Transport and Employment

BLUNSDON NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN 2014

Vision: “The Blunsdon Neighbourhood Plan area is an historic, established rural settlement, with a distinct and separate character from its urban neighbour Swindon, growing through managed, sustainable development meeting the needs of the residents. Through continuous commitment to conservation, heritage and high-quality design it maintains its ‘village’ character and culture. With its low housing density and dedication to providing a tranquil sense of space, it preserves its landscape context and rural views in and out of the area. It has a strong sense of community which cares for its residents and provides a sustainable and safe quality of life.”

RESPONSES TO TRANSPORT QUESTIONS:

We asked 19 questions concerning transport and employment. There was marked consensus among the responses with over 75% of responses disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the following statements:

Q21        The roads can cope with traffic now

Q22        The roads can deal with more houses

There is clearly a lot of concern about transport. However, planning policy is constrained by the National Planning Policy Framework which states that “Development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe.”

Although there is no definition of “severe”, it implies a very high level of adverse impact. Additionally, the Neighbourhood Plan is focussed on measures associated with the use of land, and does not cover direct traffic control measures. So we are limited to what can be achieved by measures such as traffic calming.

We have been looking at the impact on the Cold Harbour junction of developments in and adjacent to the Neighbourhood Plan area. At peak periods the roundabout does become back-blocked by the traffic lights, which makes it difficult to model. We have pointed out to SBC some problems with the approach which is normally taken by developers in their Transport Assessments, and we have asked SBC to consider these. Additionally, one recent application modelled traffic flows assuming that the new Kingsdown bridge over the A419 was in place. Obviously this would under-estimate the impact on the Cold Harbour junction in the initial phase of construction at Kingsdown.

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: To improve the environment, to maintain road safety, and to reduce rat running. The planning approval process does consider the impact of traffic from new developments, and some measures are incorporated to mitigate the traffic impacts. However, more development inevitably means more traffic.

Question:            What further traffic mitigation measures might be considered for Blunsdon?

DEVELOPMENT OF PATHS AND CYCLEWAYS: The need to promote healthy activities is widely accepted, and the Neighbourhood Plan would like to encourage cycling for health with a safe cycling environment.

Blunsdon has a good selection of paths which are shown on the plan.

Question:            What other paths and cycle ways would you like to see?

EMPLOYMENT

The majority of the village works elsewhere or not at all. The employment that is within the Neighbourhood Plan area is mostly centred around the pubs and hotel, and in the industrial units in Kingsdown Lane.

Should any further provision be made for employment land in the Neighbourhood Plan area?

Please consider these questions and answer them on the questionnaire provided. This will help us produce the final policies that will be specific to Blunsdon Neighbourhood Plan area.

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