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Monday, 12 October 2015

Sustainable transport in new developments

The debacle over what to do with the Mill St car park 
Futures Forum: Mill Street Blues
Futures Forum: A solution to our housing problems: build on car parks
Futures Forum: Sidmouth parking issues: decreasing capacity at Ham Lane

... raises the issue of how to 'develop' urban areas whilst ensuring that traffic and transport does not get out of hand.

The group 'Transport for Quality of Life' has looked into exactly this issue:


Transport for Quality of Life

Transport for Quality of Life develops sustainable transport solutions


New research:

Finding the optimum: revenue/capital investment balance for sustainable travel
This new report presents evidence showing that deployment of a mixture of both revenue and capital investment produces the best results for sustainable transport and is most cost-effective(research commissioned by Department for Transport)
Click on image to download [8Mb]

Attractive alternatives to car use

Spatial planning that reduces the need for car travel in the first place

Promotion of smarter travel choices

These practices are essential to shift our transport patterns to lower carbon intensity - to stabilise the climate and to make our transport system robust to increasing oil scarcity.
The car is an ever-ready transport solution for an individual, but it is also a ‘social trap’: its unfettered use by many individuals leads to social and environmental degradation that no individual wants.
Clever planning and transport measures are needed to wean us away from our cars. Transport for Quality of Life is at the forefront of developing a body of evidence and experience that shows how it can be done.
 Transport isn’t working. Lynn Sloman's book Car Sick shows why, and sets out clearly what the answers are. A must-read for everyone interested in transport.
Stephen Joseph, Executive Director, Campaign for Better Transport
Transport for Quality of Life is founded on ethical principles which underpin our choice of work and the way we undertake it.

Transport for Quality of Life develops sustainable transport solutions | Transport for Quality of Life

A couple of years ago the group put together a very practical 'checklist' on how to ensure that any new developments are truly sustainable when it comes to planning for traffic and transport:


Masterplanning Checklist for Sustainable Transport in New Developments 

Ian Taylor and Lynn Sloman Transport for Quality of Life September 2008 

Between now and the year 2020 it is intended that as many houses will be built in England as were built in the whole of the Victorian era. This represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create truly sustainable communities, with low car use and high levels of walking, cycling and public transport travel, equivalent to the best examples in continental Europe. If this opportunity is grasped, we could significantly reduce our future carbon footprint. 

Conversely, if we fail to design these new housing developments in a way which makes walking, cycling and public transport travel easy and attractive, and instead build new homes with ‘designed in’ car dependency, we will increase carbon emissions from transport, and at the same time risk building the slums of tomorrow. In a scenario of rising oil costs, places where jobs, education, shops and leisure facilities are inaccessible without a car are liable to become places people will not want to live. 

The urgent need for large cuts in carbon emissions and the prospect of a continued rise in the price of fuel means that we should only be building homes in which people can enjoy living while making minimal use of a car. This is significantly different from the current approach, which is to build non-car-dependent housing in places where it is easy to do so, but to continue to build car-dependent dwellings elsewhere. 

Part A of this report examines the evidence on the different factors which affect car use by residents of new developments, including: location, density, land-use mix, street layout and design, public transport provision, parking, car restraint, and the existence of smart travel behaviour change programmes. Based on this evidence, it sets out a Sustainable Transport Masterplanning Checklist (summarised in the table below) which can be used as a practical guide by local authority councillors, planners and developers to create new housing development which facilitates sustainable travel patterns. It is also of practical relevance to policy-making at regional, sub-regional and national levels. 

Certain aspects of the Sustainable Transport Masterplanning Checklist may appear radical. It breaks away from the current consensus on what type of housing development is acceptable. The implication is that we must develop a totally different paradigm for twenty-first century housing, although it might also be viewed as a return to an earlier paradigm represented by the densely-built and highly sustainable urban form of housing in every century up until the last one. 


Masterplanning Checklistfor Sustainable Transport in New Developments 
Sustainable Transport Checklist | East Devon Watch

Sidmouth has been waiting for sometime for its own sustainable traffic plan:
Futures Forum: Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth
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