LTP CYCLEWight Response - CYCLEWight

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LTP CYCLEWight Response

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On behalf of CycleWight and the CTC members on the Isle of Wight we would like to make
the following general comments and then review each section.
There appears to be an acceptance that the number of car journeys will increase. There
has to be a more positive approach to a reduction in car use. The draft copy of the LTP
identifies the problems of traffic congestion but there are very few plans to reduce this.
The beauty of the Island is its major selling point but this will disappear unless there are
most positive steps taken.
The Cycle Touring Club (CTC) have done research to show that revenue schemes are
more effective return than capital ones. There needs to be much more evidence of this in
the plan; e.g. through actively supporting work place travel plans and to ensure they are
written and then acted upon, car sharing, easier access to public transport, etc.
There is a need for a traffic hierarchy to become more evident in all of the plans; beginning
with the pedestrian and working towards the car. All developments and future schemes
must have beneficial access for people who are not using motorised transport. Sustainable
considerations must be given priority to show that they are of real value and worth; bus
stops, pedestrian access, cycle routes.
There should be clear demand management schemes to encourage alternatives to the
car. A car parking strategy which dissuades the casual shopper should be introduced to
encourage a more rational approach to car use in town centres.
There is a need to look at and adopt examples of good practice from around the country
and the world.
*At this point in the document it seemed that it would be a good idea to see how many
references there were to the hitherto often repeated issue of ‘highway maintenance/assets’
. There are 79. As for ‘demand management’, there is just one reference. For bus, 11; for
cycling 17.
When considering the LTP all of us need to reflect on the following scenario and then
come to a policy that will benefit all. In the next two years there are proposals for a large
increase in the number of staff working at County Hall, the projected Asda development,
an estimated 300/400 workers at the Vestas R&D plant as well as the Aldi site in Cowes.
The future for transport by car and bus, particularly in Newport , is looking very problematic
unless measures are taken to reduce the dependency on the car.
Comments:
The vision. This appears to make the highways and its maintenance to be the major issue.
It is a vital part of the picture but it is one specific part and not a vision that covers all
aspects of transport on the Island. We suggest :
“OUR ISLAND IS A BEAUTIFUL BUT FINITE SPACE. WE MUST RESPECT THAT AND
USE ALL OF OUR INGENUITY AND ENERGY TO ADOPT TRANSPORT POLICIES
THAT HAVE NOT ONLY THE LOWEST POSSIBLE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, BUT
WHICH ACTUALLY ENHANCES THE ISLAND AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF EVERY
RESIDENT AND TOURIST, PRESENT AND FUTURE.”
SECTION A
A4: Fence to fence will also sometimes include cycleways and cycle friendly features.
Maybe an explicit mention would reassure those who cycle or who would like to consider
cycling as an option.
A5: Real choice (of high quality alternatives) is important to reduce reliance on the car.
Sometimes, demand management of the car is essential to make alternatives viable and to
incentivise their take-up. In that sense, we should sometimes welcome
less choice if that
means that car use is restrained or discouraged.
Traffic management is important, but to ‘keep traffic flowing’ is not an objective in itself.
Free flowing traffic can, for example, impede pedestrian movement, and by giving the car
primacy, undermine alternatives.
We are pleased to see that IoW council recognises and celebrate cycling as an important
mode of transport. It is important for that position to be maintained for cycling to be given a
high priority in considering schemes. Cycling has a positive effect on the health of the
Island as well making a contribution to the economy.
A6: This seems to recognise that the way we organise our transport can have impacts -
good and bad - on our quality of life. The appraisal tells us much that we already know.
A7: For us there is nothing for us to comment in this section.
A8: We think that transport interventions/reorganisation can enhance the environment, so
we suggest ‘enhance and...’ be inserted in front of ‘respect’ (Vision and Goals).
SECTION B
No comments
SECTION C
C3: Tackling an overwhelming reliance on the car for commuting, and short trips in
general, on the Island is nowhere implicit in this rather ‘business as usual’ vision
statement.
C4: The table is not negotiable but the ticks seem subjective. Improved road safety and
health should be important to the economy simply because a healthy workforce is less
likely to take time off sick. Good health across the population gives equality of opportunity.
There are other anomalies in the boxes.
C5: Demand management of traffic would lead to traffic reduction and this in turn would
lead to less wear and tear on the road network. PFI might work but it’s not the silver bullet
it is claimed to be and is not the only tool in the box.
C6: We don’t dispute the importance of Highway Maintenance but it appears to be a
priority way above other interventions. Assertions - like ‘cross Solent improvements are
key to the islands economic success’ - should be challenged: What improvements? What
will be their impact? Will they fit with sustainability objectives? Will they increase or
decrease traffic on the island’s roads?
C7.1/C7.2: The ‘strategic junction improvements’ to enhance traffic flows appear to be an
exercise in shifting larger numbers of vehicles around. This will make car trips more
attractive until the growing use of the car for short trips - highlighted in your document -
cause more congestion. Public transport will at the same time suffer poorer market share
and become ensnared in the traffic while walking and cycling will become less pleasant in
the degraded environment. This is not socially equitable.
C7.3: A useful additional challenge would be : ‘to achieve a ‘step change’ in the quality and
availability of all alternatives to the car and to create strong growth in their take-up, along
with significant mode shift’.
C8.1: The Council are to be congratulated on the various road safety campaigns it has run.
The area wide studies referred to might usefully be looked at in terms of their potential to
enjoy 20mph zone status. Reduced speed of traffic has been shown to be fundamental to
prompting strong growth in walking and cycling, and giving parents the confidence to allow
their children the freedom to do so, thus enhancing their physical and mental health and
playing a part in socialisation and the creation of cohesive communities with lower crime
rates (seeC10.3). This would help to deliver the objectives sought in C8.2 Further more
there needs a plan to ‘educate drivers’ to drive in such a way as not to intimidate other
road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
C9: This section contains contradictions. On the one hand, highway maintenance and
traffic management are seen as important to such goals as congestion reduction, traffic
flow, regeneration, journey time reliability, etc - all achieved through the PFI route. And
then here and elsewhere, there is an exhortation to promote ‘green tourism’ and for
tourists to ‘leave their cars at home’, and for all to use alternatives.
Unfortunately, although there will possibly be a respite in levels of congestion and
improved traffic flow, this will result in the car continuing to be the first mode of choice and
a quick return to former congested conditions. The alternatives will always be seen as
second best and will be undermined by the absence of ‘demand management’ which itself
appears to be absent from this document. ‘Green tourism’ will then be seen to be a myth
as the island becomes more and more congested and degraded by more road space and
bigger car parks. That will do enormous harm to the reputation of the still beautiful island
and its economy.
We believe that the arguments above are cogent, and that in addition to the concerns
mentioned, there are serious implications for the conservation and enhancement of the
Island’s ‘special places’.
C11: Increases in traffic create pressure on land in general and threaten sensitive
environments. These are important among the reasons that many visitors come to the
Island. For these reasons we would like to see a concerted effort to promote ‘Tourism
without Traffic’ thus conserving and enhancing the places people come to enjoy by
reducing the presence of large volumes of, and even eliminating, traffic. Strategies
designed to achieve these goals would benefit tourists and residents alike, as sustainable
transport would be available to more destinations on the island.
C11.2/4: Carbon emission reductions are one of the goals of the Isle of Wight PCT’s
‘carbon management strategy’ (Feb 2010).
Traffic generation by hospitals is recognised as very significant and in the UK, many
hospitals have engaged with this issue with some success through implementing
‘workplace travel plans’ (‘wtps’).
We note the PCT strategy and urge its progression. It would benefit from a partner such as
the Isle of Wight County Council to speed up what is still a very tentative ‘toe in the water’
approach. We are sure that help would be available from elsewhere, which have
developed and implemented wtps .
More broadly, we urge the IoW Council to take a lead with employers/managers of IoW
businesses and institutions to progress wtps. There are already lots of good practice about
in the UK and a wealth of experience that is usually freely shared. St Mary’s Hospital and
Isle of Wight Council, would be good places to start, close as they are to Coppins Bridge.
C 11.4
Encourage travel by sustainable transport should be first in the challenges. If the council
achieves major changes in modal shift the rest of the challenges will become more likely to
be achieved.
Objectives
We broadly agree with the objectives but would like to make a few amendments.
(C12.6) The objectives could include deliver mode shift and increase mode share of
alternatives to the car.
Enhance and extend existing pedestrian and cycle networks.
Walking and cycling provision to be an intrinsic part of highway improvements and new
developments
Include parking controls in the toolbox of measures to secure increased take-up of
alternatives – this should include reducing the numbers of spaces available and creating a
demonstration project to use the urban space more productively

 
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