West Mersea Neighbourhood Plan
(1) 7 Traffic and Transport
7 - To ensure that any proposed development provides footpath and cycleway links to the town, coastal and recreational areas to encourage residents to walk and cycle, easing congestion, pollution and parking problems.
7.1 Like most towns and villages, West Mersea is heavily reliant on the car to get around, although the 2011 Census identified that 13.5% of households didn't have access to a car. The island is an important destination for tourism, thus creating additional car journeys to access holiday accommodation or visitor facilities.
7.2 It is important that future development seeks to enable easy movement by non-car modes such as walking, cycling and buses so that access to services and facilities is made easier and that the impact of journeys generated by population and tourism growth can be managed. Where new development takes place, opportunities should be taken to ensure that safe access to the site by foot and cycle can be achieved, in particular to provide links to services and facilities in
7.3 There are regular bus services from the island to Colchester and it is essential that these are maintained and improved through the lifetime of the Neighbourhood Plan. Given the age profile of the town, it will be essential that public transport is accessible for those who need it. Improved information at bus stops, including real-time information systems can greatly enhance the user experience and encourage greater use of the service.
7.4 The Residents' Survey undertaken as part of the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan identified a number of locations where respondents found it difficult to cross the road. The following were the locations most highlighted:
|Location||% age of respondents identifying this location|
|Barfield Road - Tesco Corner||41.9%|
|High Street / Post Office||29.6%|
|High Street / Church Road Corner||29.1%|
|Coast Road / Monkey Steps||26.1%|
|Barfield Road - School / Coop||25.9%|
|Yorick Road / High Street||24.7%|
7.5 Around the town, initiatives to improve the ability to safely walk and cycle are essential if residents and visitors alike are to be encouraged to reduce the use of cars. The Neighbourhood Plan has identified strategic routes and improvements both on the routes and links to them will be sought through developer contributions, where appropriate, or investment through County Council highways investment programmes. The list of initiatives is included as Appendix 2 of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Policy WM 12 - Development Access
All new developments should seek to ensure accessibility for sustainable modes of transport.
Proposals should, where appropriate:
- Give priority to the movement of people walking and cycling;
- Create safe, secure, convenient and attractive layouts which minimise conflicts between traffic, cyclists and pedestrians;
- Provide links to and where necessary improve the surrounding walking, cycling and public transport networks;
- Provide high quality public transport facilities;
- Incorporate charging facilities for electric and other ultra-low emission vehicles, including one charging point per off-road parking space for new dwellings;
- Ensure accessibility for those with impaired mobility; and
- Accommodate the safe and efficient delivery of goods and services.
Access to all development should be created in a manner which maintains the right and safe passage of all highway users. Where development requires a new road or road access it should be designed to give high priority to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.
Where new access is created, or an existing access is widened through an existing hedgerow, a new hedgerow of native species shall be planted on the splay returns into the site to maintain the appearance and continuity of hedgerows in the vicinity.
Proposals that improve traffic flow and/or avoid increased congestion on existing roads and junctions will be supported and development will only be allowed where there is physical and environmental capacity to accommodate the type and amount of traffic generated in a safe manner. Development that generates significant amounts of movement will require a Transport Statement or Transport Assessment in line with the thresholds set in the latest Essex County Council development management policies relating to highways. Where lower than standard trip rates are proposed development will be expected to demonstrate through a package of sustainable transport measures that the proposed trip rates can be achieved. A masterplan approach to assess cumulative impacts may be required in complex locations with closely related and located developments.
7.6 The provision of a cycle route to Colchester, originally proposed by West Mersea Town Council, and now subject to a petition to Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council, would be supported and encouraged.