11.12 Securing enhanced standards of accessibility for the disabled, others with limited or impaired mobility, pedestrians and cyclists, is important both in the context of building a more inclusive society and promoting sustainable development. It is also an important part of providing a transport network that caters more effectively for the most vulnerable road users.
11.13 A variety of measures may need to be incorporated into the design of new developments, road construction and improvement schemes, and traffic management measures, including:
- the provision of designated parking areas for the disabled and, in the case of retail developments, parking for parents with young children;
- the use of tactile paving and dropped kerbs so as to improve safety for disabled people and other pedestrians at road crossings;
- careful siting and design of development so as to ensure direct, safe and convenient standards of pedestrian access to nearby facilities and destinations, in accordance with Policy DES 2 'Circulation and Movement'; and
- the provision of secure cycle parking facilities and, in the case of major employment developments, provision of shower facilities for cyclists.
11.14 The protection of existing public rights of way, together with the identification, protection and improvement of networks specifically designed to improve disabled access and cater for pedestrians and cyclists will also encourage walking and cycling. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to divert and/or provide alternative pedestrian routes, in order to improve safety and security, enable the redevelopment of previously developed sites, or enhance the overall design of new development, but only where a high level of accessibility can be maintained for disabled people, pedestrians and cyclists.
11.15 The development of the Metrolink system is an essential part of creating a high quality, fully integrated public transport network. The network has recently been extended to serve Salford Quays and Eccles. The provision of the Lowry Spur is included within the Greater Manchester Local Transport Plan, and the necessary powers have also been gained under the Transport and Works Act.
11.16 The city council also considers that further extensions to the Metrolink system are a very important part of the city’s regeneration and future success. These extensions identified in the policy for further investigation are shown diagrammatically in Figure 11.1 Metrolink rather than on the proposals map, because their routes have not yet been finalised. These options will be fully explored as part of the Greater Manchester Local Transport Plan.
11.17 The extension of the existing Eccles line, along the A57 to the Barton Strategic Regional Site (Policy E1 'Strategic Regional Site, Barton') and across the Manchester Ship Canal into Trafford, is considered to be an important component in the continued economic development and regeneration of the Western Gateway. It would play a major role in the enhancement of the Liverpool Road corridor, and could also potentially serve Barton Aerodrome.
11.18 The Regional Spatial Strategy for the North West states that the potential for track share between heavy and light rail services should be investigated. The city council will therefore seek to work closely with the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive and Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council in pursuance of this on the Manchester to Wigan railway line. This scheme would link Little Hulton, Walkden, Swinton and Pendleton directly to the Chapel Street area and Manchester city centre, enabling significantly more people in the city to access a fast, rail-based public transport system.
11.19 There is also potential in the longer term for utilising the former loop-line network from Monton to Little Hulton, connecting the existing Eccles line to the proposed Swinton/Walkden/Little Hulton line.
11.20 Improvements to the rail network can make a major contribution towards the goal of achieving a significant modal shift from car to public transport, thus helping to relieve congestion on the road network, improving environmental conditions and supporting the local economy. Many Salford residents rely upon the rail network for longer journeys around or beyond the Greater Manchester conurbation, and improvements in the network will therefore also support the broader objective of promoting greater social inclusion. By enabling infrastructure improvements, working in partnership with the Strategic Rail Authority, Network Rail and the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, safeguarding potential transport routes, and using planning obligations to improve services and infrastructure, the city council can directly influence the quality and attractiveness of the rail network for the benefit of local people.
11.21 Many of Salford’s existing railway stations offer little in the way of passenger comforts and they are often difficult to access, especially for the disabled or those with mobility difficulties. A programme of station improvements designed to render the stations more accessible, safer and generally more inviting, should therefore increase their attractiveness to a wider range of potential rail users. Salford Central Station is of particular importance, being one of the five railway stations serving Manchester city centre. Coordinated improvements to it will be sought, so it can more effectively perform this function, including the provision of a pedestrian access from Trinity Way. Salford Crescent has been identified for improvement as an interchange facility, as well as serving the University of Salford, the Chapel Street corridor, and the wider area.
11.22 Several large communities within Salford do not have direct access to a railway station despite proximity to a railway line. Provision of new railway stations, for example to serve the needs of the largely residential community of Little Hulton, would therefore help to ensure that a larger proportion of the city’s population can gain access to rail services. Provision of new railway stations at developments that are likely to attract large numbers of visitors would also help to relieve congestion on the road network, and developer contributions related to the scale and type of development will therefore be sought in appropriate cases. Any proposed new railway station will be subject to an appraisal by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive in order to gauge its viability when set against its potential impact on the operation of rail services and on people’s travel patterns.
11.23 Improvement in the safety, speed and capacity of rail networks, for example through, measures such as the Castlefield Curve and Ordsall Chord proposals, will also improve the efficiency of rail networks and help rail to compete more effectively with road transport. As part of the Greater Manchester Local Transport Plan, rail operators will also be encouraged to improve services and facilities that are available to the local community.
11.24 Good bus services are essential to a successful city, promoting social inclusion, and reducing reliance on the private car. For buses to be able to compete effectively with cars, they must offer quick and reliable services in a comfortable and safe environment. By seeking to improve the operating environment for buses, through measures such as the reallocation of road space or the use of bus priority schemes at busy road junctions, the city council can directly influence the quality and attractiveness of bus services available to local people. However, this needs to be achieved in a manner consistent with other policies and proposals of the UDP, particularly Policy A8 'Impact of Development on the Highway Network'.
11.25 It will be important to ensure that key radial routes into the Regional Centre, together with orbital and north-south routes that link local communities to town centres, neighbourhood centres and other key facilities (such as Salford Quays), make adequate provision for buses (as shown in Figure 11.2 Bus improvement measures). Consideration will also be given to improved bus linkages to adjoining towns, such as Bolton.
11.26 The city council can also influence the quality of bus services indirectly, for example, through its representation on the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority and via negotiations and agreements with bus operators and developers. Opportunities to secure more flexible forms of public transport will be promoted.
11.27 Where the provision and improvement of bus services, facilities and/or associated highway infrastructure are proposed as part of development, regard will be had to any existing improvement plans, and the ability of the highway network to safely accommodate any increase in bus traffic resulting from the development.
11.28 Hackney carriages and private hire taxis perform a useful public transport function and it is therefore important that they should be adequately catered for within town centres, and at other locations likely to generate significant numbers of trips. However, in considering the location of taxi ranks and associated facilities such as private hire booking offices, it is also important to safeguard residential amenity and highway safety.
11.31 The maintenance of high standards of highway safety, coupled with the provision of an efficient highway network that supports the local economy is an important prerequisite to urban regeneration, and it is therefore important that development proposals incorporate sufficient measures to ensure that they will have no unacceptable impact on the highway network. The city council and the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive will work together with developers to achieve this. Where appropriate, planning obligations will be used to ensure that any proposed mitigation or improvement measures are implemented.
11.32 As part of the process of affording appropriate priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, in accordance with Policy ST5 'Transport Networks', a range of traffic management measures, such as the provision of pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes, bus priority measures and, where appropriate, pedestrianisation schemes, will be carried out. Such schemes will contribute towards enhanced standards of highway safety and will therefore be in accordance with Policy A8 'Impact of Development on the Highway Network', provided they do not compromise appropriate traffic flows along the strategic route network or abnormal load routes.
11.33 The strategic route network comprises the following roads, which carry the highest volumes of through traffic:
- M60, M61, M62 and M602 motorways (operated by the Highways Agency);
- A6 Blackfriars Street, Chapel Street, Crescent, Broad Street, Chorley Road, Manchester Road;
- A34 Irwell Street;
- A34 New Bailey Street;
- A56 Bury New Road;
- A57 Regent Road, Eccles New Road, Bentcliff Way, Church Street, Liverpool Road, Cadishead Way;
- A572 Worsley Road, Leigh Road;
- A575 Worsley Road, Bolton Road, Walkden Road;
- A576 Centenary Way, Gilda Brook Road, Eccles Old Road, Broughton Road, Cromwell Road, Great Cheetham Street East, Great Cheetham Street West, Leicester Road;
- A580 East Lancashire Road;
- A665 Bury Old Road;
- A666 Bolton Road, Manchester Road;
- A5063 Trafford Road, Albion Way;
- A5066 Ordsall Lane, Oldfield Road, Adelphi Street;
- A5082 Cleggs Lane, Peel Lane, Armitage Avenue;
- A5185 Stott Lane, Lancaster Road;
- A5186 Langworthy Road;
- A6010 St James Street, Marlborough Road;
- A6041Blackfriars Street, Blackfriars Road, Great Clowes Street;
- A6042 Trinity Way; and
- A6044 Agecroft Road.
11.34 These roads are all operated by Salford City Council unless specifically stated above.
11.35 Abnormal load routes, which allow for the movement of high, wide, long or heavy loads throughout the city, will also be protected from inappropriate development.
11.36 These road schemes will all help to improve access to, and circulation within, the Western Gateway and will cater for both public transport and private vehicles. The schemes will lend support to the development of the local economy by improving access to key development opportunities such as Dock 9, Salford Quays and the Barton Strategic Regional Site. They will remove non-essential traffic from existing centres, thereby improving environmental conditions for local residents. They will also help to link relatively isolated local communities within the Manchester Ship Canal corridor with existing employment areas such as Northbank and Trafford Park, and proposed major employment opportunities at Barton, Salford Quays, and Carrington.
11.37 The Broadway Link will improve access to Salford Quays and Trafford Park for buses, cyclists, pedestrians and cars and will help to open up several major development opportunities within this important part of the Western Gateway. In particular the scheme will support and enable the development of land at Dock 9, Salford Quays for employment and other uses. It is anticipated that provision of the road will be funded through the development of the Dock 9 site.
11.38 An A57-M62 link road has the potential to enhance the development of the Barton Strategic Regional Site (Policy E1 'Strategic Regional Site, Barton') and to contribute to sustainable transport in the area. However, as it would have to run through the Green Belt, these benefits will have to be balanced in the context of particular development proposals against harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm. There are a number of alternative routes that could fulfil the same requirements. The precise alignment will be determined after further investigation, integrated with the form of development on the Barton site and infrastructure on the Trafford side of the canal.
11.39 The link road from the A57 to Trafford Park, through the Barton Strategic Regional Site and across the Manchester Ship Canal, will also improve access to the Trafford Centre for both cars and public transport. Major developments within the area will be required to provide, or make a financial contribution towards the provision of, these roads, in accordance with Policy E1 'Strategic Regional Site, Barton', Policy E 4/9 and Policy A1 'Transport Assessments and Travel Plans', in order to ensure that they have no unacceptable impact on existing highways or future economic development in the Western Gateway.
11.40 The A57-A6144 link and bridge would help to improve links across the Manchester Ship Canal and along the canal corridor. The scheme has the potential to make a significant contribution to the regeneration of areas either side of the ship canal, enabling Irlam and Cadishead residents to gain access to job opportunities at Carrington, and Partington residents to gain access to job opportunities at Northbank. The scheme would also enable the provision of integrated public transport links between the two communities by catering for bus services between Partington and Irlam/Cadishead and enabling improved public transport access to Irlam railway station. Further investigations, including a joint feasibility study involving Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council and other involved parties, including adjoining local authorities, will be carried out prior to the scheme progressing. Planning permission will only be granted for the road and bridge if it can be clearly demonstrated that the scheme would not have an unacceptable impact on the capacity of existing highways in the area, so as to ensure that it does not prevent or delay the development of key employment sites. Mitigation measures may be required to ensure this.
11.41 Appendix B 'Disabled, cycle and motorcycle parking standards' sets out minimum standards for parking for disabled drivers, cyclists and motorcyclists, which will be applied to new developments. While the city council looks for compliance with these standards, it recognises that for some minor development and in certain situations it may be impracticable to comply, or unreasonable to require full compliance. Consequently, the standards will be applied flexibly in relation to such developments, having regard to the particular circumstances of the case.
11.42 Appendix C 'Car parking standards' sets out the maximum standards for car parking provision. All standards are consistent with regional and national planning policy guidance. Further work is taking place at a Greater Manchester level to derive a common set of standards for the whole conurbation.
11.43 Provision of shared parking in town centres or as part of mixed-use areas and developments will enable economy in the use of land and contribute towards sustainable development objectives. The use of on-street parking controls, for example in areas adjacent to major travel generating developments, can help to minimise the potential displacement of parking where on site parking provision is limited. However such measures need to take account of the needs of local residents and also the potential in some circumstances for well designed on-street parking to raise development densities and reduce traffic speed.
11.44 All parking areas should be designed and located so as to enable natural surveillance to minimise the potential for crime and maximise community safety. Appropriate levels of lighting should be provided, consistent with the protection of amenity, and CCTV where necessary.
11.45 The provision of large areas of surface car parking for use by commuters on a long stay basis can represent an inefficient use of land and deter built development. It can also undermine efforts to reduce reliance on the private car and secure a modal shift towards public transport and other more sustainable travel options.
11.46 Within the Chapel Street mixed-use areas, the emphasis is on securing the redevelopment of existing surface car parking. Therefore, new planning permissions, and the renewal of existing temporary permissions, will only be granted for non-operational, long stay surface car parking where it can be clearly demonstrated that the proposal would not deter the development of the site for other purposes. All new permissions will be given on a short-term temporary basis. Where the site’s development is a priority, its temporary use for car parking will not be permitted if it is considered that this could delay proposals coming forward or being implemented.
11.51 Barton Aerodrome is an historic airfield of national importance. Many of the original buildings have survived, three of which are Grade II listed, as well as the original grass runways. The aerodrome provides important training facilities, a base for emergency services and a recreational facility for both fliers and spectators, and also supports the local economy. The city council is therefore keen to see the aerodrome retained and improved as a local and regional resource.
11.52 Positive consideration will also be given to development or redevelopment of the A57, Liverpool Road, frontage to the aerodrome for employment purposes, where this would support and complement the continued existence and improvement of the aerodrome for general aviation purposes. General aviation is defined as all civil aviation operations other than scheduled air services and non-scheduled air transport operations for remuneration or hire.
11.53 The city’s former railway lines have the potential to broaden transport choices, particularly by accommodating the provision of public transport infrastructure, such as an extension of the Metrolink network as proposed by Policy A3 'Metrolink'.
11.54 Most of the lines currently form part of the Countryside Access Network protected by Policy R5 'Countryside Access Network' and their use for public transport will be conditional upon pedestrian and cyclist access being retained, wherever practicable. There are specific pedestrian routes associated with the former Carrington-Glazebrook railway line, which will need to be retained or otherwise satisfactorily diverted if that particular transport route is to be reused.