Policy 2014

Major policy reports from 2014

The future of motoring

In October TPS made a submission to the Select Committee on the future of motoring.  Overall the Society called for a clear transport policy framework within which the role of motoring can be set out, rather than an ad hoc approach which over emphasises vehicle technology.  We also said that there were gaps in our evidence base which need to be filled – including a better understanding of why people own as well as use cars, and how car ownership and use models are changing (for example with new web based car sharing).  Technological change is happening, and will have a dramatic impact, however it will take a long time to work through to everyday motoring. TPS members see planning policy and travel cost as key drivers in car use, but nevertheless believe that demand management will play a key role.

The key conclusions from the TPS Submission are set out below.

  • Motoring strategy is not limited to vehicles alone and needs to be framed within a wider context, with clear objectives for the role of motoring
  • More research is needed into the reasons why people will own (or not own) cars and the extent to which they will use them in the future
  • Spatial planning and the affordability of motoring will be key drivers
  • Car use will become increasingly subject to demand management measures to meet wider environmental, sustainability, health and congestion reduction objectives
  • Industry will be the main driver of technological development, albeit encouraged by government incentives
  • Autonomous vehicles will be a game changer but are likely to have only limited application by 2040
  • Pan-EU co-operation within the motoring sector is already good but there is more to be done, including preparation for autonomous vehicles
  • Vehicle-to-infrastructure data links are an important area to be developed
  • Near realtime traffic management across the network, particularly in association with autonomous vehicles, is another area that merits further research.

Full report here

Parking controls in development planning

In September TPS responded to the DCLG Technical Consultation on Planning which contained a proposal to scrap parking limits in new development.  While commenting in detail on variations to permitted development in town centres, we put forward strong conclusions on parking as follows:

“The ability to manage parking is an important element of managing the demand for transport and encouraging the use of alternatives to the car and it is essential that local planning authorities retain this ability.  This needs to be exercised within national guidance, the aim of which is to avoid inconsistency, particularly between neighbouring authorities. When used appropriately, maximum parking standards can facilitate higher density development and more appropriate urban design in areas that have good public transport accessibility and their continued use will help maximise the amount of new housing that can be delivered. We also strongly suggest that the use of established sustainable accessibility and catchment mapping techniques should be a key input to planning permission as well as parking standards.”

In 2015 it was announced that the use of parking standards would continue to be permitted, although DCLG emphasise they have already scrapped PPG13 national parking space maxima and the National Planning Policy Framework should be followed.  After an internal disagreement, DCLG is taking over off street parking responsibilities from DfT in 2015 and it remains to be seen what effect this will have.  A consultation is running until 27 May 2015.

Full report here

National Policy Statement (NPS) on transport

In February we responded to the NPS on transport, pointing out that the NPS looked rather like a national transport policy statement, but is in fact mandatory guidance for the scrutiny of major projects on a “national” network (which is flexibly defined) through the mechanism of a public examination.  We said that:

“There appears to be an ambiguity which is not insignificant, since the guidance for parts of the network should really express overall policy, rather than be a substitute for the lack of it.”

TPS went on to argue that: “a properly constructed national transport policy should be the basis for guidance and public scrutiny, and that all infrastructure should fit within a framework which considers the demand for travel; the different nature of travel locally, regionally, nationally and internationally; and a clear vision of how that transport policy will affect the nation’s health, the economy and the environment.  The latter should include greenhouse gas emissions and climate change targets.  Only then can the need for new infrastructure, which TPS recognises may be needed, be properly defined, and its value for money assessed.”  

We continue to call for both a national spatial strategy and a national transport strategy.

Full report here


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