Local Plan – can you do a quick response?

See the council plans here and the consultation here. You can respond by emailing LocalPlan@richmond.gov.uk with your comments. 

If you only have a moment, please tell the council “Cycling and walking need to be embedded as a means of transport for all areas of the borough, and the local plan must recognise this with specific commitments to providing safe infrastructure for cycling, and a recognition that advisory and marketing programmes will not increase the rates of cycling or walking in the borough.

Cycling is still an afterthought, and not an integral part of the transport plan. It needs to be part of the fixing of congestion, it needs to be in every development and every road change

Car parking in town centres is wrongly suggested, by these policies, to be essential to the vitality of our town centres. This isn’t true: not only does the council have no evidence to support the idea that 30 mins of free parking actually makes any economic difference to justify its cost, but this emphasis removes from consideration of other ways to access our town centres.

Idea that we will somehow reduce the number of journeys seems quite ill-informed: why are we not focussing on makig sure people can make those journeys by a method other than the private car?

13.1.3 on delivery of the local plan for transport

13.1.7 on potential sites for schools …

“Delivery plan and infra delivery schedule” on providing the transport plans

13.2.3 Infra to deliver sustainable growth – why isn’t transport there?

It’s fine words all over again, for the few people with the patience to read the council’s new Local Plan. Despite all the changes in the last few years, and endless discussions on the subject of cycling as a mode of transport, it basically receives lip service in the new Local Plan document. It starts straight away, with the Strategic Vision (section 2, p13) which envisages the future of the borough’s main centres being access by walking and public transport. At the moment, the main mode of transport is the private car: should we assume that failure to mention the car means that no-one will use them? Probably not, if the rest of the local plan is anything to go by – but given the lack of detail in any planning for cycling, we might assume that these major local centres will have a few bike parking racks as an afterthought.

(In ‘A Sustainable Borough’ the council plans to deliver ‘Smart City technology’ but doesn’t even mention transport as a part of moving towards zero carbon.

P16 s.2.3.1 “A Sustainable Future” needs to talk about providing safe transport choices, and not just promoting them. It’s not enough to use words like this “Promotesafeandsustainabletransportchoices,includingpublic transport,cyclingandwalking,forallpeople,includingthosewith disabilities.” when we know that promotion has almost no value in changing peoples’ transport choices.

3.1.8 – excellent that this section recognises the importance and value of people being able to walk and cycle to places,
3.1.14 – welcome the emphasis on creating new walking and cycling routes.
3.1.17 – Sustainable future – again mentions promotion of walking and cycling. A ‘main element’ of the Spatial Strategy is to promote walking and cycling, but actually this should read something like ‘A main element of the Spatial Strategy is to provide safe places to cycle throughout the borough, focussing on the recognition that only the actual provision of cycling separate from motor traffic, on clear, well-signed, direct routes, will encourage rasonable numbers of people to start cycling instead of driving.’

3.1.24 – to create envmts and public realm which support everyone, transport needs to be a key factor. 25% of the borough doesn’t drive, and we can’t route buses to every possible spot. Therefore it is incumbent on the council to make sure that wherever humanly possible, places can be accessed by foot or by cycle.

4.1.9 – welcome the need for pedestrian and cycle access to areas at all times.

Update CP10 Open Land and Parks (p63) to include accessible cycle parking to LCDS standards in all locations. (It is not acceptable to specify car parking for these without including access by foot and by bicycle.)

New policy LP12 Green Infra – needs to include accessibility by bicycle, as well as cycle parking.

LP25 – development of centres: needs to talk about how people access them – the borough will start to choke if we get more people, but don’t provide other ways to get around.

Welcome changes in LP30 – encouraging sustainable modes of transport.

LP31 on open space – needs to include a requirement on how the space is accessed – this should prioritise walking and cycling, and should include the need for accessibility for all users (i.e. safe access for people with disabilities, etc.)

LP44 – re-use the wording about public transport for the cycling and walking section. Needs to be more robust, clear wording and statement of intent.

Like 11.1.5 about how cycling and walking facilities make a place better.

LP45 needs to mention cycle parking specfically. Bikes are vehicles, but too much documetation fails to recognise this, so they need calling out specifically.

Need a policy about sorting out deliveries, so that they are less central causes of congestion, and so that businesses are encouraged to source this together