stevenage.gov.uk
District Plan

Chapter 5: Transport

5.1 INTRODUCTION

5.1.1 An effective and efficient transport system is important for the environmental, economic and social well being of an area and for the accessibility and safety of its inhabitants. In Stevenage, the transport system is an integral part of the town’s structure, with good rail links north and south, a well developed bus network, a cycleway system and an extensive road network. This chapter is concerned with the movement of people around the town and into the surrounding areas, on foot, cycle, passenger transport and in cars and lorries.

5.1.2 In the past transport policy concentrated on accommodating the car. More recently that position has changed and the focus has moved towards promoting alternative forms of transport, which cause less damage to the environment, and a reduction in the need to travel.

5.1.3 The Government has produced a number of guidance documents, which have set out this shift in focus. These include PPG13, Transport (March 2001) and the 1998 White Paper “A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone.” This guidance sets out the need to reduce peoples’ requirement to travel, by integrating land uses and enabling people to meet their everyday needs locally; and encouraging the provision of access to modes of transport other than the private car.

5.1.4 In the Structure Plan these aims are reflected in policies encouraging their implementation locally. These promote for example: reducing the need to travel; the provision of alternative forms of transport; environmental improvement areas where traffic has a detrimental impact; and car parking restraint.

5.1.5 The Hertfordshire Local Transport Plan sets out a five year programme towards achieving the vision of a better transport system for all, providing a safe, efficient and affordable transport system that allows access for all to everyday facilities. The Local Transport Plan has strong links with the District Plan and reflects and builds on aims in relation to transport by embracing aspects of transport that are not appropriate to land use planning. The Local Transport Plan also sets out the timetable for developing area plans to cover Hertfordshire. Stevenage will form part of the Northern Hertfordshire Area Plan to bring forward local transport schemes expected to receive funding from 2003/2004.

5.1.6 In 1996 the Stevenage Transport Forum was established, drawing on representatives from a wide range of groups and agencies, to feed into the then Transport Policies and Programmes (TPP) process. Schemes to improve movement around the town and across a wider area were put together and published as the Stevenage Transport Strategy in 1998 and adopted by Stevenage Borough Council. The Transport Forum is currently developing this work to feed into the Northern Hertfordshire Area Plan as part of Hertfordshire’s Local Transport Plan.

5.1.7 In Stevenage much of the infrastructure necessary to enable this shift in emphasis already exists. There is an established system of segregated cycleways and pedestrian paths, which provide an alternative transport option for most journeys within the town. This system provides a good basis on which to build. Improvements are needed and new development will be expected to add to the system and improve it where appropriate. But the basic infrastructure is established and puts Stevenage at an advantage in promoting alternatives when compared to other towns in the country.

5.1.8 Historically land use patterns in Stevenage have enabled residents to meet their everyday needs locally. The principles of neighbourhood development sought to provide basic local facilities such as shops, a school, church, and a community centre within a 'half mile pleasant and safe walk’. Today these principles are still considered relevant and will be promoted in new developments.

5.1.9 The ability for residents to meet their employment needs locally is vital in promoting transport choices. A higher proportion of people both live and work in Stevenage when compared with other areas. This generally means a shorter journey between work and home. Because of this, and the fact that many businesses are concentrated in the two employment areas in the town, there is more potential to get people to consider alternative modes of transport. In the past the cycleways were crowded at peak times. If the right conditions can be provided more people may be prepared to cycle to work or use an alternative form of transport, leaving their cars at home.

5.1.10 In order to achieve the aims set out by the Government, action needs to be taken at all levels and through a variety of agencies and mechanisms. Planning has a central role to play in this, but in itself cannot successfully meet these objectives. Many agencies and mechanisms are starting to be established both nationally and more locally to help this cause. However, it must be noted that changing peoples’ habits is a long-term plan and cannot be achieved over night.

5.1.11 At the national level, guidance has been introduced to direct policy and implementation towards these objectives. The Road Traffic Reduction Act is being used to set targets to stabilise and reduce the share of journeys taken by car. The TravelWise campaign, established by Hertfordshire County Council, has a wide range of programmes to promote alternatives to the car. Local policy documents such as the Local Transport Plan and Passenger transport policies reflect national aims in promoting alternative forms of transport. Joint working with other local authorities has an important role to play in ensuring that restraint policies are applied consistently, for example in Hertfordshire, car parking policy is being developed, which recognises the need for variations in application in different types of area. In Stevenage, a “Safer Routes to School” scheme is underway and proposals to improve the provision of passenger transport facilities in the form of a combined transport interchange are currently being developed.

5.1.12 This plan seeks to promote land use policies, which can assist in this multi-disciplinary approach in reducing the need to travel and in promoting the use of alternative forms of transport. This is critical in promoting a more sustainable future for Stevenage. This does not mean that there will be no further road building or car parking provision, but this plan seeks to ensure that transportation is considered fully, incorporating all forms of transport and promoting the alternatives to private cars.

5.2 DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES

In order to achieve the objectives in paragraph 5.1.12, policies are included to ensure that the provision of alternative forms of transport are available in new developments and that consideration is given as to how people will access developments. They seek to achieve a balance between incentives and restraint to shift the balance in attractiveness towards forms of transport other than the private car, promoting a more sustainable way of living.

POLICY T1: TRANSPORT IMPLICATIONS OF DEVELOPMENT

The following principles will be considered in assessing transport implications from development proposals:

(a) a requirement to reduce the need to travel in deciding the location of new development; and
(b) access to modes of travel other than private motorised transport, including passenger transport, cycling and walking; and
(c) implications of traffic generation; and
(d) safety; and
(e) detailed design to facilitate access, particularly by alternative modes of transport using priority measures if appropriate; and
(f) detailed design to facilitate access by those with mobility problems.

New developments will not be permitted where they only make provision for access by private motorised transport.

5.2.2 The Borough Council supports the provision of a safe and efficient highway network. It seeks to promote the best use of this system in meeting its overall objectives and in meeting the needs of development in the most sustainable way possible. In relation to new development, the Borough Council needs to be satisfied that road building is necessary in relation to a particular development or is needed to promote environmental or safety improvements. As part of this approach, consideration will need to be given to all forms of transport. Consideration should also be given to Structure Plan Policies 27, 28 and 36, which set out more detailed guidance on this matter.

POLICY T2: ALTERATIONS TO THE HIGHWAY NETWORK

New road building, highway improvements and traffic management measures in relation to the existing network will only be permitted or supported where they meet safety, environmental or local access requirements and are part of an integrated package of measures considering all forms of transport.

5.2.3 Most developments generate transport requirements. As part of any development, developers will be required to provide the infrastructure necessary to enable it to function efficiently. Major developments, where the Borough Council considers the likely effects to be significant, will be required to provide a detailed Transport Assessment (TA) in order to assess the effects of the development.

5.2.4 A Green Travel Plan (GTP) will form part of this assessment, where appropriate, to ensure consideration is given to encouraging alternative modes of travel and minimising the use of private motorised transport. Joint work with Hertfordshire County Council has resulted in a guidance note for developers in producing a GTP. It is expected that developers will have regard to this document in producing a GTP.

POLICY T3: TRANSPORT ASSESSMENT

A detailed transport assessment will be required for any development or redevelopment which is considered to have a material impact on transport provision and safety in the locality. The assessment will be expected to consider the following:

(a) the likely generation of trips by all transport modes and their effect on the existing transport network; and
(b) existing passenger transport accessibility; and
(c) the principles set out in Policy T1; and
(d) the impact on the local environment, including air quality.

POLICY T4: GREEN TRAVEL PLANS

As part of the transport assessment for new development proposals, developers will be expected to submit a Green Travel Plan to encourage the use of alternative modes of travel and reduce reliance on private motorised transport. Developers will be expected to demonstrate how this plan will be implemented.

5.2.5 On assessing the TA the Borough Council will require works and provision of facilities necessary to the granting of planning permission. The form of these works will be negotiated with developers in line with the policies in this plan but will be expected to include, where appropriate, provision, facilities and services for cyclists, pedestrians, passenger transport and equestrians.

POLICY T5: PROVISION OF TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE BY DEVELOPERS

Developers will be expected to resource transport measures including the provision of infrastructure and services necessary to the granting of planning permission in accordance with the principles set out in Policy T1, by carrying out the measures themselves and/or making contributions secured by planning obligations.

Planning obligations will also be used to safeguard land required for future transport provision such as cycleways, pedestrian routes, bus stops or other related facilities.

Design Standards

5.2.6 Safe and efficient access is a vital requirement in all development. In accordance with “Places, Streets & Movement”, that requirement needs to be balanced against the need to create a sense of place and a development that is aesthetically of high quality. The standards published by the County Council as highway authority provide guidance in terms of internal layout, circulation and servicing requirements. Development will be expected to meet these standards which can however be interpreted flexibly, without detriment to safety or efficiency, in response to the circumstances of each case. It should be noted that to achieve safe and efficient access to new developments, including the sites allocated for development on the proposals map, land outside the development sites may be required for meeting highway needs e.g. access corridors and visibility splays.

POLICY T6: DESIGN STANDARDS

Safe and efficient access for all modes of transport will need to be provided in new developments in a way that creates an attractive living environment. Road and other transport proposals will therefore be expected to meet current county council standards whilst responding to the overall design character and philosophy of the particular location and development.

Shared Space Approach

5.2.7 In order to make walking and cycling more attractive than private motorised transport, various design options can be used for residential access roads; for example, the principle of shared space. These designs should give equal rights to all road users, but put the needs and safety of pedestrians and cyclists first. Design measures to reduce speed should be introduced and areas can be set aside for play and community space. Hertfordshire County Council’s “Roads in Hertfordshire – A Design Guide” provides guidance on where the use of shared surfaces might be appropriate. The Borough Council will encourage such designs in new residential developments.

POLICY T7: SHARED SPACE APPROACH

Highway designs in which the road space is shared, with the needs and safety of pedestrians and cyclists taking priority over the private car, such as through home zones, will be permitted in new residential developments.

5.3 STRATEGIC NETWORK - TRANSPORT INTERCHANGES

5.3.1 The Government has highlighted the need to integrate all forms of transport; this is to facilitate the easy movement between different modes of transport. This objective has been supported locally through the Local Transport Plan and Stevenage Transport Strategy. In Stevenage, the current bus station is congested and does not have any spare capacity to support additional services. Investigations have shown that the capacity can be improved, but not without compromising safety and generating a further requirement for an additional site to meet operational needs. Furthermore, improving the existing bus station would not achieve the objective of integrating bus and rail services.

5.3.2 Consultants have considered this issue and have identified an area around the railway station as a site for a combined interchange (see Policy TR2/ii in the Town Centre and Retailing Chapter). As well as providing excellent transport interchange facilities it is likely that it would also support some commercial development in the form of office development above the interchange, as well as some retail opportunities within the interchange itself.

5.3.3 In seeking to relocate the bus station away from its current position, the Borough Council recognises that good links between a combined interchange at this location and the town centre are vital. Any scheme coming forward will need to demonstrate that links into the town centre are convenient, attractive, direct and consider pedestrians, cyclists and those with mobility problems. An area between the Leisure Centre and the town centre has also been allocated for development (see policy TR2(ii)) to facilitate such a link and promote further regeneration of the town centre.

5.3.4 To ensure that the development of a combined interchange meets the needs of residents and people visiting the town to work, shop or for leisure purposes, the Borough Council will prepare a development brief to set out its key requirements. It is likely that the development of a combined interchange will involve many agencies, therefore a partnership approach will be vital in securing a high standard development and quality facilities.

5.3.5 Other areas in the town may be appropriate for smaller scale interchange facilities, such as at neighbourhood centres, employment areas or locations or facilities which attract a large number of people.

POLICY T8: INTEGRATION OF TRANSPORT MODES

Proposals for passenger transport and interchange facilities will be supported at the railway station, and at other locations which attract a significant number of employees, visitors or customers, including neighbourhood centres, employment areas, hospitals, sport and leisure facilities, retail areas and other public attractions.

Proposals at the railway station for a combined interchange will be subject to a development brief which developers will be expected to have regard to. Particular attention will be paid to opportunities for regenerating the town centre and linkages to the town centre for pedestrians, cyclists and those with mobility problems.

Policy TR2 (ii)

5.4 STRATEGIC NETWORK - HIGHWAY

5.4.1 Proposals for the A1(M) widening near Stevenage are being considered as part of the Government’s London to South Midlands Multi-Modal Study. As part of the proposals, a notice (TR111), issued by the Government, safeguards land on either side of the A1(M), until such a time as the exact route of the widening is known. Because of this, planning applications within 67 metres of the centre line of the A1(M) will have to be referred to the DfT.

5.5 PASSENGER TRANSPORT

5.5.1 The Borough Council recognises the importance of passenger transport in providing for those without access to a car and also as an alternative for those who do. The Borough Council therefore assists the County Council by contributing towards the cost of County Council administered contracts for the provision of bus services in those areas where the commercial provision of services is considered insufficient to meet for social needs.

5.5.2 Improving passenger transport is critical if there is to be a shift away from private transport. The Borough Council will encourage the provision of new services and facilities and their integration and where appropriate will require new developments to make provision or contribute to improved passenger transport services and facilities. For the purpose of policies T9, T12, T13 and T14, major development proposals are defined as proposals that are expected to have significant transport implications in relation to the amount, frequency and timing of transport movements that are likely to be generated.

5.5.3 Policy T9 seeks to achieve this through contributions, where appropriate, towards facilities and services, such as the following:

(a) Bus stops and associated facilities for passengers, including shelters and information;
(b) Direct and convenient links between bus stops and the development’s pedestrian exits and entrances;
(c) New bus services or diversions / extensions of existing bus services to serve the development;
(d) Appropriate information, publicity and marketing of the existing and/or new services;
(e) Electronic information provision at bus stops and/or within the development;
(f) Bus priority and/or other infrastructure improvements as required.

5.5.4 In 1999, the Intalink Partnership was established to promote a more integrated approach to passenger transport ticketing and information. The partnership involves County, District and Borough Councils plus bus and train operators. The aim is to promote a common identity, using a universal logo, to promote a more integrated approach.

POLICY T9: PASSENGER TRANSPORT PROVISION

Major development proposals, including redevelopments and changes of use, will be expected to demonstrate what measures are being taken to reduce reliance on private motorised transport. Where passenger transport facilities and services could contribute to this, planning obligations will be sought to secure their provision.

Additionally, those responsible for the design of development schemes, new road schemes or highway improvements will be required to take into account the needs and safety requirements of passenger transport operators and their passengers.

Rail Provision

5.5.5 Rail services at Stevenage play a vital role in the transport network, providing a link for employees, shoppers, leisure and other users, both into and out of the town. The station provides a gateway in Hertfordshire for long distance services as well as a centre for local journeys as it is the only station in the county served by long distance East Coast Mainline (ECML) services.

5.5.6 There are problems with the existing station, such as narrow platforms, poor waiting areas, congested stairs, parking problems and poor links with bus services. The Borough Council recognises that the station needs major improvements if it is to develop its role as a major railhead. Proposals for a combined interchange are set out in section 5.3 above and also in the Town Centre and Retailing chapter. A combined interchange would provide a quality passenger area and enhanced parking facilities. The implementation of a combined interchange would also justify the retention of Stevenage as a major stop for long distance services on the ECML, which is one of the Borough Council’s aims. In the interim, limited improvements to the bus stop, taxi rank and short stay parking area are being progressed by the Railway Station Partnership which includes the Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Train Operating Companies (TOCs), Stevenage Rail Users Group and Railtrack.

5.5.7 Documents such as the Local Transport Plan and the Rail Prospectus for Hertfordshire set out more detailed service aspirations for the county. All the Districts and Borough’s are involved in developing these documents through the County Council’s consultations. Franchise changes to the TOCs provide an opportunity to put forward the Borough Council’s views in terms of improvements to facilities and services and can help in enabling longer term developments to be realised.

5.5.8 Planned improvements elsewhere on the network are also likely to improve services to Stevenage. Thameslink 2000 services aim to improve links to Stevenage by also providing through trains to the south coast. Also on the East Coast Main Line, Railtrack is planning to increase line capacity to London which is likely to improve local services.

POLICY T10: STEVENAGE RAILWAY STATION

Proposals to improve facilities at Stevenage railway station in line with the Stevenage Transport Strategy, the rail prospectus for Hertfordshire and the Local Transport Plan will be supported.

5.5.9 Government policy promotes the shift of freight from road to rail, requiring the provision of new rail freight depots. Although no sites are currently being considered for the provision of a rail freight depot in Stevenage, the Borough Council supports, in principle, the establishment of such a depot if a suitable site becomes available in the Gunnels Wood employment area during the Plan period. The Gunnels Wood employment area is considered to be the only suitable area for a freight depot as this location would minimise any potential disturbance to residential areas. In Stevenage, the aggregates depot at Langley Sidings is the only existing site which is used for transporting freight by rail. As this depot, and any new rail freight facilities that are provided in Stevenage during the period of the plan, can only operate satisfactorily in locations which have direct rail access, complementary surrounding uses and good access to primary roads, it would be difficult for these sites to be suitably replaced in the town if they were released for alternative uses. The safeguarding of existing rail sidings and depots is therefore justified for securing infrastructure for the movement of freight by rail to and from Stevenage. Where it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Borough Council that safeguarded rail freight sites no longer meet the requirements of freight operations and are considered by Railtrack and Freight Operating Companies to be surplus to requirements, alternative uses will be permitted. As all existing and potential rail freight sites are expected to be located in the Gunnels Wood employment area, proposals for alternative uses will be assessed against policies that apply to the employment areas.

POLICY T11: RAIL FREIGHT PROVISION

Development proposals for a rail freight depot will be encouraged on suitable sites in the Gunnels Wood employment area, unless proposals would have an unacceptable traffic or environmental impact.

Existing rail sidings and depots will be safeguarded for rail freight use and developments which would prevent or prejudice their use for rail freight will not be permitted. Alternative uses of safeguarded rail freight sidings and depots will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that they are no longer needed for rail freight operations.

Bus Provision

5.5.10 In Stevenage, buses form a vital part of the internal transport network, providing services mainly between neighbourhoods and the town centre, with some services providing cross town links to locations, such as the Lister Hospital. Buses also provide services to other local towns and further afield. The Borough Council contributes towards the cost of County Council administered contracts for the provision of bus services in those areas where the commercial provision of services is considered insufficient to meet social needs.

5.5.11 New developments will be expected to consider bus service provision as part of their proposals. The Borough Council will liase with developers and Hertfordshire County Council to determine the best options for bus service and infrastructure enhancement. This will include consideration of service coverage, provision of information as well as other incentives to encourage bus use. Planning obligations will be sought to provide services and facilities or contributions to schemes identified in the Local Transport Plan or the Stevenage Transport Strategy. Developers will be expected to make provision for bus access to major development sites, provide bus stops, shelters and information. Pedestrian links to bus stops are expected to be safe, direct and convenient. It may be appropriate for developments to be served by improvements to existing services or extensions to routes rather than a new service.

POLICY T12: BUS PROVISION

Major development proposals, including redevelopments and changes of use, will be expected to demonstrate how the development would be served by bus. Where appropriate, planning obligations will be sought to provide services and facilities or a contribution to a local scheme identified in the Local Transport Plan or Stevenage Transport Strategy.

5.5.12 Changes to the existing bus station are vital if the objective to increase passenger transport use is to be met. The current site is not large enough to accommodate any extra growth in service, particularly for the Stevenage West development. Investigations into re-configuring the existing arrangements have shown that any new design would compromise safety and operational needs without offering any substantial benefits in terms of accommodating service growth. As part of the proposals for the combined interchange scheme the bus station would be moved from its existing location in the Town Square to the railway station (see policy TR2(ii)). Section 5.3 and policy T8 set out the requirements in terms of linkages between the combined interchange and the town centre.

5.5.13 If the bus station is moved as part of a combined interchange development, the bus station area of the Town Square would become available. Policy TR2(i) has identified this site for retail/leisure uses with the emphasis on design, given its prominent location and the likelihood that some of the area would be retained as civic space.

5.6 CYCLEWAYS

5.6.1 The separate cycleway system is an integral part of the town’s design and its transport system. The only areas in the town which do not have cycleways are the Old Town, which preceded the development of the New Town, and Chells Manor, which throughout its initial planning stages lay outside the Borough boundary. The cycleway system provides an opportunity for people to use an alternative mode of transport throughout most of the town. New developments, including Stevenage West, will be required to extend the provision of this system and provide a separate and continuous cycleway network.

5.6.2 The Borough Council is producing a cycling strategy to create a safe and usable environment for cyclists to encourage as many people as possible to cycle. The strategy will contain a number of key aims which the Borough Council will work towards with a number of key partners, including the Stevenage Transport Forum, Hertfordshire County Council, local employers and local user groups.

POLICY T13: CYCLEWAYS

Where appropriate, for major development proposals, including redevelopments and changes of use, the provision of the following will be sought:

(a) safe, direct cycleways within the development; and
(b) contributions to improve and develop cycleways serving the development site; and
(c) links to the existing cycleway network; and
(d) underpasses, bridges or other appropriate means of crossing primary, secondary or local distributor roads within or adjacent to the site; and
(e) adequate landscaping and lighting of cycleways both within the develoment and on any new external links provided as part of the development; and
(f) secure parking provision in line with standards set out in the environmental safeguards; and
(g) changing and shower facilities for employees.

Additionally, those responsible for the design of new road schemes or road improvements will be required to take account of the needs and safety requirements of cyclists and other route users.

Policy L21

5.7 PEDESTRIANS

5.7.1 Stevenage has an extensive network of footpaths, segregated from road traffic and cycleways giving people another choice in how to make their journey. They provide essential links as people move around the Town and also into the surrounding countryside. The retention and further development of this network is essential. The loss of existing footpaths will be resisted by the Borough Council. New developments, including Stevenage West, will be required to extend the provision of this system and provide a separate, and continuous footpath network.

POLICY T14: PEDESTRIANS

Where appropriate, for major development proposals, including redevelopments and changes of use, the provision of the following will be sought:

(a) safe, direct and convenient pedestrian routes within the site; and
(b) contributions to improving pedestrian routes to the development site; and
(c) links to the existing pedestrian network; and
(d) underpasses, bridges or other appropriate means of crossing primary, secondary or local distributor roads within or adjacent to the site; and
(e) adequate landscaping and lighting for pedestrian routes both within the development and on any new external links provided as part of the development.

Additionally, those responsible for the design of new road schemes or road improvements will be required to take account of the needs and safety requirements of pedestrians.

Policy L21

5.8 PARKING

Car Parking

5.8.1 In meeting the Government’s objectives of reducing the number and length of motorised journeys, car parking policy is an important tool which needs to be carefully considered. As a result of joint working between the County Council and other local authorities in the county, Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on Car Parking was adopted by the County Council in December 2000. The SPG supports Policy 25 of the adopted Structure Plan by providing guidance for the preparation of more detailed policies about car parking in local plans and sets out maximum standards and how restraint should be applied to reduce them further. The Borough Council has prepared its own supplementary planning guidance, which sets out detailed guidance on vehicle car parking in Stevenage.

5.8.2 The Borough Council will require reduced car parking provision in new non-residential developments in locations which are well served by or have good access to alternative modes of transport. This will not however, reduce the need to provide car parking or servicing to meet operational needs of the development, although these should be kept to a minimum. The approach to residential car parking in Hertfordshire County Council’s SPG is currently being reviewed. The Borough Council’s SPG on car parking provision reflects the outcome of this review and the guidance for residential car parking set out in PPG3. The approach will be based around reducing off-street parking provision in appropriate developments, whilst ensuring that developments would not create highway access, safety or amenity problems.

5.8.3 In Hertfordshire County Council’s SPG, commuted parking payments have been replaced by ‘accessibility contributions’ which relate to the traffic impact of new development instead of meeting the demand for car parking. Where appropriate, accessibility contributions will be sought through planning obligations to improve access to developments by non-car modes. The type of improvements that contributions will be used for will directly relate to the development proposal and the level of contributions sought will be fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the traffic impact of the development. Where applicable, the Stevenage Transport Strategy and the Local Transport Plan will be used for determining the type of improvements that accessibility contributions will be used for. Detailed guidance on accessibility contributions and how they will be calculated is included in the Supplementary Planning Guidance on car parking provision. As set out in policy T4, the implementation of Green Travel Plans will also be sought from appropriate developments in order to reduce the need for car parking and improve the use of other transport modes.

5.8.4 In order to achieve a balance between the need to reduce journeys by private car and support a vital and viable town, wider issues such as; pricing structure, availability of public parking and the levels of long and short stay parking need to be considered. These issues cover a much broader subject area than that which is appropriate in a development plan, in view of this a wider parking strategy for the town is being prepared by the Borough Council.

POLICY T15 – CAR PARKING STRATEGY

Car parking provision will be made at, or below, the maximum provision specified in the Borough Council’s adopted car parking standards. Developments with significant transport implications will be expected to demonstrate the measures that will be taken to minimise the need for car parking.

For non-residential developments, operational, staff, and customer parking provision on-site will be kept to a minimum. Parking will only be provided for servicing, dropping off, delivery and, where communal public parking is not available nearby, for customers or visitors that the Borough Council accepts as being essential to the operation of the development.

Redevelopment of existing car parking areas will be permitted where this is in conformity with the car parking strategy.

Where appropriate, accessibility contributions will be sought, to improve the accessibility of a development by alternative modes of transport.

Residential Parking Problems

5.8.5 At the time when most of the older residential neighbourhoods of Stevenage were planned and developed, high levels of car ownership were not foreseen. These areas of the town are now experiencing practical and environmental problems due to the lack of, or insufficient provision of, parking spaces and garages. The problem is exacerbated by the inadequate road widths preventing satisfactory on street parking. Whilst the Government wishes to discourage people from using their cars, this council has inherited a particular environmental problem which needs to be addressed. Therefore, areas which have been identified as having particular problems will, through an ongoing programme of improvements, be upgraded. Where appropriate, planning obligations will be sought for developments which propose to have a reduced provision of car parking, to contribute to nearby car parking improvement schemes.

POLICY T16: LOSS OF RESIDENTIAL CAR PARKING

Any development that results in the loss of off street parking spaces will be expected to provide for the parking lost and an appropriate level of parking associated with the development itself. This may be within the proposed development or in a more appropriate location.

Where it can be demonstrated that the site is well served by alternative modes of transport a lower provision of car parking may be allowed.

POLICY T17: RESIDENTIAL PARKING SCHEMES

Areas and individual streets will be identified where parking improvement schemes will be implemented. Possible solutions include the following:

(a) providing additional off-street parking space, where possible;
(b) making better use of off-street spaces which already exist;
(c) integrating some limited on-street parking safely into the street layout;
adopting the shared space approach with speed reducing features to allow for (d) the safe sharing of space by pedestrians, cyclists and car users through the use of detailed design solutions to provide for car parking needs.

In nearby developments that do not meet their full car parking requirements contributions will be sought for use in conjunction with nearby car parking improvement schemes.

Lorry Parking

5.8.6 Lorry parking in residential areas creates road safety and environmental problems. There is an overnight lorry-parking ban in the whole of Stevenage, which is serviced by the lorry park at Primett Road.

5.8.7 Primett Road is not the ideal location for a lorry park as it is adjacent to the Old Town Conservation Area and lorries must use the gyratory system around the Bowling Green. The removal of the lorry park will therefore considerably enhance the environment of the Old Town. The main through route for Stevenage is via Gunnels Wood Road. A lorry park would be best located near to this route.

POLICY T18: LORRY PARK

The Borough Council will seek the provision of a new lorry park for Stevenage within the borough.