5. Improving Accessibility

5.1.

INTRODUCTION

5.1.1.

The policies and proposals set out in this chapter are aimed at ensuring land use planning within the County supports the development of an integrated transport system for Swansea and the wider South West Wales region. The UDP transport strategy has been developed in accordance with the Council’s Local Transport Plan (LTP) and the regional strategies of the South West Wales Integrated Transport Consortium (SWWITCH). The UDP aims to secure improved accessibility for all through a set of complementary policies relating to public transport, walking, cycling, improvements to infrastructure, traffic management and parking. Policies that aim to reduce the length of journeys and number of trips by private car are also set out in this chapter, complementing the approach taken to encourage mixed-use development.

Goal 5

Maximise access opportunities for all by the most appropriate modes of transport to, from and within the area.

5.2.

JUSTIFICATION OF PART 1 STRATEGIC POLICIES

5.2.1.

An efficient integrated transport system that is accessible to all is an essential requirement of sustaining a competitive economy and maintaining an inclusive society. Whilst access to transport brings about many advantages and opportunities that may otherwise be denied to people, it can also generate adverse impacts on the environment and human health, and ultimately reduce economic competitiveness. Unrestricted growth in the use of the private car in particular requires mitigation policies in order to: reduce traffic congestion and harmful emissions; improve levels of personal safety; and to contribute more widely to improvements in the public realm. Delivering a sustainable integrated transport system will require a balanced approach of improvements to public transport, increasing levels of walking and cycling, restraining car parking provision and managing the highway network.

5.2.2.

The location, design and type of new development will directly influence people’s choices relating to travel and modes of transport. In turn the provision of transport infrastructure and services will influence patterns of development and travel choices. As such, development should be located in areas which are served by high quality public transport, or which have the potential for public transport improvements, and where suitable infrastructure and facilities are in place to encourage walking and cycling as a viable means of travel. Integration between land use planning and transport is key to developing a sustainable transport system that is accessible to all.

5.2.3.

As well as ensuring development facilitates sustainable travel patterns for people, it is also important to ensure that land use planning encourages more sustainable movements of freight. Consideration will be given to the needs of freight access, particularly in respect of industrial and retailing uses, with a view to encouraging the movement of goods by the most sustainable means wherever possible. Locating industrial, retailing and other commercial uses close to rail freight facilities offers potential for reducing the amount of goods traffic on the road network.

5.2.4.

In order to facilitate modal shift towards more sustainable travel, public transport must be an efficient, reliable and affordable service, such that it is an attractive and realistic alternative to the private car. Such improvements will need to be complemented by policies to restrain the provision of car parking where this is appropriate and supported by the expansion of high quality park and ride facilities across the County for the benefit of those visiting and working within the City Centre. Providing fewer car parking spaces and/or implementing higher car parking charges is an integral element of a truly integrated transport system and plays a significant role in persuading people to change to more sustainable modes of transport. Parking guidelines for new developments will therefore seek to set maximum car parking standards to ensure that land is used more efficiently and that access by walking, cycling and public transport is encouraged. Consideration will also be given to reducing the minimum number of parking spaces to be provided in locations with good access to public transport, pedestrian and cycle links.

5.2.5.

Encouraging walking and cycling is increasingly recognised as an important element of a truly integrated transport strategy and can bring about many wider social benefits, including improvements to personal health, energy conservation, reduced congestion, improvements in air quality and enhanced levels of accessibility. Many trips are short enough to be made by foot or cycle however the vast majority of journeys less than 2 miles are by car. Policies are therefore required to encourage walking and cycling as an attractive and viable alternative to the private car, as well as an enjoyable leisure activity. In order to facilitate this there is a need to make sure that adequate provision for pedestrians and cyclists is built into new development from the earliest stages. The implementation of secure cycle parking facilities, traffic calming schemes and high quality routes for pedestrians and cyclists are all measures that influence the attractiveness and viability of travel by cycle or foot.

5.2.6.

Traffic management and highway safety schemes are required where they will improve road safety, reduce vehicle speeds and enhance the environment. In addition, limited highway improvement schemes are proposed to mitigate current adverse affects on residential and other environmentally sensitive areas, and to facilitate economic regeneration through the development of key employment, housing and leisure sites.

5.2.7.

As one of four Welsh transport consortia supported by WAG, SWWITCH is the alliance between the four Unitary Authorities in South West Wales (Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Neath/Port Talbot and Swansea), which sets the strategic vision for transport within the region. SWWITCH is now well established as a joint committee and the forthcoming Regional Transport Plan (RTP) will be prepared by the consortium on a regional basis. The policies and proposals set out in this chapter also complement the overarching vision and objectives of WAG’s Wales Transport Strategy, focusing on the delivery of an affordable, environmentally sustainable and integrated transport system that is accessible to all.

5.3.

THE INTEGRATED TRANSPORT SYSTEM

Objectives

  • To support development at accessible and safe locations (5.a)
  • To reduce the need to travel and reduce reliance on the private car (5.b)
  • To improve safety and reduce the adverse environmental impacts of transport (5.c)
  • To make the most efficient use of existing transport infrastructure (5.d)
  • To ensure that Swansea’s transportation system can support the City’s continuing role as the regional centre for South West Wales (5.e)
  • To promote improvements to the transportation system which will meet the existing and future access needs of businesses, residents and investors (5.f)
  • To conserve and enhance the historic and cultural environment (1.g)
  • To avoid significant adverse environmental impacts from new development (1.j)
  • To promote cycling and walking and the provision of high quality public transport (5.g)
5.3.1.

Providing an integrated, efficient and fully accessible transport system is integral to the objective of raising prosperity and maximising Swansea’s potential as a regional capital and gateway to South West Wales. Improvements to transport infrastructure and services are key requirements in addressing social disadvantage amongst communities, revitalising the central and waterfront areas of the City and securing a modernised, sustainable economic base. Encouraging greater use of public transport, walking and cycling for journeys undertaken within the County is central to the overall sustainable transport strategy, which also advocates traffic management proposals, limited highway improvement schemes and appropriate enhancements to port and airport facilities.

5.3.2.

When considering development proposals the transport priorities will be:

  1. Locating development in areas with high levels of public transport accessibility.
  2. Requiring new schemes to be designed such that they minimise vehicle speeds; enhance public transport, walking and cycling as attractive travel choices; and comply with ‘accessibility for all’ principles.
  3. Redeveloping the Quadrant Bus Station as a focus for bus passenger movement.
  4. Enhancing the strategic access corridors particularly through improved public transport opportunities, including ‘park and ride’ facilities.
  5. Reducing traffic impact within the City Centre and Waterfront area.
  6. Enhancing local railway services and promoting improved rail freight facilities.
  7. Retaining and enhancing increased use of the commercial docks to support businesses.
  8. Encouraging an enhanced role for Swansea Airport whilst respecting necessary environmental safeguards.

NEW DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS

POLICY AS1

New development associated with housing, employment, shopping, leisure and service provision should be located in areas that are currently highly accessible by a range of transport modes, in particular public transport, walking and cycling, or in areas where a good level of such provision can realistically be achieved. In considering new development proposals, the need for Transport Assessments and Travel Plans will be assessed, taking account of:

  1. The scale and nature of the development,
  2. The level of employment/and associated travel demand,
  3. Visitor generation,
  4. Delivery/Service vehicle movement,
  5. Operational hours, and
  6. Possible future travel demand.

Main Cross References: SP14, EV2-3, EC1-2, EC4-5, EC15, EC17, EC20, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-15, HC17-18, HC28-29, HC32, AS2, AS5, AS7-9, CC1, CC4-5

National Planning Guidance: PPW ; TAN 18; The Transport Framework for Wales

SPG: Guidance on Transport Assessments of Development Proposals (forthcoming)

Amplification

5.3.3.

The aim of this policy is to ensure that travel intensive uses are located in areas which are, or have the potential to be, easily accessible by walking, cycling and public transport, in order to contribute to a reduction in the environmental and social impacts of car-borne traffic, make effective use of existing transport infrastructure and provide real transport choices for the movement of people and goods.

5.3.4.

In order to achieve minimum standards of accessibility, developments in urban areas should normally be within 400 metres walking distance from a public transport access point (for example bus stop or railway station) that is on a route with a 20 min frequency or better (Monday – Friday). In rural areas there should be at least an hourly public transport service within the same walking distance, although required development may not be able to achieve these accessibility criteria in all circumstances. In the case of tourism development in particular, a lack of public transport access needs to be balanced against the contribution the scheme would make towards the rural economy of that area. Development in rural locations should preferably be sited within and adjoining settlements that benefit from key services and facilities, rather than at sporadic countryside locations.

5.3.5.

New developments will generate additional demands on the existing transport network and it is essential that the consequences for all forms of travel are properly assessed. A Transport Assessment (TA) will be required to accompany planning applications for developments that could have significant transport implications. The TA must ensure that the potential impacts of all modes of transport are evaluated and include the development of a strategy to manage traffic demand and to encourage, as far as possible, the use of public transport, cycling and walking. The output strategy of a TA is referred to as a Transport Implementation Strategy (TIS) in TAN18. This national guidance provides greater detail on the circumstances when a TA and TIS will be required, including defining the thresholds of development above which the need for a TA is normally triggered. These national guidance thresholds will be applied except where separate SPG is produced and adopted to different effect. Separate guidance may be required, for example, to reduce the thresholds in particularly sensitive locations. A TIS should make clear the objectives and targets for managing travel demand and also identify the financial contributions that will be required to ensure these aims are met. The Council will seek to monitor and enforce a TIS by means of appropriate planning conditions/legal agreements. The extent of on-street parking pressures in an area is an important factor to be considered when undertaking a TA and producing a TIS. The Council will refuse permission for development where, despite the presence of controlled parking measures, significant road safety or congestion issues are likely to arise.

5.3.6.

As part of the development of the transport assessment strategy, the Council will enter into negotiations/planning obligations with developers in order to secure accessibility to new development by all modes. This may range from infrastructure improvements, footpaths, cycling and parking provision, to financial support for new/improved public transport. The level and form of provision will be determined in relation to the nature and scale of the development and specific local circumstances.

5.3.7.

Transport and traffic management strategies submitted in support of a development should incorporate a Travel Plan. Travel Plans have a significant role to play in achieving a reduction in road traffic by enabling organisations to manage their travel needs and encourage more sustainable travel. Measures normally include encouraging more public transport use, walking and cycling as well as car sharing, flexible hours, home working and controls on parking. The Council proposes to adopt Travel Plans for its own buildings and for new schools and encourages their adoption by hospitals, large businesses and other organisations that generate significant numbers of journeys. The Council and its partners will prepare guidance that will explain the requirements for Travel Plans and TAs, in order to assist developers when assessing the transport impact of their proposals.

DESIGN AND LAYOUT

POLICY AS2

New developments should be designed to:

  1. Promote the use of public transport and facilitate sustainable travel choices,
  2. Provide suitable facilities and an attractive environment for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised modes of transport,
  3. Allow for the safe, efficient and non intrusive movement of vehicles, and
  4. Comply with the principles of accessibility for all.

The means of access to new developments should be designed to ensure that:

  1. Vehicle speeds are minimised,
  2. Extraneous traffic is not attracted, unless there is a specific strategic need for an access route through the area, and
  3. Impacts on the natural, historic and built environment and local communities are minimised.

Main Cross References: SP1, SP13, SP14, EV1, EV3-4, EC1-2, EC4-5, EC15, EC17, EC20, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-15, HC17-18, HC28-29, HC32, R1-R6, R8, R12-13, R15, AS1, AS5-6, AS7, AS10, CC1, CC3-5

National Planning Guidance: PPW ; TAN 18; The Transport Framework for Wales

SPG: Guidance on Transport Assessments of Development Proposals (forthcoming)

Amplification

5.3.8.

In the design of new development, full regard should be had to the needs of users of different modes of travel including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, users of public transport and the needs of people with disabilities. The Council is keen to ensure that all new developments are pedestrian friendly and take account of the needs of cyclists, and may therefore undertake accessibility audits to assess new development proposals. Car free residential developments are encouraged in areas with good public transport accessibility and where developers can demonstrate that the development will have no adverse on-street parking impact.

5.3.9.

All development should be designed to minimise the adverse effects of any roads and traffic on neighbouring residential areas or other sensitive uses. The Council will expect measures such as traffic calming to be incorporated into the design of new residential areas to reduce traffic speeds and increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Road construction to serve new developments should seek to minimise environmental impacts through careful alignment, design and detail.

PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY

POLICY AS3

Development that adversely affects the safety, enjoyment and convenient use of a Public Right Of Way (PROW) will only be permitted where an acceptable alternative route is identified. The stopping up of a PROW will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances.

Main Cross References: SP14, EV3-4, EV12, AS4, CC4

National Planning Guidance: PPW

SPG:

Amplification

5.3.10.

The Council is committed to its statutory duty to protect PROW (as recorded on the definitive map and statement) for public access and recreational purposes. If diversion of a PROW is necessary to allow development to take place, an alternative route must be identified and incorporated into the planning application. The grant of planning permission does not provide consent to alter a PROW. It must be diverted or stopped up by order and a separate application must be made to the Council for any alteration. A diversion order must be confirmed before the development takes place. Where necessary, planning conditions will be used to ensure that development does not commence before arrangements have been made to provide an adequate alternative route.

5.3.11.

The stopping up of a PROW will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Such circumstances will only apply to developments that bring substantial economic or social benefits to the local neighbourhood and where it can be demonstrated that those benefits outweigh the loss of the PROW to the community. In such circumstances also, the Council will expect developers to demonstrate that no alternative route can be accommodated within the site.

5.3.12.

If sufficient evidence exists of public use along a route shown on the old Borough of Swansea Engineer’s Map and that route is not recorded on the definitive map and statement then the route will be considered by the Council to be a PROW for the purpose of development. The evidence available will determine the status given to such routes.

5.3.13.

When considering alternative routes to existing PROW in the case of large scale development that will completely reconfigure the former landscape, e.g. the redevelopment of old industrial sites or new development of greenfield sites, consideration must be given to existing and future public access in accordance with the altered landscape.

PUBLIC ACCESS ROUTES

POLICY AS4

The creation or improvement of public access routes, including the Public Right Of Way (PROW) network, will be encouraged. Measures to achieve this will include:

  1. Managing and maintaining the network to accommodate needs of users in a way that avoids conflict between users,
  2. Ensuring that existing and proposed new routes are protected from development proposals that would prejudice their provision or use in the future, and
  3. Ensuring that new development is linked to a public access route or the PROW network wherever possible.

Main Cross-references: SP13, SP14, EV3-4, EV6, EV12, AS3, AS5, CC4

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 18; Walking & Cycling Strategy for Wales

SPG:

Amplification:

5.3.14.

In addition to statutory responsibilities for the PROW network, the above policy will facilitate new or improved off road public access routes. Any development that would unacceptably obstruct and/or adversely affect the enjoyment of an existing or proposed new route will be resisted, unless an acceptable alternative route is confirmed in advance of development taking place. This is in accordance with the LTP and assists implementation of the Council’s walking and cycling strategies and Countryside Access Plan. It also supports aims to promote recreational access to urban greenspace and the countryside.

5.3.15.

Users of public access routes and the PROW network include to varying degrees walkers, cyclists, horse riders, and in two specific instances, motor vehicles on byways. The different legitimate needs of these users must be taken into account in specific measures to achieve the aims of the policy.

5.3.16.

It is important to ensure that all new or improved routes do not damage the local landscape or environment, or local resident and visitor amenity. Accordingly, careful consideration will be given to signage, surfacing and engineering work. In addition, standards of design on the PROW network must take account of people with mobility difficulties, the young and the elderly.

5.3.17.

The Council wishes to build upon the opportunities presented by the County’s location on the National Cycle Network. It is the intention to develop safe, convenient, efficient and attractive shared use infrastructure of a quality that will encourage walking and cycling as a more sustainable mode of transport. 28 kilometres of the National Cycle Network (Routes 4 and 43) has already been established, and there is another 22km of other cycle routes. However, there are a number of missing links that need to be provided, these are defined as:

  1. Crofty to Penclawdd to Gowerton
  2. Pont y Cob to Loughor
  3. Gowerton to Kingsbridge
  4. Grovesend to Pontarddulais
  5. Tawe Riverside West to Morfa (
  6. Ynystawe/Clydach to County Boundary
  7. Morfa to Gowerton via Penlan and Fforestfach (
  8. SA1 to Morfa via High Street Station
  9. Port Mead to Llangyfelach
  10. Fforestfach to Penllergaer (xi) Pontarddulais to Garnswllt
5.3.18.

Wherever possible, the Council will examine the possibilities for the improvement or extension of public access opportunities when considering development proposals. Developers will be encouraged to provide links to any adjoining PROW network from new developments where these do not already exist. This can help to make new developments more accessible and so encourage travel by means other than the private car.

5.3.19.

The Council also has requirements in relation to the CROW Act, which extends the public’s right of access to the countryside. 16% of the County is now access land, to which the public have a right of access on foot. In considering proposals for new access rights, consideration will be given to guidance from the Local Access Forum and the Countryside Access Plan (Rights Of Way Improvement Plan).

WALKING AND CYCLING

POLICY AS5

Development proposals will be required to consider the access requirements for pedestrians and cyclists and, where necessary, provide appropriate facilities and/or infrastructure to encourage their use.

Main Cross References: SP13, SP14, EV1, EV3-4, EC1-2, EC4- 5, EC15, EC17, HC1-2, HC11-15, HC17-18, HC32, AS1-2, AS4, AS6, CC1, CC4-5

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 18; Walking & Cycling Strategy for Wales

SPG:

Amplification

5.3.20.

Encouraging walking and cycling as an attractive alternative to the private car, and as an enjoyable leisure activity, can bring about many wider social benefits. These include the promotion of physical activity and healthy living amongst communities; enhanced levels of accessibility; the conservation of energy resources; improvements in air quality; and reductions in vehicular traffic.

5.3.21.

In particular there is considerable potential to increase the levels of walking and cycling for journeys less than 2 miles, the vast majority of which are undertaken by means of the private car. Development proposals will be required to consider how the design, layout and location of the scheme will cater for the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. The availability of cycle parking facilities, traffic calming schemes and high quality routes for pedestrians and cyclists on and off road are examples of measures that influence the attractiveness and viability of travel by cycle or foot.

PARKING

POLICY AS6

Parking provision to serve development will be assessed against adopted maximum parking standards to ensure that proposed schemes provide appropriate levels of parking for private cars and service vehicles. Account will also need to be taken of the need to provide facilities for the parking of motorcycles and cycles.

Main Cross-references: SP14, EV1, EV4, EV25, EV35-36, EC1-2, EC4-6, EC9-10, EC15, EC17, EC20, HC1-2, HC5-6, HC7-18, HC28-29, HC32, AS1-2, AS5, CC1, CC4-5

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 18

SPG: South Wales Counties Parking Guidelines; Guidance on Parking Standards (forthcoming)

Amplification

5.3.22.

Parking charges and the availability of parking spaces are key tools in facilitating a reduction in journeys by private car and affecting change in mode choice towards more sustainable means of travel. Higher charges for long stay parking in particular is a crucial element of an integrated approach to encouraging more journeys by public transport, walking and cycling.

5.3.23.

For the purposes of this policy, ‘appropriate’ refers to a quantum of parking that is consistent with the addendum to the South Wales Parking Guidelines, pending production of fully revised maximum parking standards, and which engenders a safe environment for road users. Applications will be refused where the likelihood of on-street parking occurring will give rise to vehicle congestion and/or highway safety concerns. The Council will have particular regard to the potential adverse impact of increased levels of on-street parking in the case of residential development where the existing road layout and design is unlikely to satisfactorily cope with additional parking pressures. In those instances where parking cannot be provided on site, or is judged not to be appropriate, the Council will seek to enter into negotiations with developers for contributions towards a range of alternative transport measures. TAN 18 indicates that such contributions can be used to assist with measures designed to improve public transport, cycling and walking, and need not therefore be limited to covering the provision of off-site parking. The provision of secure cycle parking and associated facilities will be sought in all major development schemes and transport interchanges.

5.3.24.

The current South Wales Parking Guidelines are supplemented by an addendum which identifies maximum parking standards and also provides guidance on developer contributions, Transport Assessments, Travel Plans and facilities for disabled people. Revised TAN 18 emphasises that local authorities must adopt a coordinated approach to parking standards at both local and regional level, and sets out a new framework for undertaking revisions to existing standards. Accordingly, a Regional Parking Framework (RPF) will be developed in support of the forthcoming SWWITCH RTP and other relevant development strategies. The Council will use this regional framework to develop a Local Parking Strategy (LPS), which will be adopted as SPG. The RPF and LPS will reflect the geographical differences that exist in terms of accessibility by public transport, walking and cycling, as well as the availability of public on/off street parking facilities. Such differences can be particularly marked between urban and rural locations, but can also vary between urban areas. In locations with good access to public transport, consideration will be given to a reduction of the maximum standard where appropriate.

5.3.25.

Pending the adoption of the revised standards, a degree of flexibility in the operation of existing guidelines may be appropriate where:

  1. It would assist in achieving higher scheme quality, and/or
  2. It would serve the promotion of the beneficial use of underused buildings, especially upper floors (as in the case of “over the shop” and other City/District Centre residential development).
5.3.26.

In assessing whether to apply a degree of flexibility, consideration will be given to:

  1. The nature of the development,
  2. Capacity of the site,
  3. Traffic and servicing conditions, and
  4. Availability of public transport.

BUS SERVICES

POLICY AS7

Proposals that deliver high quality, integrated and accessible bus services will be supported. The Council will seek the implementation of the following measures to provide enhanced bus services and encourage increased use of bus travel:

  1. The comprehensive redevelopment of the Quadrant Bus Station to form a high quality interchange facility,
  2. The introduction of bus priority measures on the main transport corridors and within the City Centre,
  3. The implementation of dedicated bus routes from park and ride sites to the City Centre, and
  4. Partnership initiatives between the Council and transport operators.

Main cross-references: SP13, SP14, EV3, EC1-2, EC4-5, EC15, EC17, EC20, HC1-2, HC11-18, AS2, AS8, AS11, CC4

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 18; The Transport Framework for Wales; Community Transport in the Welsh Transport Network

SPG:

Amplification

5.3.27.

The vision of the City and County of Swansea Bus Strategy (2003) is ‘to facilitate the development and increased use of a high quality, sustainable, integrated bus network throughout the Authority that is accessible to all, supports local communities and helps to promote economic growth’. In order to achieve this, the Council will work in partnership with bus operators and WAG to improve vehicles, passenger information, interchange facilities and supporting infrastructure, as part of a co-ordinated programme of improvements to public transport. The Council will continue to engage in promotional initiatives to link bus services, and other non car modes, with recreational events and activities as part of an integrated approach to increasing bus travel. Ongoing initiatives include the introduction of a new concept bus, known as the ‘Swansea Metro’, for the Morriston to Mumbles corridor incorporating highway improvements; the development of an integrated ticketing scheme designed to deliver joined up journeys by train and bus; assessing the potential of an electric bus service; modernising and increasing the bus shelter stock and the deployment of real time passenger information systems at key interchanges and bus stops.

5.3.28.

Outline planning permission and funding has been approved for the comprehensive redevelopment of the Quadrant Bus Station and the adjoining surface car park to provide an attractive, modern bus and coach interchange with high quality passenger facilities. The scheme will also involve a revised vehicular and servicing arrangement onto West Way; improved pedestrian and cycle access and facilities, and a high quality public realm. Provision will also be made to accommodate the proposed introduction of the ‘Swansea Metro’. Part of the land required for the improvements is subject of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) issued in July 2004. A public inquiry to decide the outcome of the CPO took place in January 2006.

5.3.29.

Bus priority measures will enable services to benefit from reduced journey times and provide greater service reliability, thereby increasing the attractiveness of bus travel as an alternative to the private car. Key corridors for bus priority measures, such as bus lanes and selective vehicle detection at signalled junctions are:

  1. A4067 Clydach – City Centre
  2. A483 Carmarthen Road
  3. A4118 Killay – City Centre
  4. A483 Eastern Approach Fabian Way
  5. A4067 Mumbles – City Centre
  6. B4489 Llangyfelach – City Centre
  7. Orbital – Gorseinon, Penllergaer, Llangyfelach, Swansea North East (including A48 corridor)
  8. Pentreguinea Road – City Centre
5.3.30.

The Council is to carry out a programme of works that will provide priority bus routes from the existing park and ride sites at Landore and Fabian Way, which will enhance the service by giving buses a clear time advantage over private cars on key routes into the City Centre. Phase 1 of the priority bus route from Landore to Neath Road opened in November 2003. Phase 2 will run adjacent to the railway line from Bowen Street off Neath Road to Prince of Wales Rd. Phases 1 and 2 will be linked by the delineation of a bus lane along Neath Road for a length of approximately 200m. The Fabian Way route, which will also be available to cyclists, will cross a new “Gateway” bridge to the southern side of Fabian Way and run parallel to SA1 Waterfront as far as Kings Road, St Thomas. These works were completed in 2008. The priority bus routes are indicated on the Proposals Map.

5.3.31.

Accessibility for communities in rural areas is typically less than that for more urbanised areas within the County, which is a particularly acute problem for persons without access to a private car. Support will be given to schemes that enhance public transport provision in rural areas such as the Gower Explorer bus service, which provides sustainable travel links to numerous leisure and tourism opportunities in the area. Placing emphasis on developing the tourism and recreational potential of rural areas in a way that distributes activity more evenly throughout the year can help to sustain such services and reduce car traffic at peak periods. Bus services can also include Community Transport schemes, which in some instances provide an essential link for more isolated, less accessible communities to access facilities such as shops and medical services.

PARK AND RIDE

POLICY AS8

New park and ride facilities are proposed at the following locations:

  • Carmarthen Road
  • Swansea West Extended parking facilities are proposed at the existing Landore park and ride site.

Main Cross References: SP13, SP14, EV6, AS7, CC4-5

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN18

SPG:

Amplification

5.3.32.

Park and ride is a fundamental element of Swansea’s integrated transport strategy. The provision of four permanent park and ride sites at strategic locations across the County is proposed, which will provide shoppers and commuters with an attractive a viable alternative to long term parking within the City Centre. The two park and ride sites currently in operation at Landore and Fabian Way are highly successful, award winning operations that provide fast and frequent access to the City Centre using accessible low floor buses. In addition to the two sites already established, the former Mettoys site at Carmarthen Road, Fforestfach has been established as the third park and ride in Swansea and serves the north of the City. A fourth site to serve the west of the City is also being investigated but has yet to be identified. In the interim, the Recreation Ground on Mumbles Road will continue to act as a temporary park and ride site on occasions when it is not being used for special events.

5.3.33.

The provision of an adequate number of secure car parking spaces is key to influencing the decision of transport users to utilise park and ride facilities. The success of the existing Landore park and ride site requires additional parking facilities to be provided in order to meet current and future growth in demand. As well as an adequate provision of parking, park and ride sites also need to be accessible, attractively landscaped, and benefit from high quality waiting facilities. At some locations it may be appropriate to provide support services such as food and drink outlets, the scope for which will vary between the sites considered.

5.3.34.

The new sports stadium at Landore operates a temporary park and ride site at Swansea Vale, which provides frequent shuttle services to/from the facility on match days only. Buses to the stadium also originate from the Quadrant Bus Station and those supporters arriving by train can interchange with bus services at High Street Station. Car drivers are encouraged to share journeys to the venue by registering on the regional car share database swwitch2share.com

RAIL SERVICES

POLICY AS9

Enhancements to rail services and improved facilities for rail users and freight will be encouraged.

Disused rail track beds and routes, and disused or underused rail sidings, will be protected from development that could prejudice their future beneficial reinstatement to transport use.

Main Cross References: SP15, R1, AS4-5, AS12, CC4

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 18; The Transport Framework for Wales

SPG:

Amplification

5.3.35.

An efficient and attractive rail passenger service and freight system is important to the social and economic well being of the County. High Street Station in Swansea is a hub station for rail communications in South West Wales and there is a significant opportunity for further developing the passenger and freight services in and through the County. A programme of improvement works at High Street Station to provide a high quality interchange facility was completed in 2004. These improvements included a complete redesign of the station forecourt, new surface treatment, modern street furniture, and a new station car park and taxi rank. The overall scheme provides for the convenient and efficient transfer of users to other modes of transport, and offers a safe and attractive environment for cyclists and pedestrians. Improvements to High Street Station itself will also be encouraged, and the Council is currently working with Arriva and Network Rail to prepare an enhancement scheme.

5.3.36.

The Council will encourage the development and improvement of the local passenger rail network. The re-dualling of the line from Cockett to Dyffryn West (Carmarthenshire) and an improvement to the junction at Swansea Loop East, north of High Street are priorities for rail development. There is clear potential for improving passenger rail services west of Swansea, utilising the stations at Gowerton and Pontarddulais. There may be potential in the longer term for developing rail travel utilising the Swansea District Line, however this is not likely to be progressed within the Plan period. Notwithstanding this, development decisions should have proper regard to this longerterm aspiration.

5.3.37.

There is also considered to be potential for enhancing rail facilities to serve the Felindre site in the event of any strategic inward investment identifying a need for rail access as well as the direct motorway link. There is also scope for introducing a system of sidings. Should this be necessary, a feasibility study will be required to examine the practical application of the potential. It is anticipated that rail freight activity at the Docks will continue in the context of the wider redevelopment proposals of that general area.

5.3.38.

Redundant rail lines which are considered to have potential for reuse either for rail or for pedestrian and cycle facilities will be protected to prevent prejudicing such future uses.

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND HIGHWAY SAFETY

POLICY AS10

New developments will be required to incorporate appropriate traffic management measures to mitigate against significant adverse impacts that would otherwise be caused by traffic movements.

In traffic sensitive areas, particularly in residential areas and near schools, safety measures will be supported on the highway network in order to improve road safety for non-motorised road users, reduce vehicle speeds and enhance the street environment.

Main Cross References: SP13, SP14, EV1-2, EV4, EV29, HC1-2, HC11-18, AS2, AS5, AS11, CC3-4

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 18; Road Safety Strategy for Wales; Walking and Cycling Strategy for Wales

SPG:

Amplification

5.3.39.

The Road Safety Strategy for Wales (Jan 2003) and Walking and Cycling Strategy for Wales (Dec 2003) are useful tools for improving the quality of local residential areas, encouraging walking and cycling, and making the streets safer for pedestrians. The safety of all road users will be a prime consideration everywhere, but in areas where movement on foot is likely to be most dominant the needs of pedestrians should receive priority over vehicle movements.

5.3.40.

Traffic management schemes are implemented as a means of reducing vehicle speeds, improving safety for road users and contributing towards environmental enhancement. The Council has introduced traffic calming measures in a number of communities in consultation with local residents. It is preferable to integrate such measures from the outset as an integral element of the design process. The Council as highway authority will therefore examine submitted layouts for new development proposals and enter into negotiations with prospective developers with a view to reaching agreement on the incorporation of appropriate traffic calming measures into the design of the scheme. Where proposals are considered to introduce highway safety concerns in traffic sensitive areas, it will be necessary for developers to contribute towards traffic management schemes that will improve the safety of road users in those areas.

5.3.41.

A combination of traffic management measures will be used in the design of improvement schemes and in the layout of new developments. Where appropriate, these may include: traffic calming; parking restrictions; ‘Home Zones' or 20 mph Speed Restriction Zones;

5.3.42.

Home Zones are areas or individual streets where the function of the road changes from primarily allowing the movement and parking of cars to a community asset for the residents. The design principles of Home Zones are:

  1. To give pedestrians priority over cars,
  2. The street is designed to limit the speed of cars, and
  3. The change in status of the street is made visible using signage, traffic calming and altered streetscape.
5.3.43.

Speed Restricted Zones have been implemented in some areas, usually close to schools or within densely populated residential areas. They are most effective when the specific traffic orders which lower the maximum speed limit in the area are supported by physical speed retarding features such as road humps, road narrowing or safety cameras.

5.3.44.

The Council will continue to work with local schools to minimise the impact of the school run throughout the County through measures such as ‘School Travel Plans’ and the ‘Safer Routes to School’ initiative which is funded by WAG.

5.3.45.

Within rural areas high priority will be placed on making significant reductions to traffic speeds on rural roads, particularly at key interfaces with Public Rights of Way (PROW) and roads adjacent to unfenced farmland and common land. Provision for horses to be ridden on a verge or path beside the road will be considered, where appropriate, in the design of new roads and improvement schemes.

ROADS

POLICY AS11

Road construction and/or improvement schemes are proposed at the following locations, as identified on the Proposals Map:

  • Morfa Distributor Road,
  • West Way Extension, Kingsway – Mansel Street,
  • M4 Junction 45.

Main Cross References: SP13, EV6, AS7, AS10, CC4

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 15; TAN 18; The Transport Framework for Wales

SPG: Tawe Riverside Corridor Study, (forthcoming)

Amplification

5.3.46.

Whilst the main thrust of the access policies are toward supporting public transport developments and improved provision for pedestrians and cyclists, limited road construction is still necessary to:

  1. Complete missing links in the primary route network, particularly the core M4/Swansea Valley/City Centre regeneration corridor,
  2. Facilitate effective distribution and management of traffic around the City Centre,
  3. Enable developments to proceed, and
  4. Minimise the impact on residential and other environmentally sensitive areas.
5.3.47.

Diagram 8 identifies the key roads of the County. The following road links are identified on the Proposals Map:

  1. Morfa Distributor Road - This scheme would link the A4067/A4217 junction at White Rock with the Morfa Road/ New Cut Road (A483) junction and facilitate the development of opportunities along Morfa Road. The Tawe Riverside Corridor Study (TRCS) describes the design concept for the road, which is likely to involve the provision of a gyratory carriageway layout at New Cut Road. A detailed appraisal of the gyratory concept has been commissioned and is currently underway. The TRCS states that developer contributions will be sought from sites along the riverside corridor as part of the efforts to secure the necessary funding package to implement the Distributor Road scheme.
  2. West Way extension - The intention of the scheme for the extension of West Way from Kingsway roundabout to Mansel Street is to ensure an effective distribution of traffic around the City Centre and to minimise the impact of through traffic.
  3. M4 Junction 45 - Phase 2 of the improvement to M4 Junction 45 involves the construction of a new roundabout and associated link road between Ffordd Cwmtawe and Clydach Road as well as localised widening of the existing carriageway to incorporate a new priority bus route. Traffic will be encouraged to link from Clydach Road onto Ffordd Cwmtawe and a dedicated bus lane will run along Clydach Road through Junction 45 and directly to the City Centre.
5.3.48.

Detailed designs for these schemes will make safe and effective provision for the needs of public transport, pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised users, particularly at the key interfaces between the roads and pedestrian/cycling routes. Scheme design should incorporate sympathetic alignment of routes, appropriate landscaping, screening and other measures to reduce noise and environmental intrusion. The use of secondary aggregates in the construction process will be encouraged where appropriate.

PORT AND DOCKS

POLICY AS12

Development proposals that enhance the viability of the port, extend the use of the ferry terminal facilities and increase employment and business opportunities will be permitted provided that such proposals are compatible with adjacent development areas, communities, environmental enhancement schemes, and safeguard the potential canal route corridor.

Main Cross References: SP15, EV25; EV38, EV41, EC1-2, AS9

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 18; The Transport Framework for Wales

SPG: Port Tawe and Swansea Docks

Amplification

5.3.49.

The operational port and docks is an important commercial asset, providing jobs and business opportunities that contribute towards economic regeneration. Proposals for enhancing facilities and operations at the Ferryport and increasing commercial docks activity will be supported where development has suitable regard to issues of amenity, land use compatibility and environmental impact. Whilst considerable Permitted Development (PD) rights exist for docks related development, where proposals are subject to Environmental Impact Assessments Regulations the PD rights do not apply. Any proposals to alter the water level within the Prince of Wales Docks will be carefully assessed via the Habitats Regulations as there is a direct hydrological link between Crymlyn Bog SAC and the Kings and Queens Docks and Tennant Canal.

5.3.50.

Development within the port must safeguard the canal route protection corridor, which aims to link the Tennant Basin with the Prince of Wales Dock and the River Tawe. Additionally, proposals must have regard to the potential for future enhancement of the rail freight network.

5.3.51.

The future development of the port and docks will be an important consideration in the proposed waterfront regeneration masterplan for the wider Swansea Bay region. The Council will contribute to the formation of this plan on a joint basis with other relevant authorities and partner organisations, in line with the recommendations of the WSP

SWANSEA AIRPORT

POLICY AS13

Schemes relating to the retention and development of a commercial aviation function at Swansea Airport, related to airport associated infrastructure and facilities and other development ancillary to the primary airport function, will be permitted subject to there being no significant adverse impact upon natural heritage and the historic environment.

Subject to the requirements of other policies in the Plan, the provision of tourist/visitor facilities, catering services, air sports and recreation and air museum facilities will be favoured, particularly where they utilise, or replace, existing buildings and the underutilised land close to them and they are associated with environmental improvements.

Main Cross References: SP15, EV22, EV25-29, EV33-35, EV38, EV40

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 15

SPG: Gower AONB Management Plan

Amplification

5.3.52.

Commercial aviation is a growth sector and Swansea Airport has the potential to capitalise on this. However, whilst there is opportunity for the commercial function of the Airport to be broadened, any physical expansion beyond the site curtilage will involve development of common land, the Gower Commons SAC and/or an SSSI, which will require very careful consideration and screening for the need for an EIA and/or Habitats Regulation Assessment. The SAC designation requires that development proposals at the airport must have proper regard to the provisions of the Conservation (Natural Habitats and C.) Regulations 1994, regarding the protection of European sites. Any development should seek to capitalise on the opportunities the airport provides whilst respecting the natural and cultural heritage of the area, particularly the sensitive environmental setting within which the facility is located. Any development proposals will be considered against the criteria set out in Policies EV1 and EV2.

5.3.53.

The EA indicates there are significant foul and surface water drainage issues associated with the airport. Development schemes will be required to have suitable infrastructure provision in order to address drainage concerns and avoid the potential for groundwater pollution. The airport is located within a Source Protection Zone for water supply and proposals must demonstrate that they would cause no significant harm to the quantity and quality of this resource.

5.3.54.

Commercial airport related development is defined as employment uses (B1 and B2) related to the primary function as an airport, airport management accommodation and offices, car parking and visitor accommodation.

5.3.55.

The airport is situated in a very open landscape in the AONB and therefore it will be important to avoid a proliferation of piecemeal secondary developments that cumulatively could have an adverse effect on the character of the area. A comprehensive approach to development is essential and an EIA will be required where appropriate.

5.3.56.

Recreation events at the airport should be appropriate to the character of the surrounding countryside and will be assessed in terms of scale, frequency, cumulative impact, noise and traffic generation.

5.3.57.

All development within the airport area is required to be in accord with Section 65 of the West Glamorgan Act 1987, which relates to Swansea Airport. Furthermore, in accordance with air navigation controls there are three safeguarding zones around the airport controlling development above 10m, 15m, and 45m in height (Diagram 9 refers. Outside these zones the Civil Aviation Authority must be consulted on any proposed structure above 90m in height.

 

 

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