Policy T2: Designing for Sustainable Transport
Where development is of a scale that requires the provision of new or extended streets or service roads, or the upgrading of existing infrastructure on or off site, the following requirements should be met:
T2.1: Design of walking and cycling infrastructure throughout Our Neighbourhood should accord with Design Guidance: Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013.
T2.2: Residential access roads and residential streets should be designed according to these principles:
- Designed as part of the public realm enabling a family-friendly environment and safe conditions for walking, cycling and play; and
- Car traffic minimised, through-routes for motor vehicles excluded and with streets designed to 20mph design speeds; and
- Direct, continuous and prioritised routes for walking and cycling provided throughout the site, with good connections to the walking and cycling network of the surrounding area; and
- Provision for car parking within the curtilage of each property or within a nearby neighbourhood parking area. Where on-street parking is necessary, it should be provided in designated bays, and designed to ensure the safety and convenience of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users; and
- Designed to minimise the potential for crime and to foster personal safety.
4.197 The ‘Design Guidance: Active Travel’ (Welsh Government, 2014) covers topics such as surfaces, lighting, the need for seating, for managing street clutter, and for good maintenance, along with advice on determining how pedestrian and cyclist priority at side roads should be handled, when separated cycling infrastructure is appropriate, and facilities at bus stops. A full range of design elements is provided, which embody best practice, including minimum dimensions. Highly congested pavements are a particular problem in Durham. Objective techniques for assessing footway capacity are provided which will determine what level of enhancement is required.
4.198 Durham County Council (2014d) ‘Highways Design Guide For Residential Development’ lays down the standards which should be complied with for roads to be adopted for maintenance at the public expense. It includes some guidance on design for walking, but very little guidance on satisfying cycling needs. As acknowledged in the ‘Durham City Sustainable Transport Strategy’ (Durham County Council, 2016g), the relatively small, compact nature of the city suits the promotion of sustainable modes of travel, and thus higher standards and a stronger emphasis on good design are required in Our Neighbourhood. The NPPF (para. 58) indicates that neighbourhood plans should develop policies relating to design quality, including policies aiming to optimise the potential of development sites to support local transport networks. Regarding land use planning, the Sustainable Transport Strategy (p. 19-20) recommends the highest possible design standards should be applied to the design of sites and of access on foot, by cycle and by public transport.
4.199 The ‘Design Guidance: Active Travel’ (Welsh Government, 2014) is currently the most comprehensive and up to date walking and cycling design guide to have received approval through a UK legislative process, and is in accord with UK highways practices. It gathers in one document best practice from earlier publications such as the ‘Manual for Streets’ (Department for Transport, 2007), ‘Inclusive Mobility’ (Department for Transport, 2005), and ‘Cycle Infrastructure Design’ (Department for Transport, 2008). Designing walking and cycling infrastructure in accordance with this guidance will enable the fullest uptake of walking and cycling in Our Neighbourhood. The guidance should be applied to all types of roads and off-road routes so that a network of consistently high quality can be developed.
Next section: Policy T3: Residential Car Parking in the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ)