5.7 Transport Strategy
5.7.1The LDP Transport Strategy is represented by the Local Transport Study for Mid and East Antrim (LTS), prepared by DfI. The purpose of the LTS is to provide clarity on the transport measures that DfI expect to deliver during the LDP period to 2030 in the Mid and East Antrim Council area and to ensure that the transport network and transport needs of the Borough are taken into account in planning for its future development.
5.7.2The draft LTS contains seven Transport Objectives which have been developed in line with the draft PfG, current government policies, and with the direction of our Community Plan, the LDP POP, and the emerging LDP draft Plan Strategy. These are as follows:
- Enhance accessibility and connectivity by road and public transport from our town centres to Belfast and Londonderry as well as gateways and hubs;
- Ensure viable public transport accessibility to essential services for people living and working in Mid and East Antrim to promote inclusive communities;
- Promote community health and wellbeing through the delivery of high quality, safe active travel networks (walking and cycling) linking all residential, employment, retail and leisure uses in our urban areas;
- Ensure legibility and a quality public realm, with reduced vehicle dominance, in our town centres;
- Enhance accessibility by all modes of transport to the centres of our Hubs to connect people and opportunities and to safeguard town centre viability;
- Enhance safety for all modes of travel and reduce the number and severity of casualties; and
- Protect and enhance the built and natural environment by ensuring our transport systems are resilient to Climate Change and are well maintained.
5.7.3The LTS presents a range of measures for walking, cycling, public transport, roads, and parking for the period up to 2030. These nine transport measures are as follows:
- Improved Park and Ride and Park and Share on Key Transport Corridors (KTC)s;
- Consider new orbital capacity around key town centres in conjunction with public realm enhancements or improvements to active travel modes. Capacity schemes to be developer led;
- Improved ‘limited-stop’ bus services to key hubs;
- Improved integration between public transport modes to simplify travel for passengers;
- Provision of a network of attractive walking and cycling routes in towns and greenways between towns;
- For new developments, walk and cycle infrastructure both within the development and linking to existing or planned networks are provided by the developer;
- Town Centre Parking Strategies that provide for demand for long and short-stay spaces at locations which reduce town centre congestion and circulating for parking spaces;
- Traffic management schemes which enhance safety and give priority to pedestrian, cycling and public transport movements to the town centre; and
- Ensure new transport infrastructure is designed and provided to current ‘best practice’ standards.
5.7.4The delivery of these transport measures will be staged in nature, in that specific local proposals and schemes will flow from the strategic direction set out in the LTS. At this stage, the location of the transport measures are not described in detail. Rather, the detail and specific schemes will be contained within the Local Transport Plan (LTP), to be prepared by DfI, alongside our LDP Local Policies Plan, when land use zonings are identified.
5.7.5In the LTS, measures are described in terms of strategic locations. Given that our Borough is a predominantly rural area, the focus for many of these transport measures is therefore concentrated on our main towns where there are significant transport issues and interactions and where there is greatest potential for integration between transportation and land use. The LTS supports the aim of the SPPS in regard to transportation which is “to secure improved integration with land-use planning”, consistent with the RDS.
5.7.6Our LDP seeks to improve connectivity through promoting the integration of transportation and land-use. In line with the LTS, it will also promote more sustainable forms of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport. This will be achieved through our operational subject policies relating to Transportation which are set out in Part 2 of the draft Plan Strategy and also by specific proposals that will be brought forward at Local Policies Plan stage. It should be noted that not all of the transport measures in the LTS are relevant to the LDP.
5.7.7A copy of the draft Local Transport Study (DfI, 2019) is contained within Technical Supplement 9 Transportation.