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Craigavon Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Transportation

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Introduction

The movement of people is essential to the functioning of any area, as is the efficient distribution of goods and services. The Department for Regional Development's Roads Service is the sole authority responsible for the public road system in Northern Ireland.
Public transport provision in the Borough is principally the responsibility of Translink, which operates both local and express bus services. The main Belfast-Dublin rail line passes through the Borough with the cross-border Enterprise service stopping at Portadown. Local trains also operate between Belfast and Newry.

Bus priority

Roads Service will continue to co-operate with Translink to implement measures geared to encouraging travel by bus and train. Schemes to date have included the provision of a right turn lane on William Street, Lurgan for easier bus access to the train station, and the provision of new kerbing and red carriageway surfacing to PolicyTable a bus stop in High Street, Portadown.
Direct access is provided from bus links on Northway to Portadown railway station as part of the Northway Improvement scheme.

Cycling

While there is considerable established provision of off-road cycle tracks in Craigavon, Roads Service will continue to improve the provision for cyclists in support of its policy on sustainable transport. To this end, it will continue to work with Sustrans, the civil engineering charity, in the development of the National Cycle Network, which is currently in place from Aghalee to the Upper Bann Institute on Lurgan Road in Portadown, and includes the Lough Neagh Cycle Route. A cycle track has been constructed from the Institute through Council land at Bachelors Walk to Carrickblacker Road, and connects with the Bann Towpath in Portadown.
A shared off-road pedestrian/cycle route has been constructed on Silverwood Road, Craigavon, which provides a cycle link between Lurgan and the village of Aghacommon. The route also connects to the existing National Cycle Network in Craigavon, which is shown for information on Map No. 1 Craigavon Borough and relevant settlement maps.
Roads Service will continue to develop and implement other cycle measures, where appropriate.

Walking

In line with the Roads Service's policy on increasing and improving the provision of facilities for pedestrians, it plans to continue with the provision of additional and improved pedestrian links where these are feasible. Consideration will also be given to the provision of 20mph areas and "Home Zones" , which involve low traffic speeds and greater priority for pedestrians and cyclists, where these are considered appropriate.

Travel to School

Roads Service aims to develop initiatives designed to tackle the issue of the "school run" with the aim of encouraging more children to walk, cycle, or use public transport to get to school. To this end, consideration will be given to the introduction of "safer routes to schools" projects, where appropriate, thus reducing the demand on the road network at peak times.

Minor Road Works and Traffic Calming

Roads Service will, over the life of the Plan, continue to carry out local programmes of minor works and traffic management measures, which improve the efficiency of the road traffic flow and reduce accidents. Any new roads, bridges or road improvements considered necessary to facilitate existing traffic will be provided through the Major Works Programme within the Plan. These will typically include junction improvements, minor re-alignments, carriageway widening, the construction of roundabouts, the introduction of traffic signals and pedestrian crossing facilities and may include potential river crossings. It will also carry out accident remedial schemes to improve road safety and provide traffic calming measures where these are found to be necessary. Traffic calming schemes include Levin Road and Taghnevan in Lurgan and Jervis Street, Redmanville and Park Road in Portadown. A two-year programme of minor improvement works is drawn up in consultation with the Craigavon Borough Council and reviewed annually.

Car Parking

The priority of Roads Service is to ensure the most efficient use of existing spaces by their effective management so as to ensure that short-stay spaces are available in those car parks convenient to the main commercial core. To this end charging will be maintained in busier core car parks. The operation of public car parks will also support the transportation strategy of reducing travel by car by discouraging parking by commuters.
With regard to major developments, located within the central areas, the Department will normally require such developments to provide an adequate level of on-site parking, having regard to the particular circumstances of each development.

Park and Ride/Share

A Park and Ride/Share facility at Lough Road, Lurgan, has been completed as part of a private development. The facility includes a service station, a car park with 107 spaces, a dedicated bus access road, and purpose built bus stages. Due to its proximity to the M1 Motorway and Lurgan, Translink operates daily express bus services to Belfast from this new facility.
Roads Service has, in conjunction with Translink, substantially completed an upgrade to Wilson Street car park in Portadown as a park and ride facility.

Protected Routes Network

Within Craigavon Borough the Protected Route network consists of:
  • M1 Motorway
  • M12/A3 Ballynacor - Kernan Loop
  • A3 Moira - Lurgan - Craigavon Centre - Armagh (via Central Way and Northway)
  • A4 Portadown - The Birches
  • A26/A76 Lough Road Intersection - Lurgan - Banbridge
  • A27 Craigavon Centre - Portadown (via Mandeville Road)
  • A27 Portadown - Tandragee (Mahon Road)
  • A50 Portadown - Gilford
In addition, the Northway is designated as a through-pass. Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS 3): Development Control: Roads Considerations contains the current regional planning policy in relation to the designated Protected Routes Network, which is to restrict accesses onto selected roads. Protected routes within the Plan area are shown for information on the relevant Plan maps.

Road Scheme Abandonments

The road proposals identified in Appendix 4 are abandoned.

Regional Policy Context

The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) and the Regional Transportation Strategy (RTS) set out guidance, policies and proposals in seeking to meet the region's transportation challenges. Both of these strategies share the same vision of a "modern, sustainable, safe transportation system which benefits society, the economy and the environment and which actively contributes to social inclusion and everyone's quality of life".
The major themes in the RDS relating to transportation are:
  • developing a regional strategic transport network;
  • extending travel choice;
  • integrating land use and transportation;
  • changing travel culture and contributing to healthier lifestyles; and
  • a modern integrated transport system for the Belfast Metropolitan Area (BMA).
The RDS and the RTS also reflect the transportation principles set out in the Northern Ireland Transport Policy Statement, Moving Forward, published in November 1998, which provides strategic guidelines for the long-term development of the transportation network and promotes a more integrated approach to transportation and land use planning at a regional level.
The RDS identifies a core transport network of important regional and metropolitan routes known as the Regional Strategic Transportation Network (RSTN). The RSTN comprises the 5 Key Transport Corridors, the Link Corridors and the BMA Corridors, along with the remainder of the trunk road network and the Regional Gateways. The RTS provides the framework to facilitate the future development of the RSTN.
The Department's current regional planning policies on the roads aspect of transportation policy are set out in Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS 3): Development Control: Roads Considerations. PPS 3 sets out those matters which will be taken into account in determining planning applications involving development which affects the public road network, road safety and protected routes. The Department published in December 2003, a public consultation draft revision of PPS 3, entitled Access, Movement and Parking.
The Department for Regional Development is currently preparing Planning Policy Statement 13 (PPS 13): Transportation and Land Use, which flows directly from the strategic policy guidelines within the RDS and forms part of the implementation process of the Strategy. The primary objective of PPS 13 is to promote an integrated approach to the planning of transportation and development at all levels in the formulation of policy.
Supplementary Planning Guidance is contained in Development Control Advice Note 15 (2nd Edition): Vehicular Access Standards, August 1999.
Plan Policy TRAN 1 Protected Road Lines
Development proposals that would prejudice the implementation of the following road schemes will not be permitted:

A. Major Works Planning Schedule

Central Craigavon
  • M12 Central Way & Balteagh Road Link
  • Northway - Eastway Link
Lurgan
  • Malcolm Road - Gilford Road Roundabout
Portadown
  • A3 Portadown - Armagh Dual Carriageway
  • New River Bann Bridge Link, Meadow Lane - Gilford Road
  • Church Street - West Street Link
  • Tandragee Road - Meadow Lane Link
These schemes are not yet programmed for implementation, however, the Department considers that their routes should be protected in the interests of longer term strategic planning.
Plan Policy TRAN 1 Protected Road Lines Continued

B. Development - Related Road Schemes

Portadown
  • Mahon Road Link
  • Mahon Road - Tandragee Road
These schemes are identified as development-related schemes and would, therefore, be provided by developers. Whilst the road lines will be protected from development which would likely prejudice the implementation of the schemes, the Department for Regional Development's Roads Service will not implement the road schemes. Implementation will be at the developer's expense in association with the development of land which would be served by the scheme.
The protected road lines are shown on Map No. 5 Craigavon Urban Area.
Plan Policy TRAN 2 Protection of Disused Rail Track Beds
The disused rail track beds, identified on the relevant Plan maps, will be protected from development. Land will be safeguarded for the construction of transportation schemes. Other development proposals that would prejudice the implementation of these transportation schemes will not be permitted.
The RDS aims to extend travel choice for all sections of the community by enhancing public transport. Disused rail track beds are identified as an opportunity to achieve this for the future. The disused lines will be safeguarded from development to retain future options for transport purposes, including footpaths, cycle tracks and, in the longer term, possible public transport options. The final version of PPS 3: Access, Movement and Parking will set out regional planning policy for disused rail track beds. The protected rail track beds are shown the relevant Plan maps.
Plan Policy TRAN 3 Central Craigavon Rail Halt
Land adjacent to the railway line in Central Craigavon will be safeguarded for future construction of a rail halt. (This is indicated by symbol on Map No. 5 Craigavon Urban Area). Development proposals that would prejudice the implementation of the rail halt will not be permitted.
The provision of a rail halt in Central Craigavon, to serve residential, retail and commercial areas, would facilitate commuting, both into and out of the area, enhance the attractiveness of the central area as a place to live, shop and work and allow an increased interaction between the Lurgan, Portadown and Central Craigavon's cores e.g., for linked or complementary shopping trips. A park and ride facility, at the halt, would further increase its attractiveness.
To date, no decision has been made by Translink in relation to a potential rail halt.
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