Magherafelt Area Plan 2015
Strategic Plan Framework: Transportation
Regional Policy Context
The Transportation Strategy of the Plan and specific policies and proposals are prepared within the context of the Regional Development Strategy (RDS) and the Regional Transportation Strategy (RTS). Both of these strategies share the 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” as a key factor for their successful implementation.
These Regional Strategies also reflect the transportation principles set out in the current Northern Ireland Transport Policy Statement “Moving Forward” published in November 1998, which provides strategic guidelines for the long-term development of the transport network and promotes a more integrated approach to transportation and land use planning at a regional level.
The RTS is now being delivered in the Plan Area through the implementation of the following more detailed Transport Plans:
- The Regional Strategic Transport Network Plan, (RSTNTP) – published in March 2005 (dealing with the Regional Strategic Transport Network);
- The Sub – Regional Transport Plan, (SRTP) – published in June 2007 (dealing with Other Urban Areas and the Rural Areas); and
- Department for Regional Development (DRD) 2018 Investment Delivery Plan for Roads.
PPS 3 – Access, Movement and Parking, sets out the Department’s planning policies for vehicular and pedestrian access, transport assessment, the protection of transport routes and parking. It forms an important element in the integration of transport and land use planning. It embodies the Government’s commitments to the provision of a modern, safe, sustainable transport system, the improvement of mobility for those who are socially excluded or whose mobility is impaired, the promotion of healthier living and improved road safety. 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.
Supplementary Planning Guidance is contained within DCAN 15 (2nd Edition): Vehicular Access Standards.
DRD Roads Service commissioned detailed Local Transport Studies for Magherafelt Town in 2004, which were completed in 2006. These studies, considered the land use proposals contained in the Draft Plan and were used to inform the development of the SRTP for Magherafelt District, published in June 2007.
PPS 13 -"Transportation and Land Use" was prepared to assist in the implementation of the RDS. It guides the integration of transportation and land use, particularly through the preparation of development plans and transport plans, prepared respectively by the Department and DRD Roads Service. It is also be a material consideration in dealing with individual planning applications and appeals.
Key elements of the Plan’s Transportation Strategy are set out below. Implementation of the Transportation Strategy will assist in the realisation of broader transportation objectives contained in the RDS and RTS.
- Integration of Transportation and Land Use
The Plan addresses strategic guidance on this issue through the spatial allocation of housing growth over the District and within individual settlements. It does so for example, by focusing a high proportion of growth into towns and particularly Magherafelt which is the main centre of employment. The Plan also seeks to maintain compact urban areas, for example through the priority given to the identification and zoning of sites for housing within the urban footprint. These measures seek to promote greater integration between transportation and land use and to reduce reliance on the private car and provide scope for the greater use of public transport.
- Development of the Transport Infrastructure
The Plan seeks to safeguard routes which are important to the continual development of the transport infrastructure.
- Reduction of Traffic Congestion
The delivery of the proposed Magherafelt A31 (Bypass) will assist in the reduction of traffic congestion in Magherafelt town centre.
- Promotion of Public Transport Use
In accordance with the vision and guidance within the RDS and the RTS and in order to encourage modal shift from private car to public transport, sites offering potential as Park and Ride or Park and Share sites are identified in Part 3 of the Plan along key commuter corridors. These sites will be subject to feasibility studies, taking account of factors such as location, site availability, service capacity and frequency to determine their suitability for development.
- Promotion of Walking and Cycling
The RDS and RTS recognise the importance of walking and cycling as economical, environmentally friendly and healthy means of transport that can provide a realistic alternative to the car for short journeys. The Plan addresses this issue, for example through the zoning of sites for housing within the urban footprint. Details of the walking and cycling network for Magherafelt Town are contained in the SRTP Technical Supplement. However the general principles of the measures identified equally apply in the rural settlements.
- Car Parking
The transportation strategy does not make provision for additional public car parking areas with the exception of park and ride or park and share facilities.
Transportation schemes are identified in Part 3 of the Plan. Transportation schemes, which are considered necessary for the proper development of the area, will be undertaken as resources permit.