Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plotting a Way out of All the Traffic Jams

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plotting a Way out of All the Traffic Jams

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan James

The Government last month updated planning guidance on the transport impacts of development with a greater focus on sustainable forms of travel and demand management says RPS Group's Alan James

The long-awaited draft Guidance on Transport Assessment (GTA) is the result of many months of collaborative work between the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

There have been major changes in both planning and transport policy in recent years. This includes the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, which reformed the planning system and strengthened regional planning through the introduction of Regional Spatial Strategies.

In the same year the DfT produced a white paper ( The Future for Transport ( which emphasised the need to manage the increasing demand for transport.

The new draft circular, Planning and the Strategic Road Network, brings development control policy into line with the wider changes in planning and transport policy.

The primary purpose of the GTA document is to provide guidance on the content and preparation of Transport Assessments, Transport Statements and Travel Plans. It stresses the need for a comprehensive and holistic approach across the entire transport system, with a focus on people movements rather than vehicles.

The guidance will assist developers and local authorities to determine whether a transport assessment may be required to support a planning application and, if so, what level and scope is appropriate. This is very much a tightening in the focus of development control, and will require a fresh way of thinking for many.

It is also worth considering this in the context of strategic trunk road network and the associated problems faced in the region through the issuing of Article 14 notices by the Highways Agency. …

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