UK Business Park Planning System Change May Result in Traffic Congestion



As thousands return to work after the bank holiday weekend, new figures released by Campaign for Better Transport today (Tuesday 30 August) show Government reforms to the planning system could result in massive peak time tail backs [traffic jams] on the country’s roads.

Research commissioned by the sustainable transport group discovered that building a number of new business parks next to the M1, which the new planning framework permits, could increase traffic levels by 16 per cent (the equivalent of one motorway lane), almost double journey delays (from 3.6 minutes per 10 miles to 6.4 minutes) and is likely to result in £250 million in congestion costs.

Stephen Joseph, Campaign for Better Transport’s Chief Executive, said: “Far from helping economic growth, our research shows that the draft planning framework could actually end up damaging the economy through increased congestion as new office developments move out of town centres and spring up next to motorways and other big roads. No one wants to be stuck in bank holiday style traffic jams twice a day just to do a day’s work. We need to encourage new development, but not at any price and the expense of delays and congestion on transport networks needs to be fully considered when planning new developments.”

Following the publication of the Government’s draft National Planning Policy Framework, which removes the ‘town centre first’ principle for office developments, the research examined the effect of building 34 new 100 acre business parks along a 175 mile stretch of the M1 between junction eight (St Albans and Hemel Hempstead) and junction 47 (Leeds).

The business park locations used for the research are exactly the kinds of places likely to be targeted by developers under the new planning proposals, which are currently under consultation. Campaign for Better Transport has previously warned that the new framework paves the way for out-of-town developments in remote locations with no public transport that will increase urban sprawl, generate more traffic and add to congestion.

 

For full article and research methods Click Here.





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