Dungannon and South Tyrone Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Transportation
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 (DRD) Roads Service is the sole authority responsible for the public road system in Northern Ireland.
Within Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough, the Protected Route network consists of:
- M1 (Dungannon to Belfast);
- A4 (Dungannon to Fivemiletown);
- A5 (Omagh to Aughnacloy);
- A29 (Cookstown to Moy);
- A28 (Aughnacloy to Caledon); and
- A45 (Granville to Dungannon).
Public transport provision in the Borough is principally the responsibility of Translink, which operates both local and express bus services.
Regional Policy Context
The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) and Regional Transportation Strategy (RTS) set out the 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 calls for three Transport Plans to be developed, the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan, the Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan and the Sub Regional Transport Plan.
Two major roads within the Borough are identified in the RDS as part of the Key Transport Corridors in Northern Ireland: -
- A4 Dungannon - Fivemiletown Road: The South Western Corridor; and
- A5 Aughnacloy - Omagh Road: The Western Corridor.
In addition, the A29 Cookstown to Moy Road is identified as part of one of three additional Link Corridors in the RTS.
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 and road safety. The Department published, in December 2002, a public consultation draft revision of PPS 3, entitled Access, Movement and Parking.
The Department for Regional Development has also published draft PPS 13: Transportation and Land Use, in December 2002, which flows directly from the strategic policy guidelines within the RDS and forms part of the implementation process of the Strategy. The draft PPS recognises the significance of the RTS in delivering the transportation vision of the Strategy. Its primary objective 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.
The protected road-line for this scheme is shown on the Borough Map No. 1b and settlement Map No. 73.
The A29 Realignment at Carland
The existing route of the A29 at Carland includes a section with unsatisfactory horizontal alignment. It is proposed to re-align a 1.6 kilometre stretch of carriageway including the construction of a new bridge across the Torrent River.
Local Transport and Safety Measures
Local Transport and Safety Measures within the Borough will be undertaken by the Department for Regional Development over the Plan period subject to available funding, to address local problems. Roads Service will continue to consult Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council annually on the schemes required and their prioritisation.
A New Distributor Road for Dungannon
The A29 route is a Link Corridor in the Regional Strategic Transport Network in the Regional Transportation Strategy and the Regional Development Strategy. The Department for Regional Development is committed to the provision of a new distributor road, which will provide relief to Dungannon town centre from through traffic and improve journey times on the A29 route. The inclusion of such a proposal in the Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan is still under consideration. A further transportation study will be conducted, the results of which will be subject to a statutory consultation procedure to provide opportunity for public comment. Should such a proposal emerge, it can be progressed through normal planning processes and through the Roads Service's powers and may be implemented during the Plan period, subject to the availability of resources.
It is possible that the new distributor road could utilise the route of a former railway corridor. DRD Roads Service is carrying out an assessment of the former railway corridors in Northern Ireland to determine the feasibility of their use for future transportation purposes in line with the RDS. The RDS, RTS, draft PPS 3 and draft PPS 13 presume against developments that would prejudice the use of a former railway corridor for future transportation purposes.
Future Major Road Schemes
The DRD's Ten-Year Forward Planning Schedule of Major Road Schemes for inclusion in the Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan is currently being devised in consultation with all the District Councils. The Schedule will be part riodically reviewed, at which time by-passes for towns and villages such as Moy may be considered.
The Sub Regional Transport Plan (SRTP) is also being developed and by-passes for towns and villages such as Coalisland will be considered for inclusion in the SRTP.
All road schemes and other Local Transport and Safety Measures will be undertaken as resources permit.
Within Dungannon and Coalisland town centres, there is a number of public car parks that help to relieve on-street car parking problems and contribute to the overall accessibility and attractiveness of the town centre. Accordingly, in the interests of the vitality and viability of the town centre, the Department considers it important to protect the identified car parks by retaining them in their current use. This policy will apply equally to existing providers and any subsequent owners or operators in the event of disposal.
The Department identifies a number of walkways/cycleways throughout the Borough to promote these sustainable forms of movement and in recognition of their wider recreational and health benefits. The routes include the Peripheral Cycle Route and the National Cycle Network. The Peripheral Cycle Route is identified as an important element of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council's local recreation provision. It aims to connect many of the Council's strategic recreation open spaces around Dungannon town. Part of it will also be used for the National Cycle Network (NCN) being co-ordinated by SUSTRANS, which will eventually connect Dungannon with most of the other main towns in the region. The policy aims to retain the various linkages within Dungannon required to complete these routes. In addition, the routes can only achieve their full potential if there are adequate access points, particularly from residential areas.
The RDS proposes the creation of walking and cycling routes to schools for children. DRD Roads Service is currently promoting the 'Travelwise Safer Routes to Schools ' initiative to encourage more children to walk or cycle to school, thus reducing the demand on the road network at peak times. A number of possible routes to schools are identified in the Borough following consultation with the Borough Council. Roads Service will consider these routes when developing the initiative with schools in the area.