Planning Portal

Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Policy Framework: Transportation Strategy

A number of key transportation measures, likely to be initiated in emerging transportation policies, will impact on land-uses. The Plan addresses strategic guidance on transportation and land use integration by including the reduction of demand for peak time travel among those factors which determine the spatial allocation of growth. It does so for example, by focusing a high proportion of growth into towns in the Plan area, and particularly into the main towns which have the greatest potential for investment in employment. The Plan also gives high priority to maintaining compact urban areas and it proposes the safeguarding of routes which could be important in the continual development of transport infrastructure.
Implementation of the variety of transportation facilities proposed in the Plan and the encouragement and promotion given to the greater use of public transport, walking and cycling, for example through the Key Design Considerations listed as site development requirements, are intended to contribute to the change in travel culture which Government seeks.


The RDS indicates that rapid transit type services may help to achieve the long term transportation vision. The proposed RTS makes reference to a pilot rapid transit scheme within the Belfast Metropolitan Area, and quotes Belfast – Dundonald as an example.
The Plan seeks to keep open realistic options for the implementation of such a scheme. The Plan therefore continues to give protection to the road line, identified in the North Down and Ards Plan1984-1995, between the Kempestones Road/Blair Mayne Road roundabout and Frederick Street/Mill Street.
It is also important that the Plan reserves land on the edge of the town, on the former Scrabo High School site, for an informal Park and Ride facility to serve as an inter-modal transfer site between car, local “busy-bus” and express bus services, and EWAY vehicles. In Comber, the Borough Council’s civic amenity site adjoining the Comber By-pass could in future provide a similar facility.

Park & Ride/Park & Share

In accordance with the vision and guidance within the RDS and the RTS and in order to encourage mode shift from private car to Goldliner buses, small scale sites offering potential as Park and Ride or Park and Share sites are identified in Parts 3 and 4 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.
Policy TRAN 1 Planning protection for road schemes
The following road lines are identified on the relevant settlement maps for the following road schemes. Planning permission will not be granted for development that would prejudice the availability of land required for these road schemes.
  • Frederick Street Link, Newtownards
  • Portaferry Road – Comber Road – Blair Mayne Road South Link Road, Newtownards
  • Bowtown Road – Portaferry Road Link, Newtownards
  • Comber Road upgrade, Newtownards
  • Talbot Street – North Road, Newtownards
  • Comber Bypass Stage 2
  • Ballygowan Road Link, Comber
  • Ballynahinch Bypass
  • Strangford Road - Saul Road – Ballyhornan Road – Struell Wells Road – Ardglass Road Link Road, Downpatrick
These road schemes, which are considered necessary for the proper development of the area, will be undertaken as resources permit. In advance of the completion of a publicly funded road scheme, subject to phasing and other Plan policies, permission may be granted to related development proposals where developers are willing to provide, at their expense, an appropriate section of the road to Roads Service standards.
More detail on the nature, purpose and anticipated benefits of each road scheme is provided within the Transportation Technical Supplement to the Plan.
Policy TRAN 2 Development reliant on the provision of road schemes
Development proposals which rely on the construction of road schemes to
  • provide satisfactory access, and/or
  • reduce the impact on the adjacent road network of traffic generated by the proposed development
shall not be permitted in advance of the road scheme being completed to an appropriate stage.
The following road schemes which are Distributor Roads will be designed to the standards laid out in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and will be required to provide access to zoned development lands. The number of accesses will be limited, and correspondingly at each of these accesses, a right turning lane will be provided. Implementation will be funded at the expense of the developers of the lands to be served by the schemes.
  • Ballyreagh Road upgrade, Newtownards
  • Movilla Road/Donaghadee Road link, Newtownards
  • Donaghadee Road/Bangor Road link phase 1, Newtownards
  • Belfast Road, Ballynahinch
  • Newtownards Road, Donaghadee
Concept Master Plans, to demonstrate how these lands are to be comprehensively developed, will be required to accompany applications for development of the lands to be served by the above roads in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 7, (PPS 7):Quality Residential Environments and will include the proposed line of the relevant development road.
Policy TRAN 3 Protection of disused rail track beds
Planning permission will not be granted for development that would prejudice the future use of the disused rail track beds identified on the relevant Plan Strategy Maps 2a-2f and on relevant Settlement Maps.
This policy achieves consistency with SPG-TRAN 3 in the RDS by ensuring that disused transportation routes are not severed by non-transportation land uses. Safeguarding disused rail track beds will provide options for their future use for transportation purposes or a recreation, leisure or tourism related use.
Some former transportation routes may also have considerable environmental value (flora, fauna, geology and industrial archaeology) which may justify appropriate protection measures if practicable in the context of this Policy.
There are a number of such disused rail track beds in the Plan area the potential of which to be developed as road lines, public transport routes, cycle or walking routes, will be assessed during preparation of the Sub-Regional Transport Plan.
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