Policy I/ST: Sustainable transport and connectivity

DRAFT version for various committee meetings.

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What will this policy do?

This policy will set out how the transport impacts of development should be managed, and how new development should be connected to the transport network. 

Proposed policy direction

This policy will seek to deliver sustainable and inclusive communities by minimising the need to travel and reducing travel distances, whilst ensuring there is effective and sufficient sustainable transport mode choice and improved connectivity for everyone of any ability. It will require development to located and designed to reduce the need to travel, particularly by car, and promote sustainable travel appropriate to its location.

Developers will be required to submit a Transport Statement, and for larger developments Transport Assessment (integrating a Low Emissions Strategy) and Travel Plan, to demonstrate how many trips will be generated by the development, their impacts (including on health, environment and cumulative impacts), and how they will be accommodated and addressed, maximising opportunities for sustainable travel.

Innovative and flexible solutions will be sought to internalising trips and reducing vehicle use, including through measures such as digital infrastructure and last mile deliveries. New developments should be designed around the principles of walkable neighbourhoods and healthy towns to encourage active sustainable travel; the policy will ensure priority is given to people over vehicular traffic (with low speeds), to make journeys by walking and cycling more direct and convenient than by car. They should also protect and enhance the public rights of way network.

Developers will be required to contribute to improvements to public and community transport and deliver new and improved sustainable active travel connections for non-motorised users including for equestrians appropriate to the scale and nature of the proposal. Additional guidance for developers on the quality of provision is being prepared in an Active Travel Toolkit. Improvements will include enhancements to existing routes to break down barriers to use and improve safety and capacity, as well as providing high quality new routes to improve connections to nearby communities, services and facilities. Planned infrastructure schemes (such as East West Rail, improvements to the A428, and schemes planned by the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority) will provide significant and wide ranging improvements for active travel modes; to maximise their benefits high quality local connections will be needed to integrate them into the wider network and with local communities.   

This policy will require developments, appropriate to their scale and location,  to deliver opportunities for seamless interchange between different modes, for example at travel hubs, and address the whole journey including the first/last mile. This includes accommodating new forms of mobility, innovative solutions, and future proofing technological changes, such as micromobility (including scooters/e-scooters), e-bikes and cycle hire, autonomous vehicles, Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

Developments which would have unacceptable transport impacts will not be supported.

Why is this policy needed?

In Greater Cambridge emissions from transport is one of the largest contributors to climate change. Through the development strategy proposed in this consultation we have considered where and how future development should be planned to enable the co-location of homes close to jobs, services and facilities so people can meet their day to day needs locally, to reduce the need to travel by car, and to support travel by walking, cycling and public transport. New developments should make high quality places, designed around people, with slower traffic speeds and giving pedestrians and cyclists priority.

The Local Plan will also need respond to changing patterns of mobility and technological innovations and set clear requirements regarding transport infrastructure and connectivity that is expected from new developments through the planning application process.

This policy will ensure development will not have an unacceptable transport impact; increasing vehicular trips on already congested roads or generating more trips using public transport or the existing walking and cycling network than there is currently capacity to safely accommodate. Wider impacts on health and the environment, including cumulative impacts, will also be taken into consideration. Health Impact Assessments, which would be sought by WS/HD in the Wellbeing and Social Inclusion theme, will also aid the consideration of whether a place has been designed around people.

To reduce the reliance upon the private car and provide genuine travel choice which is inclusive to everyone, the policy will seek to address the whole journey including the first/last mile and seamless interchange between modes, seek to break down physical and perceived barriers to improve connectivity, and ensure timely delivery of new and improved transport infrastructure to accommodate new development.

The policy will reflect the aims of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Transport Plan (prepared by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority as the local transport authority) and national policy whilst addressing the specific challenges and local opportunities within Greater Cambridge. The policy will also complement local schemes and measures proposed by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (a local infrastructure delivery vehicle) and Cambridgeshire County Council (as local highway authority).

What consultation have we done on this issue?

We received a large number of comments on transport issues, responding to a range of First Conversation questions. Respondents supported development being focused in sustainable locations with access to a mix of uses including jobs, education, services and facilities and connected by sustainable transport links. Key feedback from the First Conversation included the following:

  • Include measures which will prioritise and encourage use of sustainable and active modes and seek to reduce car use;
  • Support for high quality cycling infrastructure;
  • Developers should mitigate their transport impacts and help fund improved public transport, and a range of other measures such as Dial a Ride, shuttle buses, and car clubs.
  • New infrastructure should be delivered prior to first occupations, to a high quality, for people of all abilities, and improve connectivity of the wider network.
  • We should make provision for electric vehicles, and policies should be flexible to future proof and adapt to changing patterns of travel and technological solutions.

What alternatives did we consider?

No policy - Not considered a reasonable alternative. Relying on the Local Transport Plan or national policy would not providing sufficient detail to address the local context and ensure that sustainable transport is fully considered through the planning application process.

Supporting evidence studies and topic papers

  • Greater Cambridge Local Plan: Topic paper 8: Infrastructure
  • Greater Cambridge Local Plan Infrastructure Delivery Plan Interim Report (2021)
  • Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals: Transport Study (2021)

Existing policies in adopted 2018 Local Plans

South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018

  • Policy TI/2: Planning for Sustainable Travel

Cambridge Local Plan 2018

  • Policy 5: Strategic transport infrastructure
  • Policy 81: Mitigating the transport impact of development

Tell us what you think

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