TRT1 Provision For Public Transport Strategic Policy
In considering development proposals, the local planning authority will give emphasis to the following key considerations:
(i) the need to make best use of existing transport facilities;
(ii) that, where appropriate, adequate physical provision is made for public transport services and facilities within new developments; and
(iii) that the development would not prejudice any proposals for development of public transport services or facilities.
Reasoned justification :
15.1 A good transport system is vital to the functioning of the Borough and fundamental to its regeneration. This is endorsed in the Secretary of State’s Strategic Guidance, which states that “good road and rail communications are essential to the success of Merseyside”. Land-use policies and transport programmes should help to reduce growth in the length and number of motorised journeys, encourage alternative means of transport which have less environmental impact, and hence reduce reliance on the motor car. The overall aim of transport policy is to provide for the mobility needs of residents, visitors and local businesses by providing the most efficient transport system possible within Wirral.
15.2 The responsibility for public transport policy and financial support for passenger transport rests with the Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority and Executive (Merseytravel). Merseyrail Electrics operates the Merseyrail network under a franchise agreement to which Merseytravel is a party, and Merseytravel directly operates the Mersey Ferries. Deregulation of bus services in October 1986 has transferred operations to the private sector, although Merseytravel may subsidise services according to social need. The Borough Council is the strategic Planning Authority and Highway Authority. This separation of public transport and strategic planning functions, together with reduced policy influence over bus service operation means that a high level of co-operation between the Local Planning Authority and Merseytravel must be maintained to achieve integration of public transport and land-use planning.
15.3 A substantial part of Wirral is an area of low car ownership, particularly the inner urban area and outer Council estates. Even where households do own a car, it is not always available for all journeys. A majority of Wirral residents, therefore, rely on public transport for many of their travel needs. Provision of a cheap, reliable and efficient public transport system is, therefore, essential to cater for the mobility requirements of residents, and to the regeneration of the Borough.
15.4 The latest national road traffic forecasts from the Department of Transport indicate substantial growth in private road traffic over the UDP period. It would be both impracticable and environmentally undesirable to provide the necessary transport infrastructure to cater fully for this projected traffic increase. This further emphasises the need for enhanced public transport services.
15.5 The main function of the UDP in public transport provision is to provide the land-use context within which service maintenance and enhancement can take place. Policy TRT1 is designed, therefore, to ensure that the needs of public transport are fully taken into account in assessing development proposals.