Mitigating and adapting to climate change and reducing the carbon footprint of the district is an important part of the new Local Plan. There needs to be a step change away from continued reliance on private cars as a main travel solution and the use of sustainable and active means of travel must be prioritised and made more attractive options.
The city council’s climate change targets for the district and objectives of the City of Winchester Movement Strategy, Air Quality Action Plan and Carbon Neutrality Plan will only be met by ensuring that we prioritise development towards sustainable transport modes of travel which includes safe and accessible means of transport with an overall low impact on the environment which includes walking, cycling, ultra-low and zero carbon emission vehicles, car sharing and public transport. This is because transport is one of the highest contributors towards the carbon footprint of the district and the private car is the least sustainable form of transport.
Transport provision and in particular access to sustainable public transport varies considerably across the district, with relatively good accessibility in Winchester Town, ranging to very poor accessibility in some of the more remote rural areas. The main transport issues relate to the need to reduce carbon emissions, road safety, accessibility, congestion and pollution to improve air quality. The biggest challenges in accommodating development will be in relation to ensuring the development generates as little new private car traffic movements as possible and providing the necessary infrastructure to accommodate more sustainable means of travel and ensure access to facilities and services.
Why is it important for our Local Plan to deal with this?
The Local Plan has a key role to play in promoting sustainable transport modes of travel and how the Local Plan can be used to promote the concept/principles of 15 minute cities and focus new development in the most sustainable locations with high quality infrastructure to promote active travel and access to public transport buses and trains to connect together neighbourhoods, facilities and services. It can focus on streets for people and not cars resulting in a more attractive, cleaner environment accessible to all. It is, however, important to recognise that whilst we want the design process to really focus and prioritise sustainable transport modes of transport over the private car because of the rural nature of the district, it may not be possible to completely rule out the use of the private car.
Coming out of the pandemic there are opportunities for the Local Plan to capitalise on some of the positive changes in peoples’ habits that have occurred. More people are working regularly from home reducing the need to travel by private car and for some this will be a long-term change in the way they work.
People have started to walk and cycle more during the pandemic both for exercise and to undertake local journeys possibly encouraged by the reduction of car traffic on the roads. Walking, cycling and other types of active travel are important contributors to health and wellbeing and the reduction of cars on the road has improved air quality particularly in Winchester Town where air pollution from vehicle sources has been an issue. Reduced parking provision in a planned and managed way can facilitate higher density development and support the creation of mixed and vibrant places that are designed for people rather than vehicles. The allocation of sites in the plan and the plan policies can ensure that these sustainable principles are followed.
- What evidence have we commissioned?
Sustainable Transport and Active Travel topic
Please find a link to the Sustainable Travel and Active Travel topic here. (pdf, 803kb)
The full Regulation 18 draft Local Plan can be viewed in the box below.
Regulation 18 Consultation Plan
Please find the link to the Regulation 18 draft Local Plan (pdf, 24.7mb)