Spelthorne Local Plan - Preferred Options Consultation: Policies and Site Allocations

Comment ID pol/118
Document Section Spelthorne Local Plan Preferred Options: policies Infrastructure and Delivery Policy ID2: Sustainable Transport for New Developments View all on this section
Respondent Liberal Democrat Councillor (M… View all by this respondent
Response Date 21 Jan 2020

Whichever scenario you follow there will be a significant increase in car ridership if the Local Plan proposals are implemented without amendment, the forecast is around 2%. This will have a massive impact in terms of movement within the Borough. The biggest danger is that without infastructure planned for and in place as the increase unfolds, the road network will struggle to cope. Increased journey times and more pollution will be a direct consequence, reducing the quality of life for Residents in the Borough.

Mention is made of containing car journey growth. This cannot begin to be tackled without fundamental improvements to public transport, particularly the bus service network. Over two decades of progressive imposed cuts to bus services by Surrey County Council makes travelling by bus distinctly unattractive both inside and for travelling outside the Borough particularly into Surrey. Even the three corridors leading out of the Borough into the London Boroughs of Hounslow and Richmond where by contrast TFL provide the service the frequencies on these routes have remained static for some years and by TFL standards all of them are considered low frequency services.

Spelthorne falls between two stools. It has no control over Highways or the provision of bus services. It’s also uniquely different to every other Surrey Borough being virtually 100% urban unlike the rest which have a rural emphasis. To have any chance of a policy of “car containment” being a success it has to plan with those responsible for the key areas of roads and public transport to improve. Spelthorne in the 6 would be a significant contribution to standardise for example Oystercard usage, given the current disparity, in that they are valid on buses but not trains once you leave the Greater London Boundary. It would also be beneficial if TFL became the body responsible for Bus services in this and the surrounding areas rather than Surrey County Council.

The Council can however take the lead in respect of encouraging both cycling and walking. It should be looking wherever possible to improve key walking areas for pedestrians and more safe cycling routes for cyclists.

There needs to be an Infastructure Working Party  specifically remitted to look at what the expected population growth will be and its needs. This has to cover Transport provision, Highways, Education, Health and  Social Services. Failure to tackle existing known deficiencies in these areas and simply to adopt a reactive approach once dwelling construction accelerates is totally unacceptable.

The questionable housing target figures are challenged elsewhere. But whatever the final figure becomes it will require significant infastructure planning and improvements. Without this the quality of life for Spelthorne Residents will progressively worsen. Above all this is so critical to the Boroughs future it should be a non politicised joint approach. So far there has been little evidence of involving all political groupings on the Council.





Proposed Change