Planning Portal

Transport Assessment
Stage 3: Appraising and Mitigating Impacts: Accessibility and integration impacts with the local community

Impacts under accessibility and integration include:
  • access to transport systems, the local area and community severance; and
  • integration between transport systems and with other land uses.

Changes in accessibility

New developments can have both positive and negative impacts on accessibility (which may be intended or unintended) including access to transport systems, the local area and community focus and cohesion:
  • access to transport systems: changes which should be identified and appraised as part of the Transport Assessment include: the location of access points and links by foot and cycle to the wider public transport and road networks; the creation of new public transport nodes or links provided to serve the development that will benefit others; access for freight to the road and rail networks;
  • access to the local area: such changes should have been identified in the measurement of accessibility in the first two parts of the Transport Assessment. In most cases this should support the development (providing accessibility and social inclusion benefits to local people), but such analysis may highlight measures which can further enhance access to the local area; and
  • community severance: it is possible that a development might simultaneously increase access to the site, whilst creating a barrier to access within the local community. The assessment should identify any effects, which the proposed development could have on the cohesiveness of communities.  These impacts include:
    • whether the development itself or changes to transport infrastructure act as a barrier to movement and previously used routes; and,
    • whether the level of traffic accessing the site or using nearby roads make links between parts of the community more difficult.
Conversely, the development may help to unify a community by creating a new community focus.

Integration impacts

Transport policy emphasises the need to integrate the different modes of transport with land-use, and development proposals provide one opportunity for achieving this objective. Transport Assessments should clearly identify how the proposal will influence interchange between modes in the area.  Where large flows of people are forecast there may well be impacts on the efficiency of interchanges, and for developments such as arenas and stadia these may affect interchanges at some distance from the proposed site. Many of the improvements to foot, cycle and public transport described above will help address any identified problems.
The Transport Assessment should also identify how the proposed development would affect activities within the local area. For instance, mixed-use development may provide for linked trips without the need for additional car journeys. Some developments may mean that certain functions are within walking distance where previously a journey out of the area would have been needed. The opposite can also apply, particularly in relation to single-use, car orientated development, such as business parks located on a by-pass.
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