Larne Area Plan 2010
Policies & Proposals: Transportation
Larne Borough has a dispersed settlement pattern with relatively low population densities outside Larne Town. Consequently people tend to rely on the car for day to day transportation needs. However there are many people who remain dependent on public transport for access to services and facilities.
Public transport provision in Larne is principally the responsibility of Ulsterbus and NIR, both of whom review their services in the light of passenger requirements and the move towards greater use of public transport as opposed to the private car.
Concerns over the problems of traffic growth and its sustainability are increasingly important. There is a clear need to integrate environmental considerations into all transportation policy areas as a focus for sustainable development.
Developments in E.C. Policy have run in parallel with the emergence of a new directive for urban transport policy in the United Kingdom. 'Sustainable Development' – the U.K. Strategy, published in January 1994, acknowledges that “environmental policy in the U.K. is now inextricably bound up with E.C. Policy.” The Environment White Paper – “This Common Inheritance” published in 1990, looked at the relationship between travel demands and land use. Subsequent policy guidance by the Government urged Planning Authorities to introduce planning policies to encourage a reduction in the length and number of vehicle journeys.
Recent policy guidance does assert that the individual citizen must take greater responsibility for the environment and that ever increasing traffic growth will have unacceptable consequences for both the economy and the environment. For transport users this responsibility involves changing travel habits with a view to reducing damage to the environment. It also means that society must accept that preserving the environment has a cost.
The Ministerial announcement in October 1995(1) involves a rethink of transportation policies in Northern Ireland with the purpose of achieving a better balance between the economy, the environment and individual freedom of choice. Seven underpinning principles for future transportation planning were set out:–
- the need to minimise, where possible, the effects of transport on the environment;
- a recognition that it is no longer acceptable to seek to meet the full demands of future traffic growth simply by building roads, particularly in urban areas;
- an improved public transport system which will include better co-ordination of bus and rail services;
- fuller integration of land use and transport planning;
- a more integrated approach to transport planning and funding;
- the maintenance of good strategic transport connections both within Northern Ireland and between Northern Ireland and the rest of Europe;
- a realistic assessment of what is achievable, in both the short and medium-term, having regard to the availability of future financial resources and changing public attitudes.
These principles have set a new direction for transportation planning in Northern Ireland, the overall aim of which will be:–
- to reduce where possible the need for travel.
- encourage the use of alternatives to the private car.
- provide an efficient, safe and accessible transportation system which offers better choice and reliability for all its users.
These aims can only be realised with the agreement and participation of the travelling public and management of the existing transport infrastructure in a way which optimises its use. Consequently the Department will seek to encourage people to consider options for travel that are more environmentally friendly than the private car, such as public transport, cycling and walking. It is the policy of the Department to assess proposals for major projects or new infrastructure against the objective to conserve the environment and protect amenity. It is proposed to protect the existing strategic transportation network and facilitate its improvement as resources permit.
In order to create an accessible environment for all, the needs of people with disabilities will be taken into consideration in the determination of planning applications for facilities to which the public have access. Where the Department has direct responsibility for works on the ground such as the layout of car parks, footpaths, environmental improvement and pedestrian priority schemes, projects will be required to meet the need for access for the disabled.
This section contains the following sub categories: