What information should be provided in a Transport Assessment?
The coverage and detail of the Transport Assessment (TA) should reflect the scale of the development and the extent of the transport implications of the proposal.
For smaller schemes the TA should simply outline the transport aspects of the application, while for major proposals, the TA should illustrate accessibility to the site by all modes of transport, and the likely modal split of journeys to and from the site.
It should also give details of proposed measures to improve access by public transport, walking and cycling, or to reduce the need for parking associated with the proposals, and to mitigate transport impacts. Failure to provide a transport assessment when required will invalidate a planning application.
Prospective developers should hold early discussions with the council in order to clarify whether proposals are likely to be acceptable in transport terms and to scope the requirements of any TA.
When is a transport assessment required?
TA's must be provided for all planning applications relating to development which would exceed the following criteria:
- residential development in excess of 100 units
- employment uses in excess of 5000sqm gross floor space,
- other developments in excess of 1000sqm gross floor space
- hotel developments in excess of 100bedrooms
- caravan or similar holiday sites in excess of 100 units
- any development that either generates in excess of 100 heavy goods vehicles per day or 100 vehicle movements in any hour
- any development that materially adds to local congestion
- any development that may impact on the trunk road network
The relevance of travel plans to planning lies in the delivery of sustainable transport objectives.
What information should a travel plan contain?
A Travel Plan should outline the way in which the transport implications of the development are going to be managed in order to ensure the minimum environmental, social and economic impacts.
The Travel Plan should have a strategy for its implementation that is appropriate for the development proposal under consideration. It should identify the travel plan coordinator, the management arrangements for the plan e.g. a steering group and the development timetable.
The Strategy should also include activities for marketing and promoting the plan to occupiers, users, visitors and residents of the site.
When is a travel plan required?
Travel plans should be submitted with planning applications for proposals which involve the following:
- retail and indoor leisure facilities in excess of 1000 sq metres gross floor space
- office, employment, education and health services development in excess of 2500 sq metres gross floor space
- new and expanded school facilities
- development that would otherwise generate local traffic problems identified through a transport assessment (see above) or an evaluation of a proposal.
For smaller scale development the Highways Officer at Cumbria County Council may require the submission of a simple Transport Form (PDF/29KB/3 pages).
This form asks for details the levels of traffic flow and impacts that would result from the development proposed.