Background-2-Curbar-Edge.jpg

chapter11

peak district landscape
 

Transport


 

Strategic context

11.1

Chapter 9 of the Structure Plan examines transport in the National Park. The adopted strategy seeks to manage the demands for transport in and across the National Park; to alleviate problems caused by traffic and car parking; to support the provision of public transport to and within the National Park, and to deal with lorry parking and depots. It seeks to improve conditions for non-motorised transport and for those transport users with mobility problems. Previous practice has included the co-ordinated use of traffic orders and road improvements such as in the 'Routes for People' package (see paragraph 11.83).

11.2

Structure Plan Policy T1 makes it clear that in the National Park, environmental quality will be the primary criterion in planning the transport system, in the design of alterations and in managing traffic. It also makes clear circumstances in which development will not normally be permitted, making reference to the adequacy of access, traffic circulation and parking.

11.3

Developers whose proposals are expected to generate additional traffic should consult the relevant highway authority at an early stage in the formulation of their plans.

11.4

Other Structure Plan policies deal with the development of a route hierarchy (T2), ways of dealing with cross-Park traffic (T3), proposed new roads and railways (T5, T6), providing public transport opportunities (T6), the location of road haulage depots and lorry parks (T7), traffic management and parking (T8) and transport infrastructure design (T9). Policies also address the issues of non-motorised transport (T10), access to sites and buildings for people with mobility difficulties (T11), pipelines, conveyors and overhead lines (T12) and finally air transport (T13).

11.5

Since the Structure Plan was adopted in 1994, there have been a number of important developments in national and regional transport policy which affect the way in which policies are implemented and thereby the way in which the Local Plan addresses transport issues. Of particular significance are:

 

(i)

the revised Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 on Transport;

 

(ii)

the report by the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment, (SACTRA) dealing with generated traffic;

 

(iii)

the report by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, dealing with traffic-generated pollution;

 

(The above three are broadly supportive of the National Park Authority's policies.)

 

(iv)

the establishment of the Peak Park Transport Forum and the development of the South Pennines Integrated Transport Strategy, which includes all of the National Park and the surrounding area;

 

(v)

resources for local transport in the East Midlands increased by 46% in 1999/2000;

 

(vi)

the acceptance of a Transport Policies and Programmes (TPP) package bid for the Hope and Upper Derwent valleys;

 

(vii)

the Government consultation paper on integrated transport policies, the subsequent White Paper in 1998 and the latest trunk roads review which alters the status of major routes in the National Park;

 

(viii)

the introduction of a national air quality strategy, in which one of the key elements is transport emissions;

 

(ix)

the passing of the Road Traffic Reduction Acts, which require local authorities to consider policies and proposals for reducing the amount of road traffic;

 

(x)

the introduction of the new Local Transport Plan (LTP) funding mechanism - six LTPs impinge on the National Park;

 

(xi)

the inclusion of the Matlock-Buxton-Chinley railway reopening project in the 1999 Railtrack Network Management Statement;

 

(xii)

the introduction of Regional Transport Strategies, four of which impinge on the National Park.


The relationship between the National Park Authority and the providers of transport infrastructure and services

11.6

The National Park Authority is a planning authority, but not a highway authority. It is not responsible for the day to day operation and maintenance of roads and railways. The providers of transport infrastructure operate under a different body of legislation to that of the National Park Authority, such as the Highways and Traffic or Transport and Works Acts. Many aspects of transport infrastructure provision and maintenance, and virtually all day to day operation of vehicles and trains, do not fall within the control of the National Park Authority and do not require planning permission. Nevertheless, the policies in the Structure Plan and the Local Plan are relevant to these bodies, by virtue of the Environment Act 1995 which lays a duty on them to "have regard to National Park purposes". The policies and proposals in this Local Plan have been prepared after consultation with the various transport agencies . A list of highway authorities and other transport agencies is given in Appendix 12.

 

Reconciling transport demand with National Park objectives

11.7

National transport policy has seen a marked shift away from road construction and the notion of accommodating unremitting traffic growth. Whilst Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 is aimed more at urban than rural areas, it does lay stress on the general need to limit the growth of private road traffic and to encourage other modes of transport. Transport policies have to balance the needs and desires of residents and business, the conservation and enhancement of the National Park environment, the needs of visitors, and the requirements for Trans-Pennine movement. However, it is clear that where these interests appear to be in conflict, the National Park Authority must favour conservation. The newly introduced Regional Transport Strategies have altered the plan making process for transport proposals. Regional Transport Strategies (RTS) form an integral part of Regional Planning Guidance (RPG), and will therefore be subject to public consultation and examination in public of any objections. A number of the proposals arising from the South Pennines Integrated Transport Strategy (SPITS) are of regional and inter-regional significance. The National Park Authority's view is that these might best be considered as part of RTS, to which future Development Plans and Local Transport Plans must have regard.

11.8

The South Pennines Integrated transport Strategy (SPITS) has been devised by the Peak Park Transport Forum (PPTF) which consists of the National Park Authority,partners from the Highway Authorities, Passenger Transport Executives, District Councils and other agencies. The PPTF undertook the South Pennines Transport Needs Study. This examined transport demands across the South Pennines, including the National Park. The authorities involved adopted the South Pennines Integrated Transport Strategy (SPITS) in principle in January 1996. Further work on the environmental impact of the strategy (both inside and outside the National Park) has been carried out, along with a public consultation on the SPITS proposals. The Forum considers that both the EIA and the public consultation indicate a wide measure of support for the proposed package of measures. However, the objectives and content of the Strategy are now under review in the light of changed Government policy. It is therefore not appropriate to include a statement of support for the Strategy proposals in this Local Plan except where they are referred to in the Adopted Structure Plan, or the Deposit Edition of the Local Plan, which have been subject to formal examination or inquiry.

11.9

At a more local level, Derbyshire County Council, in partnership with the National Park Authority and other organisations, has introduced the Hope and Upper Derwent Valleys Package, part of the TPP system. The Package is an integrated approach to transport and traffic management and a number of proposals in this chapter flow from it.

 

The road hierarchy

The main vehicular network

11.10

The road hierarchy set out in Structure Plan Policy T2 is unchanged. The Strategic Road Network (SRN) and the secondary network constitute the main vehicular network and are shown on the Proposals Map. Two trunk roads pass through the National Park, the A628 between Tintwistle and Flouch and the A6 between Rowsley and Ashwood Dale. The A6 is amongst the routes recently proposed for de-trunking. When this takes place it will become the responsibility of Derbyshire County Council as the local highway authority. All other roads are the responsibility of the relevant local highway authority. The Structure Plan designations do not affect the highway authorities' maintenance regimes.

11.11

The National Park Authority will continue to work through the Peak Park Transport Forum, and with individual highway authorities, to ensure that the Structure Plan policies are fully understood and implemented through their Local Transport Plan (LTP) submissions, in the context of the SPITS.

11.12

One way of achieving the hierarchy would be by changes to traffic signing and road classification to reflect the status of routes. This is suggested in the SPITS and pioneering work in this field was carried out in the 1970s as part of the Routes for People project (see paragraph 11.83). The highway authorities and the National Park Authority will work together to achieve this objective.

11.13

The Structure Plan divides the road network into three categories. Category 1 (the Strategic Road Network) and category 2 (the secondary network) included all the existing A and B roads, plus others linking main industrial sites, settlements and recreation areas. The third category, simply described as 'other roads', ought to be limited to essential local traffic. Reclassification would do little to achieve the local use of such roads, though the signing alterations would have an impact. Traffic regulation orders are not always appropriate, partly because of enforcement problems, but the use of physical means such as amended junctions should be further investigated and implemented where practical. As part of the SPITS there is to be further investigation of a route hierarchy. This will have to meld the various hierarchies suggested in the Structure Plans and Unitary Development Plans of the authorities concerned.



Policy LT1: Implementing the road hierarchy: the main vehicular network

The National Park Authority will work with the Highway Authorities to implement a signing and road reclassification scheme that reflects the Structure Plan road hierarchy. The use of roads in category 3 of the hierarchy other than by essential local traffic will be discouraged.



Very minor roads

11.14

Category 3 roads also include those very minor roads (VMR) known colloquially as 'green lanes' or 'white roads'. Neither of these terms is a legal definition, and their legal status varies. If vehicular rights exist, these types of route are potentially open to the full range of vehicular traffic, unless restricted by traffic regulation order. They are currently of four types:

 

(i)

byways open to all traffic (BOATs);

 

(ii)

most, if not all, Unclassified County Roads (UCRs), which are mainly unsurfaced;

 

(iii)

many of the Roads Used as Public Paths (RUPPs), shown on Ordnance Survey maps;

 

(iv)

routes shown on the Definitive Map as footpaths or bridleways, upon which public vehicular rights are claimed to exist, but which have yet to be tested by a formal legal process.

11.15

The growth in outdoor recreation in all its forms has created pressure on the entire footpath, bridleway and VMR network. This particularly manifests itself in conflict between legitimate users of VMRs. The government is consulting on changes in regulations and/or legislation affecting these routes and this may be in place before the Local Plan is finalised. The National Park Authority already has liaison arrangements with the Highway Authorities and with user groups and, in the absence of any legislation, it intends to draw up a plan to show which VMRs are available for vehicular traffic and to devise voluntary codes of practice.

11.16

The National Park Authority and the highway authorities only wishes to discourage the legitimate exercise of vehicular rights on VMRs where there is demonstrable harm to the valued characteristics of the National Park, or the physical condition of the route precludes use by certain types of motor vehicle, or where motor vehicles are making conditions unsafe for other users. In considering what is meant by demonstrable harm it has regard, amongst other things, to the condition of verges, particularly where these are being used by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders to avoid the vehicular route. It acts with the Highway Authorities to discourage vehicles from using routes where the legal status has yet to be defined, until the legal process has demonstrated that vehicular rights exist. Traffic regulation orders will be applied and appropriate physical measures and legal enforcement will be used to ensure compliance.

11.17

In extreme cases, where user safety is an issue, often because of a high level of legitimate mixed use, the National Park Authority should support the creation of an alternative right of way or concessionary path for pedestrians. Caution will be needed to avoid disadvantage to farming or ecology. Any such proposal will be subject to consultation with landowners and conservation interests.



Policy LT2: Implementing the road hierarchy: very minor roads

(a)

The National Park Authority and the Highway Authorities will take action to prevent or restrict vehicular use of 'very minor roads' when there is demonstrable harm to the valued characteristics of the area and/or where the physical condition of the route precludes certain types of motor vehicle, and/or where motor vehicles are making conditions unsafe for other users.

(b)

Vehicles will be discouraged from using very minor roads where the legal status has yet to be defined, until the legal process has demonstrated that vehicular rights do exist.

(c)

Where user safety is an issue or where there is a high level of legitimate mixed use, the National Park Authority will support the creation of an alternative right of way or concessionary path for pedestrians.



Cross-National Park traffic: road and rail

11.18

The statements in Structure Plan Policy T3 have been enhanced by the findings of the SPITS, by the recent trunk roads review and by trends in local highway authority expenditure on road schemes. There is little likelihood of any publicly funded major road scheme in the National Park.

11.19

Road proposals have separate statutory approval procedures under the Highways Acts. Similarly, railway schemes are normally dealt with using Transport and Works Act powers. Nevertheless, promoters are duty bound by the Environment Act to "have regard to National Park purposes" when preparing their proposals. The policies in the Structure Plan and this Local Plan indicate what this duty involves.

11.20

Cross-Park transport infrastructure projects should not be encouraged or accepted unless they offer a net environmental benefit to the National Park, meet local transport needs and also offer economic benefits. This applies to any scheme for road or rail, that involves expansion of capacity, widening, or an entirely new route. In assessing local need, the effects on parallel road or rail routes will be taken into account together with any benefit caused by road traffic reduction elsewhere in the National Park.

11.21

The National Park Authority supports the Government view that routes for long distance traffic should avoid National Parks. It is however aware of the potential detrimental effects on routes on the periphery of the Park, and these are being considered as part of the SPITS. In the Structure Plan, the National Park Authority supports appropriate proposals to upgrade the A52/523, particularly singling out the settlements of Waterhouses and Winkhill. The National Park Authority is convinced that remedial action is needed on this route and will not take any action in the Park which would divert traffic onto this road until such remedial action is in place.

11.22

It is anticipated that selective and limited improvements to the A628 will be brought forward by the Highways Agency, following a report by its consultants dealing with schemes between Tintwistle, Woodhead and Saltersbrook Bridge. The National Park Authority accepts these in principle provided that they are accompanied by traffic restraint elsewhere in the National Park. This does not imply uncritical acceptance of detailed designs that the Highways Agency may put forward.

11.23

No further improvements to the A628/616 are programmed, but the SPITS proposes channelling traffic onto this route with corresponding traffic restraint on other cross-Park routes. The Highways Agency does not consider that this will require any further capacity enhancement schemes on the A628 over and above those referred to in the previous paragraph. This issue requires further investigation now that the Manchester Outer Ring Road has been completed. The National Park Authority will base its response to any proposals which may arise on current Development Plan policies, and takes the view that the inter-regional nature of this route and the alterations to it in SPITS, should be considered as part of the Regional Transport Strategies of the North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside Regions. The recent inquiry into East Midlands Regional Planning Guidance suggested that a multi-modal study would be appropriate for the Woodhead route.

11.24

The National Park Authority supports the service and infrastructure enhancements proposed on the North Trans-Pennine railway (Manchester-Huddersfield-Leeds), including the suggestion of increasing capacity at Standedge to accommodate additional cross-Pennine freight. There is no need to safeguard land within the National Park for this.

11.25

The re-opening of the Matlock to Buxton/Chinley railway is supported in the Structure Plan (Policy T6(c)). Derbyshire County Council and Railtrack plc are investigating the economic and environmental case for its reinstatement as a prelude to the submission of a draft transport and Works Act Order in 2001/2. The National Park Authority will manage the section of line which it owns in a manner that would enable the railway to re-open. The proposal being investigated is for a multi-purpose public railway, carrying passengers and freight, rather than the mainly tourist/preservation line previously envisaged.

11.26

The re-opening of the Woodhead railway has been suggested as part of the SPITS. Initial appraisal cast doubt on its viability, but recently Central Railway has taken up the project as part of a wider scheme linking NW England with the continent. Railtrack plc is also interested in the potential of this route for Trans Pennine freight. Discussions are continuing and land should be safeguarded until a clear decision is reached.

11.27

As part of the South Yorkshire Centre of Excellence project, the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) is planning a station at Millhouses in southern Sheffield (outside the National Park), an improved station at Dore, and additional Sheffield-Manchester trains, thereby aiming to increase the rail share of cross-Park traffic. This proposal is welcomed by the National Park Authority.

11.28

There are concerns about the capacity of the Manchester to Sheffield railway line through the National Park (the Hope Valley line). The 1999 Railtrack Network Management Statement only refers to improvements at Dore junctions and between Hazel Grove and Stockport (outside the National Park), but an additional loop may be needed in the Hope Valley, as part of the infrastructure improvements to accommodate the service enhancements suggested in the Trans Pennine Rail Study. The National Park Authority accepts the principle of such a loop provided that there are overall economic and environmental benefits to the National Park. This does not imply uncritical acceptance of any detailed design.



Policy LT3: Cross-Park traffic: road and rail

(a)

Cross-Park transport infrastructure projects will be opposed unless there is a net environmental benefit to the National Park and wherever practicable they also provide economic benefits and meet local transport needs.

(b)

Land required for the following schemes will be safeguarded:

(i)

reinstatement of the Matlock to Buxton railway;

(ii)

reinstatement of the Woodhead railway including the tunnels;

(iii)

an additional loop to enhance track capacity on the Hope Valley line.



Abandoned road schemes

11.29

Since the adoption of the Structure Plan in 1994, the road programmes of the Department of Transport and the local highway authorities have been considerably reduced, or their timescale lengthened. As a result, some of the road schemes in Structure Plan Policy T5 are either abandoned altogether, reduced in scale, or not likely to be constructed before 2007. The schemes concerned are:

 

(i)

The A628/616 (Stocksbridge to Saltersbrook) was dropped from the national trunk road programme in November 1995. The Highways Agency is likely to bring forward smaller projects on this section of road, but at present the land required is not known (See Policy LT4).

 

(ii)

The A628 (Saltersbrook to Tintwistle) was dropped from the national trunk road programme in November 1995. The Highways Agency will bring forward smaller projects on this section of road, but at present the land required for these is not known.

 

(iii)

The A523 (Miles Knoll to Waterhouses). It is understood that this Department of Transport scheme no longer impinges on the National Park and therefore there is no need to safeguard land in this plan.

 

(iv)

The A623 (Sparrowpit diversion). This Derbyshire County Council scheme will not proceed in its original form, but a minor widening and right turn lane may be constructed.

 

(v)

The A6-A619-A6 (Bakewell Relief Road). The relevant highway authorities indicate that there is no prospect of implementing the relief road. The route of the northern section has aroused strong opposition. In these circumstances the concept of a new route for a trunk or principal road north of Bakewell cannot be justified, and should no longer be safeguarded. This does not preclude a lower key link road in association with the relocation of the cattle market. Traffic might also be re-routed on the existing roads A619/A6020/A6. (See paragraph 11.31 and Policy LT4)

11.30

Thus the following road schemes, which are referred to in the Structure Plan, are abandoned in the form originally envisaged and an alteration to the Structure Plan will be considered in due course:

 

(i)

The A616/628 (Saltersbrook to Stocksbridge).

 

(ii)

The A628 (Saltersbrook to Tintwistle).

 

(iii)

The A523 (Miles Knoll to Waterhouses).

 

(iv)

The A623 (Sparrowpit diversion).

 

(v)

The A619 to A6 (Bakewell Relief Road: northern section via Lumford).

 

New road schemes

11.31

The changing nature of transport investment means that fewer road schemes are likely. Some of the consequences of this are set out above. However, some schemes are still likely to progress and land should continue to be safeguarded for these, where requirements are known. The schemes are identified on the Proposals Map. When the promoter knows what is needed, notice will be given of the actual land required. These schemes are:

 

(i)

The A57/628 (Mottram and Tintwistle Bypass): This is supported in principle by the National Park Authority, because of the relief it gives to the National Park settlement of Tintwistle and in the context of the SPITS. The by-pass is now being reappraised by the Highways Agency, following the latest trunk roads review.

 

(ii)

The A628 (Tintwistle to Saltersbrook) and A628/616 (Saltersbrook to Stocksbridge): The Highways Agency is bringing forward smaller projects (<£3 million) on the sections of the A628/616 road between Tintwistle and Stocksbridge, but at present the land required for these is not known. The National Park Authority supports the principle of these schemes.

 

(iii)

The A6-A619 (Bakewell Relief Road, southern section): The relocation of the cattle market and the consequent construction of a link road from the A6 Haddon Road to service the site, offer the opportunity for an extension to the A619 at Bakewell Bridge via Smith's Island and through the Rutland Works Estate site. This would give a low speed, more easily environmentally integrated Relief Road. The National Park Authority supports the principle of such a route, which would also give the opportunity to undertake traffic management improvements in the town centre. This proposal is not in the programme of either the Department of Transport or the Derbyshire County Council, so any issues of blight, compensation, etc arising from safeguarding the route will be dealt with by the National Park Authority.



Policy LT4: Safeguarding land for new road schemes

Land will be safeguarded for the following schemes:

(i)

the A57/628 Mottram Tintwistle By Pass;

(ii)

the A628/616 Tintwistle to Stocksbridge, selective and limited improvements when details are known;

(iii)

the A6 to A619 Bakewell Relief Road (Haddon Road to Baslow Road).



Public transport

11.32

The National Park Authority is firmly committed to public transport, as a means of visitors getting to and moving around in the National Park, as a vital resource and travel opportunity for local residents and businesses, and as an alternative to the car for cross Park travel. The National Park Authority will support the efforts of the transport authorities, Passenger Transport Executives, railway and bus companies, to improve public transport into and through the Park. The principal form of public transport in the National Park is the bus, but the major segregated public transport land use is the railway. There are four main topics that require clarification and policy or proposals in the Local Plan:

 

(i)

route enhancement, (principally centring on waiting facilities and information);

 

(ii)

railway construction;

 

(iii)

public transport and the pattern of development;

 

(iv)

segregated public transport routes.

 

Route enhancement

11.33

Route enhancement means providing new or re-furbished buses or rolling stock, better information systems, improved passenger waiting facilities, and improved accessibility at stops and stations. Experience in urban areas shows that it can dramatically increase public transport use and reduce car use. Increasing the confidence that users have in the system, increases their use of that system. The same principles apply in a rural area. Indeed, confidence in the system is even more important, given the relative infrequency of the services. In the case of recreational users, some of whom will be using the National Park public transport network for the first time, a good impression is needed in order to encourage further visits and more public transport use.

11.34

The National Park Authority is anxious to achieve both a high standard of design and widespread provision of passenger waiting facilities, including up to the minute information. Where services operate at night time, it is important that passenger waiting areas should be well lit and, as all stops are unstaffed, there should be adequate security arrangements (eg telephones and cameras) at principal points. At railway stations, where there are normally parking facilities for train users, this security aspect extends to the car park as well as to the platform.

11.35

The National Park Authority is in partnership with Derbyshire and Staffordshire County Councils and relevant District Councils to implement a programme of new waiting shelters on main bus routes in the National Park, including key visitor locations. Similarly, the Hope Valley Railway Line partnership has been established with representation from local authorities, local business and the railway companies to foster use of the line and to seek improvements. The railway stations have been targeted for improvement as part of the Hope and Upper Derwent Package, including possible new shelters, information systems, better car parking, security cameras, telephones, toilets and facilities for the disabled.

11.36

In most cases the provision of such enhancements will not be development requiring planning approval, but adjoining owners and occupiers can be given notice of them by this Local Plan. The National Park Authority will expect to be consulted on the design and siting of such facilities. Authorities and agencies, including the newly privatised railway companies, are required by the Environment Act 1995 to "have regard to National Park purposes". The Local Plan concentrates on the physical aspects of the enhanced routes.



Policy LT5: Public transport: route enhancement

(a)

The refurbishment of stations on the Hope Valley railway line with new waiting facilities, better security, information systems and similar improvements will be supported and encouraged.

(b)

Improvements to station car parking facilities for rail passengers will be supported and encouraged.

(c)

On bus routes with daily services, a programme of new waiting facilities, better information systems and similar improvements will be supported and encouraged.



Railway construction

11.37

The National Park Authority encourages the reintroduction of railways into areas they once served, provided that they can demonstrate a local need and a National Park benefit. Policy LT3 covers cross-Park railways. Proposals to construct railways purely as a tourist attraction are not viewed sympathetically and are likely to be refused because of incompatibility with recreation policies.

11.38

Experience elsewhere indicates that a rail terminus is likely to generate additional road traffic, with demand for parking and other facilities. If the line is tourist orientated then this problem is likely to be even more acute. In the case of the Peak Rail proposals to re-open the Buxton to Matlock line as a tourist railway, the Joint Planning Board took the view that termini within the National Park would be unacceptable, except as part of a phased construction programme. There is no reason to change this stance.

11.39

A railway terminus within the National Park as the destination of a park and ride scheme, or as part of a visitor/traffic management scheme, or principally for local purposes, could be viewed more sympathetically, but would still need to demonstrate an overall economic and environmental benefit to the National Park.

11.40

The Hulme End to Waterhouses railway closed in the 1930s and the trackbed is now owned by Staffordshire County Council. It is an unclassified county road, restricted in places to use by cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders only. Nevertheless, the section from Hulme End to Westside Mill, about half way to Ecton, was used in the recent past for a miniature-gauge railway, whilst still allowing the other uses of the Trail to continue. There have been private sector proposals for opening up parts of the former Ecton copper mines for visitors. The present proposals are small scale and would not be likely to generate a significant amount of additional traffic. If a larger scale project were to be mooted, there would need to be a system of visitor access that did not rely on private car use. In such circumstances a miniature railway might be given favourable consideration as part of an overall traffic and visitor management package in which parking at Ecton would be severely curtailed.



Policy LT6: Railway construction

(a)

New railways designed primarily as tourist attractions will not be permitted.

(b)

The development of a new passenger railway terminus within the National Park will be permitted provided that:

(i)

it is the destination end of an acceptable park and ride scheme;

or

(ii)

it is a temporary part of a phased construction programme;

or

(iii)

it is part of a traffic/visitor management project;

or

(iv)

it is principally used for local purposes;

and

(v)

an overall environmental and economic benefit to the National Park can be demonstrated.



Public transport and the pattern of development

11.41

In accordance with government advice in Planning Policy Guidance Note 13, development should be located so as to reduce the need to use cars and to reduce dependence on them. To achieve this, housing, retail, industrial and recreational development should be channelled into areas and Local Plan Settlements served by good public transport. In this context, "served by good public transport" means within 1 km of a bus stop (or 2km of a railway station) with a daily service that has 5 or more departures per working day. More than two thirds of the Local Plan Settlements designated in policy LC2 meet these criteria and the recent Government rural bus initiative (1998) has enhanced the service frequencies and coverage. Policy LT5 highlights the need to improve public transport facilities. The National Park Authority will encourage transport authorities and developers to assist in the provision of public transport services to any Local Plan Settlements or Zone 3 recreation areas which do not meet the public transport provision criteria stated above.



Policy LT7: Public transport and the pattern of development

Housing, retail, industrial and recreational development should be located in areas served by good public transport.



Segregated public transport routes

11.42

Structure Plan Policy T6 lists four corridors where the practicality of segregated public transport routes should be investigated and the required land safeguarded. Hope to Castleton will not be considered further given the strong public reaction against the scheme during consultation on this Local Plan. Bamford to Ladybower is now regarded as being physically impractical and will not be investigated further. Alternative methods of improving public transport in the Hope and Upper Derwent valleys will be investigated. The congested section of the Ashbourne to Dovedale route lies outside the National Park. It is therefore not a matter for this Local Plan, but will be discussed with Derbyshire Dales District Council and Derbyshire County Council to see if further investigation is warranted. The fourth route is Baslow to Bakewell/Chatsworth. There are two distinct considerations here; the bus services from Sheffield and Chesterfield to Baslow and Bakewell, and public transport access to Chatsworth.

11.43

Bus services between Baslow and Bakewell can be subject to considerable delay, especially on market days and Show days. Although the delays are seasonal, it is considered that there is merit in further examination of this corridor. The National Park Authority already operates a park and ride system along the Monsal Trail from Hassop to Bakewell on Show days. It would be possible to expand this to other days of the year, provided that there would not be unreasonable conflict with other Trail users or with the proposed railway reopening. Allowing service buses to use this route would avoid the worst traffic congestion, especially on market days and peak summer weekends. The Joint Planning Board commissioned a study to examine the compatibility of uses along the Trail. This concluded that combined rail/trail/park and ride use was possible though physically difficult and potentially expensive. There are other planning issues to be considered, not least being the need for parking at Hassop and repercussions on the level of parking provision in Bakewell. However, taking account of these issues, further park and ride use of the Trail is considered appropriate, and the Authority will bring forward proposals for further public consultation.

11.44

Chatsworth is the biggest single visitor attraction in the National Park, yet bus services have largely been withdrawn because of the delays experienced. There is, however, an opportunity to introduce a dedicated public transport link from Baslow. Since all these operations would be on Chatsworth Estates land and no detailed investigations or discussions have taken place, land is not safeguarded at this stage. However, this will be investigated further.



Policy LT8: Public transport from Baslow to Bakewell and Chatsworth

(a)

The National Park Authority will bring forward proposals for further park and ride use of the Monsal Trail between Hassop Station and Bakewell.

(b)

Discussions will be held with Chatsworth Estates and Derbyshire County Council with a view to improving public transport access to Chatsworth House and Park.


Freight transport, haulage depots and lorry parks

11.45

It is not the intention of the National Park Authority to discriminate against the road haulage industry, but it is essential that lorry businesses operate within the framework of planning control. Structure Plan Policy T7 covers this topic, but the question of indiscriminate lorry parking (on street, on verges, in farmyards and fields) still remains. This often causes harm to the valued characteristics of the National Park and can also be a road safety issue. Attempts to use the road haulage licensing system to control this have been discounted by Government. The National Park Authority will nevertheless continue to ask the Department of Transport to strengthen the compatibility between the road haulage licensing system and the planning system. In some towns and cities indiscriminate lorry parking is controlled by waiting restrictions. Similar methods might be employed in National Park villages where this problem arises. This will be investigated further. Efforts will also be made using the Planning Acts to ensure that regularly used lorry parking areas are brought under planning control wherever possible.

11.46

Structure Plan Policy T7(d) sets out the criteria for permitting road haulage operating centres. These could reasonably be applied to any development requiring access by lorry traffic, with the possible exception of agriculture and mineral working. The criteria included the accessibility of the site to the Strategic and Secondary Road Network and whether the access routes were subject to a weight restriction order. Although lorry routing agreements and conditions cannot be included as part of a planning permission, it is still possible to secure agreements about the size of vehicles to be used at a site and separately to negotiate the introduction of a weight restriction order with the relevant highway authority. In cases where the locational criteria are not met, but the development is otherwise acceptable, the National Park Authority may consider these other traffic management measures.



Policy LT9: Freight transport and lorry parking

(a)

Traffic management and/or planning control measures will be used to prevent indiscriminate lorry parking and to bring operating centres and lorry parking areas within planning control.

(b)

Development requiring access by heavy goods vehicles in excess of 7.5 tonnes GLW will not be permitted where:

(i)

the site is not readily accessible from the Strategic or Secondary Road Network;

and

(ii)

the access routes are subject to a weight restriction order.

(c)

In exceptional circumstances, where the nature of the business served is such that the above criteria for access cannot be met, eg agriculture or mineral working, planning permission may be given subject to an agreement about the size of vehicles to be used.

(d)

Where it is necessary to influence the routing of servicing lorries, weight restriction orders will be sought.



Traffic management and parking

11.47

The implementation of transport policy will be heavily reliant on traffic management in all its forms. Structure Plan Policy T8 is quite detailed on this topic, but there remain a number of areas where further amplification is needed and/or where there are specific proposals; as follows:

 

(i)

private non-residential parking;

 

(ii)

residential parking;

 

(iii)

park and ride schemes;

 

(iv)

traffic restraint;

 

(v)

parking charges and parking strategy;

 

(vi)

proposals for car parks;

 

(vii)

coach parking;

 

(viii)

cycle parking.

11.48

The parking standards of Derbyshire County Council (set out in Appendix 1) are used in determining the adequacy of parking provision in development. In the light of advice in Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 and the recent Road Traffic Reduction Acts, these parking standards (drawn up by the County Council in 1994 in consultation with the former Board and the District Councils), are under review and in the meantime will be regarded by the National Park Authority as the maximum permissible. The National Park Authority would generally expect there to be less provision than the parking standards would otherwise imply. Parking standards are also being examined at a regional level, as part of the Regional Transport Strategy. Future development in the National Park will be very limited in scale and often subject to strong local environmental considerations. A careful, flexible approach to parking is needed paying regard to policies LT10 and LT11.

 

Private, non-residential parking (PNR)

11.49

The availability of parking is one of the key determinants of car use. Recent Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 (PPG13) stressed this point and made it clear that planning authorities should seek to minimise traffic by controlling parking provision in new development. The PPG states that "it is unlikely to be appropriate in future for developments to be provided with as many car parking spaces as there are employees" and that planning authorities should "adopt reduced requirements for parking at locations which have good access to other means of travel than the private car". It advocates the "adoption of on-street restraint measures to complement land use policies" and the use of "parking charges as an instrument to encourage the use of alternative modes". Such restraint measures are more easily introduced in urban areas and will be difficult to implement and have less impact in rural areas. Nevertheless, even in a rural area with such a low population density as the National Park, some effort should be made to restrain car use in line with guidance. Parking restraint is a practical means to this end.

11.50

Structure Plan Policy T8(c) states that operational parking will be kept to a minimum and that non-operational parking will be restricted to discourage car use. PNR parking covers parking for staff, customers and visitors including visitors to recreational businesses, hotels, restaurants, etc. The Structure Plan policy also states that provision of off street parking should normally be matched by a reduction in on street provision, so as to retain parking capacity at more or less the same level. This is particularly relevant in areas served by daily public transport as defined in paragraph 11.41. The National Park Authority will therefore expect to see any PNR parking kept to a minimum, or accompanied by on-street waiting restrictions. In Conservation Areas, the number of PNR parking spaces permitted will be even more severely limited. There may even be cases where no PNR parking is desirable or physically possible on the site. In such cases the National Park Authority will encourage developers to make a payment to allow for either the construction or improvement of public parking, or the provision of public transport facilities. New PNR parking should always be available for general public use. Similarly, where a business seeks to expand, or a change of use is sought, existing PNR parking can beneficially be brought into public use. This will not always be practicable, however, because of the location, quantity and security aspects of existing parking.



Policy LT10: Private non-residential (PNR) parking

(a)

In new development, or where planning permission is required for an expansion or alteration of a business, parking must be of a very limited nature or accompanied by on-street waiting restrictions, especially in areas served by good public transport.

(b)

Where PNR parking cannot be provided on site, or is considered undesirable on site, planning permission will only be granted where the developer agrees to finance:

(i)

the provision of the required parking at a nearby location;

or

(ii)

the provision of alternative public transport facilities.

(c)

New and existing PNR parking will be brought into public use wherever possible.



Residential parking

11.51

Structure Plan Policy T8(c) states that in housing developments, car parking provision should be kept to a minimum. This is easier in areas well served by a daily public transport service. However, given the relatively small amount of new residential development anticipated in the National Park, the effect on traffic flow is likely to be minimal. The design and number of parking spaces associated with residential development should reflect the valued characteristics of the area. In Conservation Areas, in particular, the number of spaces provided per new property is likely to be severely limited. As mentioned in paragraph 11.48 above, the Derbyshire County Council car parking standards (see Appendix 1) will be used to determine the adequacy of parking arrangements, but the standards are being reviewed in the light of recent Government advice and legislation and in the context of regional strategy.

11.52

In many villages, residential property has no off-street parking and the streets are cluttered with parked cars. Not all these vehicles belong to the residents or their visitors. There is a balance to be struck between providing parking space for residents' needs and ensuring space for other purposes, such as a shop or visitor attraction. Without seriously altering the character of villages, it is difficult to provide existing properties with their own off street parking space. However, it may be possible to find sites for communal, residential parking which do not spoil village character, or to introduce residents' parking schemes on-street.

11.53

Any parking schemes would need to be accompanied by other traffic management measures and by adequate enforcement, otherwise benefits gained would be quickly lost. Residents' parking schemes on the street are normally controlled by the relevant highway authority issuing permits. A charge is usually made. In the Derbyshire Dales, a resident's badge parking scheme has been introduced on District Council car parks. However, the general question of residents' parking is not a matter solely for the highway authority or district council, but would have to involve the National Park Authority, the police and the appropriate parish council, as well as detailed local consultation. Proposals for residents' parking schemes on these lines will need investigating. The National Park Authority will give priority to Conservation Areas.



Policy LT11: Residential parking

The design and number of parking spaces associated with residential development, including any communal residential parking, must respect the valued characteristics of the area, particularly in Conservation Areas.



Park and ride schemes

11.54

Park and ride schemes normally rely on large car parks at the beginning of the ride. There is some evidence to suggest that the presence of a park and ride scheme encourages overall car use, whilst protecting the target area. Whereas previously the bus or train would have been used for the main part of the journey, the introduction of park and ride allows the car to be used for the first and longer part of the trip.

11.55

In the National Park, where visits are highly seasonal and heavily concentrated at weekends, the economic and environmental benefits of an urban type of park and ride are not proven. The size of car park normally regarded as necessary to sustain a frequent park and ride facility (more than 500 spaces) would generate considerable traffic flows and the site might not easily be assimilated into the landscape. Therefore, car parks of this magnitude will not be permitted.

11.56

However, the park and ride scheme operated for the Bakewell Show does demonstrate a successful model. This operates on two days per year, using three smaller car parks, each of which are served by the same buses. In this way the total car parking provision is more than 500, but the impact is spread. Most of the sites are fields, temporarily used for parking during the event, with minimal works to enable their use, such as surfaced access from the public road (the only permanent site involved has about 100 spaces). Similar arrangements may prove desirable in other areas of the National Park, with a frequent bus service linking a number of smaller car parks, some of a temporary nature, coupled with limits on car parking at the destination. Castleton and the Upper Derwent are cases in point.

11.57

The aim is to encourage longer distance park and ride, from the periphery to the main tourist areas. There may be an opportunity to use urban park and ride schemes "in reverse" on peak visitor days. The use of Hazel Grove station (Manchester) and the proposed Millhouses station (Sheffield) are possible examples. It is accepted that the situation is complicated in the National Park, because the large number of approach roads and destinations mitigates against peripheral park and ride sites. However, investigations will be carried out into the feasibility of such sites following which proposals may be brought forward, related to key tourist areas. No new park and ride car parks are identified in the Local Plan.



Policy LT12: Park and ride

(a)

The National Park Authority will support park and ride schemes to the main tourist areas and will bring forward proposals in cooperation with the relevant transport authorities and companies.

(b)

Car park sites for 500 or more cars, for park and ride schemes, either to National Park destinations or for access to the surrounding urban areas, will not be permitted.

(c)

Provided that they can be safely accommodated without harm to the valued characteristics of the area, are well screened and are coupled with car parking restraint at the destination:

(i)

park and ride car parks with a capacity of up to 100 spaces may be permitted;

(ii)

park and ride car parks with a capacity between 100 and 500 spaces will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and will not be permitted on a permanent basis.



Traffic restraint

11.58

There is widespread misunderstanding about the meaning and methods of traffic restraint. At the least, restraint means continuing the steady introduction of such devices as speed limits, waiting restrictions and weight limits to meet specific problems. At the most it would involve measures to reduce, or at least contain traffic volumes such as road pricing, reducing road capacity and car parking provision. Structure Plan Policy T8 identifies a range of measures that might be tried in order to make best use of the road network, improve road safety, environmental and traffic conditions, and reduce conflict between various user groups.

11.59

Although road pricing is included in Structure Plan Policy T8, the legislative framework is not yet available. The Government has issued a consultation document 'Breaking the Logjam' on this topic and proposes to introduce legislation in 2000/2001. The availability of road pricing as a technique for traffic restraint would radically alter both the effectiveness of any restraint measures and the availability of resources for the provision of public transport and other alternative means of transport. Neither the National Park Authority nor the highway authorities are proposing general road pricing in the National Park, but Derbyshire County Council and the National Park Authority have agreed to progress a pilot project in the Upper Derwent Valley. If general road pricing does come about, it will probably need to be introduced by central government.

11.60

At the local level there are many different opinions about the severity and nature of traffic problems in the National Park. Some businesses and residents do not consider that there are visitor traffic problems, except on a few days of the year. The response to these problems is also in dispute - some people consider that the solution is to build more car parks. On the question of cross-Park traffic, some suggest that the problem is modest compared to that in urban areas and that the answer is to provide more capacity.

11.61

However, transport policies in the National Park have to be a balance between the needs and desires of residents and business, the duty to conserve and enhance the National Park environment, the needs of visitors, and the requirements for trans-Pennine movement. Where these factors appear to be in conflict, the National Park Authority must favour conservation. The National Park Authority considers that it would be failing in its primary statutory duty if it simply allowed traffic growth to continue unabated, especially at the rates predicted by central government. It is not alone in this view. Most local authorities believe that traffic growth at the rate predicted is unacceptable or undesirable. However, agreeing how to reduce it is much more difficult.

11.62

There is general agreement, on road safety grounds, that speeds should be reduced. This is especially so in villages and in other accident prone areas, and (in the National Park Authority's view) on open moorland areas, where the death toll to grazing animals is high. A reduction in speeds, particularly on routes across the National Park, would also act as a deterrent to through traffic, if the restrictions were enforced adequately and if the alternative routes round the National Park, or alternative modes of travel, were attractive. This should not be taken to imply the introduction of a blanket speed limit, but selective introduction of appropriate speed reduction measures. The Highways Agency has introduced an accident remedial scheme on the A6 through the National Park, the main element of which is a reduction in traffic speeds. The results will be closely monitored as this could be the model for the SPITS speed reduction proposals. Effective enforcement of speed limits is the key to the success of such schemes and the National Park Authority will continue to encourage improvements to speed limit enforcement. The National Park Authority will continue to work with the highway authorities, district and parish councils, the police, and with local residents and business, to achieve this comprehensive approach. Proposals will be brought forward via the Peak Park Transport Forum, the Local Transport Plans, and Area and Visitor Management Plans.



Policy LT13: Traffic restraint measures

Traffic management measures will be sought to achieve a general reduction in speeds on roads in the National Park.



Parking charges and parking strategy

11.63

There are numerous car park providers in the National Park. Some are public bodies (like the National Park Authority and district councils), some are large public corporations (eg the water companies). Others are voluntary organisations (eg the National Trust), or private individuals (eg the owners of Dovedale main car park). The policy and objectives of each organisation differ. Some charge for parking, others do not. Some limit the time a car can be parked, others do not. The biggest parking resource (the roads) comes under the control of the eight different highway authorities.

11.64

Car park charging is both a means of generating income for the improvement of facilities in the area and an instrument of traffic and visitor management policy. There is a strong case for a common approach to car park charging by all providers of public parking. The National Park Authority will seek to establish agreements between car park operators in both the public and private sector, on and off street, in order to arrive at an overall strategy for parking provision and pricing within the National Park. The strategy should seek to contain the provision of car parking at or near its 1996 levels, excluding Bank Holidays.

11.65

Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 (PPG13) makes it clear that parking provision and pricing are key determinants of car use, influencing the mode of transport (car, public transport, walk or cycle). Although much of PPG13 is urban oriented, it is considered that the same principles should apply in the National Park. Any perceived or actual inadequacy of alternative public transport should not preclude charging as an instrument of demand management.

11.66

The common suggestion that car parking capacity should be increased to meet demand, can only serve to increase the numbers of people wanting to use the space at peak times. To pursue such a course would be against the advice in PPG13. There is strong evidence that a large proportion of visitors make more than one stop in the National Park and drive between various destinations. Methods of reducing the amount of driving need to be investigated and implemented where practical.

11.67

Research at the Roaches indicates that parking charges can influence car use, especially if combined with the availability of an alternative. As part of Local Plan monitoring, further research will be carried out into the effectiveness of parking charges as an instrument of traffic and visitor management policy.

11.68

Security at car parks also has a bearing on their use and design. Security issues should have a bearing on car park location, both when considering new sites and the retention of existing ones.

11.69

Policy LC1 relates to development in the Natural Zone and precludes anything other than that which is essential in the national interest, or for the management of the Natural Zone, or for the conservation or enhancement of the National Park's valued characteristics. This applies to car parking provision and to alterations to existing car parks. Alterations could be taken to include the introduction of charging and security equipment though neither of these would normally require planning consent. It has been argued that car park charging and security equipment are unnecessary urbanisation of the countryside and should not be introduced within the Natural Zone. However, the Natural Zone might be the very area where charging should be introduced as a means of controlling traffic and visitor numbers and where security is a major concern. In general it is felt that there should not be new car parks in the Natural Zone. The need for the existing car parks should be reviewed to see if they should be replaced by a site located in a less environmentally sensitive location. Any replacement car park would have to be capable of being linked to the original visitor destination by a park and ride system or footpath. Similar criteria would apply to the location of any new car park serving the Natural Zone.

11.70

The design of new car parks and the alteration of existing ones, should not only respect but also seek to enhance the valued characteristics of the area. In considering this the National Park Authority would need to take into account the environmental effects of both the proposed car park and any existing parking (eg indiscriminate roadside parking). If, on balance, there is not an overall environmental enhancement, then the National Park Authority ought to refuse planning consent. This will be especially important in the Natural Zone and in Conservation Areas.

11.71

Under the General Development Order, land may be used for parking for up to 28 days without planning consent. Clearly, if this happens on a regular basis it would negate the control over parking referred to above. In such circumstances, or where the valued characteristics of the area are harmed, or the temporary use is causing traffic congestion or dangerous road conditions, an Article 4 Direction will be considered, to bring the use under planning control. The land concerned may be an informal lay-by (ie part of the highway) and not subject to planning control in any case. Nevertheless, similar criteria should apply and there should be negotiations between the National Park Authority and the relevant highway authority to seek to remedy the situation.

11.72

The section on park and ride car parks (11.54-57 above) refers to limitations on the size of car parks. Similar limitations should apply to car parks generally. There have been instances in the past where car parks of 500-plus spaces have been given planning consent. It is not considered that car parks of such size are generally acceptable (there were exceptional reasons why they were regarded as necessary in Bakewell and Dovedale).



Policy LT14: Parking strategy and parking charges

(a)

The National Park Authority will seek to establish an agreed strategy for parking provision and pricing within the National Park, involving the various car park operators in both the public and private sector, on and off street. The strategy will seek to contain the amount of parking at or near its 1996 levels, to discourage growth in the use of cars and to improve visitor management.

(b)

New, enlarged or altered car parks will not be permitted unless essential to the management of the area and so designed and integrated with other traffic management measures as to enhance the valued characteristics of the area. New off street car parks should be accompanied by equivalent on street parking restraint. In this context:

(i)

car parks with a capacity of up to 100 spaces may be permitted;

(ii)

car parks with a capacity of between 100 and 500 will only be considered in exceptional circumstances;

(iii)

car park sites for 500 or more cars will not be permitted.

This will be especially important in the Natural Zone and in Conservation Areas.

(c)

In considering proposals for new or enlarged car parks in the Natural Zone and in Conservation Areas, the National Park Authority will expect the developer to have assessed alternative sites located in a less environmentally sensitive location, capable of being linked to the original visitor destination either by a park and ride system or footpath.

(d)

The National Park Authority will review all its car parks within the Natural Zone and in Conservation Areas, to assess whether they could and should be replaced by sites in less sensitive locations.

(e)

Where land is being used regularly for up to 28 days for car parking or where the valued characteristics of the area are being harmed, or the temporary use is causing traffic congestion or dangerous road conditions, an Article 4 Direction will be sought to bring the use under planning control. Similar action will be taken in considering the role of informal lay-bys.

(f)

In order to retain parking provision at or near 1996 levels, additional off street parking will not be permitted unless it replaces on-street parking spaces. Exceptions are provided under Policies LT10, 11, 12 and 15.



Proposals for car parks

11.73

Policies LT10, 11, 12 and 14 relate to the control and management of car parking. Within current programmes such as Local Transport Plans, Area and Visitor Management Plans etc, there are suggestions for new or improved car parking facilities at Mam Nick area*, Upper Burbage area, the Roaches area (including Ramshaw)*, Heatherdene (Bamford)*, North Lees and Stanage area, Castleton, Bradwell, Hartington, Eyam and Robin Hood (Baslow). Where necessary, land should be safeguarded for these. The estimated parking to be provided totals between 700 and 1000 spaces. No net increase in parking is provided for, and a combination of waiting restrictions and physical works in the locality will be used to ensure this.

* work completed by date of publication

11.74

Many villages, tourist attractions and beauty spots in the National Park suffer from the indiscriminate parking of visitors' cars . Many park for a long time and are regarded as a hindrance, by residents and businesses alike. It is considered that such long stay parking should be catered for in off-street car parks, with on-street provision reserved for short stay and residents' parking. These issues will be investigated and proposals brought forward. This is not a matter solely for the National Park Authority, but will involve the relevant highway authority, district and parish councils and the police, and will require consultation with local residents and businesses. Priority will be given to Conservation Areas.



Policy LT15: Proposals for car parks

(a)

Subject to there being no net increase in provision, new or improved car parking facilities will be provided at the following locations:

(i)

Mam Nick area, including B6061;

(ii)

near the Roaches, including Ramshaw;

(iii)

Heatherdene (Bamford);

(iv)

North Lees and Stanage area;

(v)

Castleton;

(vi)

Bradwell;

(vii)

Upper Burbage area;

(viii)

Hartington;

(ix)

Eyam;

(x)

Robin Hood (Baslow).

(b)

The land required for these schemes will be safeguarded, when known.



Coach parking

11.75

Recent surveys indicate that coach visitors out-number those arriving by scheduled bus and train services, yet the facilities provided for coach parking are generally poor. Although there are coach parking places in a number of villages and at certain tourist attractions, few have proper arrangements for boarding or alighting. Many form part of a car park and cause circulation problems. Tourist developments should be encouraged to provide adequate facilities for coach visitors.

11.76

The National Park Authority will work with the tourist industry and with the relevant highway authorities, district and parish councils to enhance coach parking facilities at other key visitor sites.



Policy LT16: Coach parking

(a)

Coach parking facilities at key visitor sites will be enhanced where necessary.

(b)

Developments which are likely to attract coach traffic will be required to make provision for setting down and picking up coach passengers and for coach parking.



Cycle parking

11.77

The provision of adequate and secure cycle parking is an important factor in encouraging the growth of cycling for leisure and other purposes. The National Park Authority encourages the installation of cycle parking facilities in villages, at railway stations and at tourist attractions, and expects developers to provide such facilities in any new development.



Policy LT17: Cycle parking

The provision of secure cycle parking will be encouraged in villages, at railway stations and at recreational attractions. New development will also be required to provide secure cycle parking.



Design criteria for transport infrastructure

11.78

Much investment in transport infrastructure (such as structural maintenance of roads, or replacement of railway bridges) does not require planning permission, but it can have a significant effect on the landscape. There are powers to maintain and improve trunk roads under the 1980 Highways Act. The National Park Authority's view is that to meet an agency's duty under the Environment Act, the highest standard of environmental design and materials (consistent with safety requirements) should be used in transport infrastructure to conserve and enhance the valued characteristics of the area. The National Park Authority expects to be consulted on the design and siting of improvement and major maintenance works. The National Park Authority considers that deemed consent for highway and transport works in Conservation Areas, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation or where listed buildings are affected, is an anomaly and it will consider means of bringing these activities under planning control after full discussion with the relevant transport authority.

11.79

Traffic management measures and new development have to allow for access by emergency vehicles. The emergency services need to be consulted about individual schemes and developments as a matter of course. This will be particularly important where railway or road tunnels and bridges are involved.

11.80

Structure Plan Policy T1(a) made clear that the design of transport infrastructure was always subject to safety considerations. In considering any development or any change to transport infrastructure, safety must always be at the forefront and must be achievable before development can be permitted. In the National Park, where environmental quality is the primary criterion, this may well mean that some developments may be refused, because the provision of a safe means of access would damage the valued characteristics of the area.



Policy LT18: Design criteria for transport infrastructure

(a)

The highest standards of environmental design and materials should be used in transport infrastructure to conserve and enhance the valued characteristics of the area.

(b)

All traffic management measures and new development will be designed to allow for access by emergency vehicles. Individual schemes and developments will be the subject of consultation with the emergency services.

(c)

The provision of safe access arrangements will be a prerequisite of any development. Where the provision of safe access would damage the valued characteristics of the area, the National Park Authority will consider refusing planning consent.



Mitigation of severance effects outside towns and villages

11.81

In Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), where conservation of the natural environment and its wildlife is essential, the harmful impact and severance caused by roads and railways should be reduced. To achieve this, the National Park Authority will work in partnership with the providers of transport infrastructure, and other relevant agencies, particularly English Nature. Transport infrastructure schemes that require an Environmental Impact Assessment or pass through an SPA or SAC should always include consideration of screening and covering . The installation of 'wild bridges' or cut/cover tunnels should be investigated, to allow unimpeded safe passage and interconnection of wildlife across the road or railway. This could also benefit pedestrians. In such cases the 'wild bridge' should re-instate the continuity of the surrounding natural habitat, albeit artificially, with the road or railway screened from the view of the people or animals using the bridges. Similar arrangements could be adopted for major footpath and bridleway crossings of roads and railways, eg the Pennine Way or Trans-Pennine Trail. Such schemes are in increasing use elsewhere in Europe. Major infrastructure schemes will be expected to include consideration of such measures. It is accepted that such schemes may not be appropriate in all circumstances and it will be a question of weighing up the environmental advantages of reduction of severance, against the disturbance caused by construction.



Policy LT19: Mitigation of wildlife severance effects

Proposals for 'wild bridges' and cut and cover tunnels in Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation and where major footpaths and bridleways cross roads and railways will be encouraged and supported.



Protecting public rights of way

11.82

The network of public rights of way provides a valuable resource for both visitors and local residents, which requires maintenance and protection from development. Where appropriate, provision is made for users with special needs, including those with disabilities. Where a development proposal affects a public right of way, every effort should be made to accommodate the route within the development. If this is not possible, an alternative route that is as convenient and attractive and of equal or better quality should be provided before the definitive route is affected.



Policy LT20: Public rights of way

Where a development proposal affects a public right of way, either the definitive line of the public right of way should be retained, or, in exceptional circumstances, where retention of the definitive line is not possible, the developer will be required to provide an alternative route that:

(i)

is of equal or better quality than the original;

and

(ii)

has a similar or improved surface appropriate to its setting;

and

(iii)

wherever appropriate, is of benefit to users with special needs, including those with disabilities;

and

(iv)

is available before the definitive route is affected;

and

(v)

is as convenient and attractive as the original.



Provision for cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians

11.83

In the 1970s the Joint Planning Board, Derbyshire County Council and the Countryside Commission introduced the pioneering Routes for People project. Amongst other proposals, this introduced the concept of a waymarked and partly segregated network of routes for walkers, horse riders and cyclists. It also suggested the restriction of motor traffic use of some minor roads, so as to enhance their attractiveness to non-motorised users. The concepts of the Routes for People scheme are equally valid today and could be extended Park-wide.

11.84

Structure Plan Policy T10 sets out the basic policy on this topic. Paragraphs 11.15 to 11.17 refer to methods of resolving user conflict on 'very minor roads'. In 1996, the Joint Planning Board received European funding to improve sections of footpath and bridleway as part of the Gateways and Trail-link projects, and there are on-going works on many other well used routes. Policy LT19 also suggests improved road and rail crossing facilities.

11.85

Each year, at least 8 million visits to the National Park include a walk on some of its 2,652 km of footpath and bridleway and an estimated 1 million walk into the National Park from the surrounding urban areas. A further 0.5 million people come in by cycle. A wide spectrum of people now use the network for leisure and recreation. The National Park Authority believes that by opening up the network of paths and bridleways to increased and more diverse use, it will add to recreational opportunities, spread visitor pressures and benefit the local economy.

11.86

The National Park Authority and its partners intend to improve the surfacing and standards of some countryside paths and rights of way. This will enable their increased use and establish a system that is largely traffic free. The Gateway and Trail-link Projects identify a programme of works for the period 1997 to 2000 (inclusive) covering about 31% of the public path network. Work on the remainder will follow, subject to the results of these Projects and available finance, including lottery funds.

11.87

Missing links in the public paths network will be identified as soon as possible. This will include sections where the legal status is in doubt, but particularly where the alternative is to walk or ride alongside a busy road, or a road without a verge. Three sites have already been identified and form schemes in their own right. These are:

 

(i)

Derbyshire County Council proposes to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in the lower part of the Winnats Pass road (Speedwell to A6187). Details have yet to be determined.

 

(ii)

A footpath from Edale station along the south side of the railway linking with existing footpaths to Barber Booth.

 

(iii)

Derbyshire County Council is installing a Hathersage to Castleton cycleway: the majority being dedicated cycle lanes alongside the A6187. The route between Hope and Castleton has yet to be determined.

11.88

Subject to finance and to further consultation, it is intended to implement these by 2005 and to devise a programme of similar works to follow. These will be progressed through the various authorities' Local Transport Plans. This may involve the creation of new routes or the restriction of motor traffic on some minor roads.

11.89

It is desirable to encourage walking and cycling as means of reaching the National Park rather than using the car. Improvement of the footpaths, cycleways and bridleways crossing the National Park boundary will be investigated in consultation with adjoining authorities. Some of these will form part of the Gateway and Trail-link Projects. Other potential routes should be identified and a programme of works devised to roll forward improvements. These will be progressed through the various authorities' Local Transport Plans.

11.90

The road and railway schemes referred to in Policies LT3 and 4 will impinge on the footpath, cycle and bridleway network. In particular, re-opening the Matlock to Buxton/Chinley line and the Woodhead railway would have an impact on the adjacent Monsal and Trans Pennine Trails. The National Park Authority considers that promoters of road and rail schemes should ensure that equally good alternatives are provided where footpaths and bridleways are affected, and, in the case of major Trails, that their continuity should be retained. Policy LT20 applies.



Policy LT21: Provision for cyclists horse riders and pedestrians

(a)

The following footpath, cycle and bridleway projects will be brought forward:

(i)

improvement of conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in the lower part of the Winnats road;

and

(ii)

a footpath on the south side of the railway from Edale station to link with existing paths to Barber Booth;

and

(iii)

a cycleway from Hathersage to Castleton.

(b)

Other improvements to the footpath, cycleway and bridleway networks will be identified and measures taken to remedy these deficiencies. These will be progressed through the relevant authority's Local Transport Plan.



Access to sites and buildings for people with a mobility difficulty

11.91

Structure Plan Policy T11, access for people with a mobility difficulty, is simple and clear, but for the avoidance of doubt, mobility difficulty in this section and in the accompanying policy should be taken to include those people with a sensory impairment. The 1995 Disability Discrimination Act encourages all authorities and agencies to improve access for people with disabilities. What is 'reasonable' will vary according to the nature of the site or building. Education services are specifically exempted from the Act, as are private houses. Adaptations to existing buildings are not enforced by the Act. The responsibility rests more with the managers of land and buildings than with the Planning Authority. However, where new development is liable to attract or be used by large numbers of people, the developer should avoid any relative disadvantage to those with a mobility difficulty.

11.92

The National Park Authority is keen to see that people with a mobility difficulty do have access to the National Park. In so far as this is consistent with conserving the valued characteristics of the area, including wildness, remoteness and ruggedness, the National Park Authority will seek to ensure that footpath and bridleway enhancements allow for use by people with a mobility difficulty. In part this is being tackled by the Gateway project referred to earlier. The National Park Authority will also continue to support the use of wheelchair accessible public transport services into the National Park from the surrounding urban areas and will seek to ensure that access to regular bus and train services is made as easy as possible for people with a mobility difficulty. This will include investigation of the raising of platform heights on the Hope Valley Line stations and raised boarding areas for bus and coach passengers, particularly at key visitor sites. In the interests of encouraging people with a mobility difficulty to gain access to the National Park, it is intended to investigate the provision of suitable circular walks from recognised car parks, or key public transport locations, and devise a programme of works.



Policy LT22: Access to sites and buildings for people with a mobility difficulty

(a)

Where development is likely to attract, or be used by, a large number of people, its design and layout must not create any relative disadvantage for those with a mobility difficulty, provided always that the valued characteristics and amenity of the area are not harmed.

(b)

Footpaths and bridleways will be constructed and maintained in a manner suitable for use by people with a mobility difficulty provided that valued characteristics including the wildness, remoteness and ruggedness of the area are not harmed. These routes will be from recognised car parks and key public transport locations.

(c)

Facilities at railway stations, coach and bus stops will be improved to make access easier for those with a mobility difficulty.



Pipelines, conveyors and overhead lines

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No amplification of Structure Plan Policy T12 is required. This resists new overground pipelines and overhead lines. There are no known new proposals requiring land to be safeguarded. Further policy relating to the provision of utility services is given in Chapter 8 of the Local Plan.

 

Air transport

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Structure Plan Policy T13 does not address the more intermittent use of sites for landing aircraft, particularly helicopters. There has, for example, been a growing trend for helicopters to use the car parks of public houses and hotels. Often this is a recreational activity. The benefits of air transport are set out in paras 5.32 to 5.36 of Planning Policy Guidance Note 13. It is acknowledged that air transport provides a rapid means of business transport or a recreational activity giving pleasure to some people. However, development of landing sites for powered aircraft is not in keeping with the quiet enjoyment of the National Park. Therefore, in deciding any application for development, the National Park Authority will consider whether it is appropriate to restrict the use of land in the applicant's control in connection with powered flights. This may seem an unusual step to take, but it is justified in the circumstances of a National Park. It will be particularly relevant in cases of recreation/business/hotel developments or residential properties in large grounds. Under the General Development Order, land may be used for aircraft landing for up to 28 days without planning consent being required. However, were this to happen on a regular basis it would harm the valued characteristics of the area and in particular opportunities for its quiet enjoyment. In such circumstances, or where the temporary use is causing traffic congestion, dangerous road conditions or loss of residential amenity, an Article 4 Direction will be considered to bring the use under planning control. Nothing in this policy will affect emergency flights, nor will it prevent occasional flights, for instance for special events that should be notified to the National Park Authority in advance.



Policy LT23: Air transport

(a)

Planning permission related to land that could be used in connection with helicopter or other powered flights will be subject to conditions to control or prevent that use if it would adversely affect the valued characteristics or amenity of the area.

(b)

Where land is being used regularly for up to 28 days per year for helicopter and/or other powered flights that are:

(i)

harming the valued characteristics of the area and in particular opportunities for its quiet enjoyment,

or

(ii)

where the temporary use is causing traffic congestion, dangerous road conditions or loss of residential amenity,

an Article 4 Direction will be sought to bring the use under planning control.

 

 

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