options ; - where
      congestion is a serious problem; where differential parking charges are
      introduced to favour park and ride; - or there is a need to protect a
      sensitive urban/rural environment.

      Parking Standards

6.3.19 The current Local Plan contains parking standards to apply to new
       developments. These are some years out of date, and apply as minimum
       standards per development, instead of maximum standards. Authorities
       are now encouraged to apply maximum parking standards instead, and
       are also encouraged to relax these where the development is centrally


                                                                                  17
       located such that it can be accessed easily by non-car modes. Parking
       standards can either be self-determined by the Council, or based on
       Government guidance.

       Cycle and Walking Strategies

6.3.20 Planning Policy states that District or County Authorities should consider
       how walking and cycling can be optimised; for example by identifying
       potential networks and routes, particularly in urban areas, to link homes
       with areas of employment, shopping, education, transport nodes etc, and
       the countryside. This can be done through re-allocating highway space in
       favour cyclists/pedestrians e.g. cycle lanes, cycle paths; carrying out traffic
       calming measures; introducing pedestrian crossings etc, as appropriate.
       Councils can then require developers to provide contributions for the
       expansions of these routes. In the case of cycle lanes Authorities have
       powers to impose both „mandatory‟ and discretionary style lanes on
       highways. The former cannot be breached by vehicles, whereas the latter
       are of an „advisory‟ nature, so whilst of benefit to cyclists do not preclude
       motor cars.

6.3.21 Additionally the Council will continue to encourage employers and Schools
       to undertake Travel Plans to encourage travel to work/school journeys by
       these means. Schools will also be encouraged to participate in „safer
       routes to schools‟ initiatives, similarly with the aim of encouraging a move
       away from the car for school journeys.

       New Roads

6.3.22 New road schemes are the responsibility of other agencies including the
       County Transportation Authority and the Highways Agency (to which the
       District is not responsible for funding). There are no new road-building
       schemes proposed for the Moorlands in either the new LTP or the current
       Structure Plan. The LTP must balance competing demands for funding:
       road building is a secondary aim after that of improving accessibility, which
       includes funding improvements to bus services etc [see Bus Strategy
       above]; therefore any new proposals must be strongly justified against the
       aims of the LTP. LDFs should only contain proposals for new roads
       where these are likely to be realised (through external funding) in the
       lifetime of the Plan.

6.3.23 The Council has always supported the construction of the Denstone and
       Alton Relief Road (part of the proposed route falls within the Moorlands) so
       that traffic through these areas associated with Alton Towers can be
       relieved. However the recent Inspector‟s report for the East Staffordshire
       Local Plan Review stated that the proposed route falling within their
       District should be deleted from their LDF because there was no public
       funding for this purpose (and it was unlikely to be achieved through private
       funding). Notwithstanding that no funding is identified, the LTP still
       supports the development of this route in principle.



                                                                                   18
FOOTNOTES


1. All figures National Census 2001.
2. That is, the Staffordshire Moorlands including that area falling within the Peak Park.
3. „All rail‟ also includes those journeys described as being undertaken by “underground,
   tram… [or] metro”. Where responses have been recorded under this category this
   would presumably take into account journeys involving Manchester.
4. Approximate calculation derived from comparisons between „car driver‟ and „car
   passenger‟ data.
5. That is, the %age of people recorded as resident, and mainly employed, somewhere
   within the Leek Wards; and respectively for the Biddulph and Cheadle Wards.
6. Source: School Census, January 2006 (Staffordshire County Council).
7. Source: Leek College.
8. Figure excludes 220 or 1.2% of pupils, who arrived as part of „park and stride‟
   schemes. These schemes involve children who are driven to school, being dropped
   off some distance away from the school gates and walking the remainder. They are
   designed to remove congestion at school entrances.
* Refer to Appendix “Notes Regarding Educational Statistics”




PLEASE NOTE THAT INFORMATION IN THIS PAPER IS
CHANGEABLE & WAS THE LATEST AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF
PRODUCTION

DECEMBER 2006




                                                                                      19
EVIDENCE BASE

   Census 2001
   Community Strategy 2003-2010
   North Staffordshire Local Transport Plan 2006/7-2010/11
   Planning Policy Statement 3 (draft) : Housing (2006)
   Planning Policy Statement 7: Sustainable Development in
    Rural Areas (2004)
   Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport (2001)
   Regional Spatial Strategy for the West Midlands (2004)
   Staffordshire Structure Plan 1996-2011 (2001)
   Staffordshire Local Transport Plan 2006-2011 [including LTP Bus
    Strategy and LTP Parking Strategy A Policy Framework for Parking]
   Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Parking Strategy
    June 2005




                                                                        20
APPENDIX

The following excerpts relating to travel patterns and means of travel in the
Moorlands are taken from 2003 Ward level data derived from the 2001 Census.
“Moorlands” includes that area of Staffordshire falling within the Peak Park.

Work Journeys out of the Moorlands2

2003 Ward data1 reveals that out of the 45,724 employees recorded as resident
in the Moorlands:
 23,574 (51.56%) of these worked within the District
 12,233 (26.75%) worked within the North Staffordshire conurbation
 Other significant clusters include work-journeys to Congleton (1,989 or
    4.35%), Stafford (1,630 or 3.56%), Macclesfield (1,212 or 2.65%), and
    adjacent rural areas.

Work Journeys into and within the Moorlands2

2003 Ward data1 reveals that out of approximately 31,684 employees recorded
as working in the Moorlands:

   23,574 (74.40%) of these were resident in the Moorlands 2; versus 8,110
    (25.60%) employees commuting into the Moorlands2.
   18,525 (58.47%) of this total worked in the three main towns:- Leek (10,192 or
    32.17% of this total), Biddulph (3,843 or 12.13%) and Cheadle (4,490 or
    14.17%); against 41.53% working in the remainder of the District2 .
   These three towns exhibit high incidences of employing local workforces, with
    approximately 54.62% of all Leek employees resident in Leek; 68.80% of all
    Biddulph employees resident in Biddulph; and 49.69% of all Cheadle
    employees resident in Cheadle. However the employment linkages between
    the three towns is much less pronounced.
   In the rural areas of the District outside the three main towns, the travel to
    work patterns are more complex. Of 13,159 jobs, 2,138 employees originate
    from the North Staffordshire conurbation; 1,036 from Leek; 843 from Cheadle;
    with 7,611 from the remainder of the District. However it should be borne in
    mind that this “rural area” contains a number of larger villages including Blythe
    Bridge/Forsbrook, Werrington/Cellarhead, Brown Edge, Endon, Upper Tean
    etc.
   All of the above figures include “working from home” employees. This is
    also significant:
         831 of those who work in Biddulph (21.62%) work from home (ie are
            resident in Biddulph).
         The figures for Leek and Cheadle are 733 (7.19%) and 451 (10.04%)
            respectively.
         For the remainder of the District working from home accounts for 3,126
            or (23.76%) of employment in that area.
         The overall figure for the District is 5,141 or 16.23%.




                                                                                  21
   Of the 8110 employees commuting into the District, notable clusters include
    workers from: the North Staffordshire conurbation (4,882); Stafford (533);
    Congleton (488) and Macclesfield (186).


Modal Characteristics

A breakdown of work-travel movements out of the Moorlands2 reveals that the
private car is still the most prevalent transport mode. Out of 22,150 work
journeys:
        20,423 or 92.20% were by private transport (car or motorcycle). Of
          these 18,424 or 83.18% were single occupancy worker car journeys.
        Bus and private taxi combined accounted for 1,051 journeys or 4.74%
        All rail accounted for 126 journeys or 0.57%3
        Cycling and walking accounted for 157 (0.71%) and 303 (1.37%)
          journeys, respectively.

The corresponding figures for work-travel movements into and within the
Moorlands2 are that out of 31,684 work journeys:
        20,447 or 64.53% were by private transport (car or motorcycle). Of
          these 17,855 or 56.35% were single occupancy worker car journeys.
        Bus and private taxi combined accounted for 1,203 journeys or 3.80%
        All rail accounted for 65 journeys or 0.21%3
Cycling and walking accounted for 540 (1.70%) and 4,145 (13.08%) journeys,
respectively.


Notes Regarding Educational Statistics

It has not been possible to ascertain the numbers of students resident in the
District and educated elsewhere; nor numbers of outside students commuting into
the District - owing to complexities as to how this data is stored. Whilst school
catchments provide an indication of how far a school will select students
geographically (and therefore point to cross boundary selection where a school is
close to a neighbouring District), catchments will vary, for example between urban
and rural areas. In any case schools (and other colleges) are no longer restricted
to selecting just within catchments and are able to „cherry pick‟ students from
beyond their nominal catchments.            For other educational establishments
presumably proximity is a factor when students make enrolment decisions, along
with the availability of their chosen course (against alternative establishments).

[Further information about projected student numbers and school „rolls‟ in the
District, can be viewed in the Rural Issues & Community Facilities Issues Paper].




                                                                               22

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:19
posted:9/27/2011
language:English
pages:22