The Transport and Development Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) outlines the responsibilities that developers will have for planning sustainable and accessible travel and transport options, when submitting planning applications.
These proposals set out concrete obligations for developers to provide suitable routes for cycling or other active wheeled transport, such as scooters, wheelchairs and buggies. They will need to plan for travel within developments, and to and from key destinations outside them, such as town centres.
Proposals designed to reduce car use and update parking standards for both cars and cycles will also reduce the impact of cars on the road, and improve air quality, making cycling a safer and more attractive option.
When developers design routes for cycling or wheeled transport, the SPD sets out how they'll need to consider these things:
- Accessibility: accessibility with regard to directness, continuity and inclusivity
- Safety and security: safety requirements, such as the need for lighting, natural surveillance, well designed routeing and personal security
- Comfort: user comfort, such as the provision and location of seating, adequate route widths, surfacing and quality of environment
- Legibility: the ability to navigate, such as through legible routes, signage and wayfinding
We will expect developments to plan for both on-site and off-site active travel movements, and make sure there is integration between the two. This means doing the following:
- Analysing where people will want to use bicycles and other wheeled vehicles (travel demand)
- Identifying potential barriers to routes, and proposing solutions
- Using design principles and best practice guidelines, as laid out in the SPD, and consulting with users to create routes which serve people's needs
- Submitting an Active Travel Checklist with the travel submissions in planning applications, demonstrating how proposals will enable active travel
Designing parking and storage
The SPD sets requirements for the location, layout and design of parking, including minimum space / dimension requirements. This includes cycle parking (including a range of cycle types), micro-scooters, powered two-wheelers, electric vehicles and commercial vehicles. The guidelines will enable and support more active travel, and aim to reduce car usage.
These provisions in the SPD will require developments to ensure good provision for cycle parking, anticipating future growth in the number of cyclists:
- Increasing cycle parking minimum standards and the provision of cycle parking spaces, to support increased uptake of cycling
- Providing design standards to ensure that cycle parking accommodates a wide range of cycle types and is accessible to all
The parking design principles in the SPD aim to make cycling a more attractive option in the following ways:
- Creating less car-dependent communities, with more space for cycle routes, green infrastructure and social spaces
- Avoiding the safety and social impact of obstructive on-street car parking, by ensuring that the minimum sufficient car parking space is made available (but using off-street locations, where possible)
- Improving air quality and addressing the Climate and Environmental Emergency
- Improving physical and mental health, through promoting more active lifestyles
Reducing traffic emissions
The SPD gives details of how major new developments and redevelopments will need to show they are encouraging and enabling motorists to make the transition to Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV). The document focuses particularly on how to provide the most appropriate electrical charging infrastructure for these vehicles, both now and for an increased future demand.
This in turn should result in improved air quality for cyclists and users of other wheeled transport in major residential and business developments.