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 walking that everyone can use. 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 will also reduce the impact of cars on the road, and improve air quality, making walking a safer and more attractive option.
Designing walking routes
When developers design routes for pedestrians, 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 travel on foot
- 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 vehicle storage
The SPD sets requirements for the location, layout and design of parking and storage for cars, cycles and other wheeled vehicles. The guidelines will enable and support more active travel, and aim to reduce car usage.
The parking design principles in the SPD aim to make walking a more attractive option in the following ways:
- Supporting the increased uptake of walking and other active travel methods
- Creating less car-dependent communities, with more space for walking 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 new developments and redevelopments will need to show they are encouraging 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 pedestrian users of residential and business developments.