Wantange and Grove Campaign Group (WAGCG)
TOPIC PAPER 6 - Transport and Accessability

This paper provides an explanation of the evidence that has been used to develop the plan in a way that maximises opportunities to reduce the need to travel and encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport…

Paragraph 2.26 of the Local Plan Part 1 states
"Car ownership within the district is relatively high and is likely to continue to form the main form of transport. Road traffic has grown rapidly, especially through the 1990s, however it has shown a slight decrease since 2007 [probably due to the reduced levels of employment]. Traffic levels are predicted to increase in the coming decades."

 

Given that comments in the previous consultations raised concern that “there are little or no proposals for the A338 and A417 given the likely increase in the level of traffic on these roads” what does the local plan do to alleviate these concerns given that:
- traffic on the A417 and A338 will increase by as much as 70% as people from the new developments have to drive to work
- traffic emissions from road transport are higher than any other district in the South East?

Also one of the priorities for action is making sure that land allocated for new development is located near to jobs and services and can be accessed by public transport, cycling or walking - how does the 10 miles from Wantage and Grove to the employment opportunities in Harwell and Milton Park achieve this?

 

2.5. Within the ‘core planning principles’ of the Framework it is highlighted that planning should ‘proactively drive and support sustainable economic development to deliver the homes, business and industrial units, infrastructure and thriving local places that the country needs’. It goes on to state that the planning system should ‘actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling, and focus significant development in locations which are or can be made sustainable’.
Given that the planning system should ‘actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling, and focus significant development in locations which are or can be made sustainable’. What are the 5,500 homes in Wantage and Grove to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling when it will be 10 miles to most employment opportunities and buses will be limited?

2.10 Plans should ensure that developments that generate significant movement are located where the need to travel will be minimised and the use of sustainable modes of transport can be maximised. They should to minimise journey lengths for employment, shopping and other activities. Planning policies should seek a mix of uses in order to provide opportunities to undertake day-to-day activities locally
What is being done to achieve this in relation to jobs in Wantage and Grove other than a small area of mixed use at Monks Farm?

2.13. Local plans must be based on adequate, up-to-date and relevant evidence
The Evaluation of Transport Impact Stage One Technical Note 2013 in Table 1 – Assumed residential developments, excludes the development at Grove Airfield. Therefore we believe that the evaluation is based on figures which exclude all traffic from this development. This is therefore not adequate.
Also none of the validation checks were performed on the A417 between the point at which the Wantage Relief road will join the A417 and the end of Featherbed Lane. This will be the busiest stretch of road and is ignored in this study.
No recent relevant evidence is available

2.17. This paper at Appendix One evaluates the consistency of these policies with the requirements with the Framework and highlighted any areas where there may be conflicts. None were identified to be inconsistent with the Framework…
Many were however identified as only partially consistent and therefore open to question.

3.9. The district faces a number of challenges and opportunities in relation to supporting sustainable transport and accessibility. The main ones include:
• improving transport infrastructure to support employment growth
• ensuring there are improvements to public transport, cycling and walking to provide attractive alternatives to travel by car and to help minimise traffic congestion
Given the plans for housing developments in Wantage and Grove and the likelihood of most employment being in the Science Vale UK hubs (approximately 10 miles away) how will congestion on the narrow A417 from the Wantage Relief Road past the Featherbed Lane improvements and to the Rowstock roundabout be minimised?
Any answer to this question needs to consider the additional buses required to “improve public transport” and the need for the buses to both stop on this busy road and turn on and off the road from adjacent villages.
It also needs to consider the additional cyclists on this route (which it is dangerous to overtake with traffic moving in both directions).

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