4. TRANSPORT AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

4.01.

INTRODUCTION

The relationship between transport and planning is central to the development of a sustainable settlement pattern, in which the need to use the car for activities, such as shopping and work, is reduced. The Government has recognised this in its planning advice, particularly in PPG13 and in the White Paper 'A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone' which introduces the requirement to prepare local transport plans. The Government also aims to integrate transport policy and decision making with the planning system. The planning system is to have the lead role.

4.02.

This new approach is radically different from the way in which transport issues have been traditionally viewed. Traffic pollution does pose a direct threat to peoples' health and contributes to global warming. In addition, road-building is not the main answer to congestion. The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) now accepts that many of the arguments increasingly heard against policies to accommodate road traffic growth are valid.

4.03.

The implications would appear to be far reaching. In the long term, it is likely that there will need to be a fundamental shift in the present way of life, with dependence on the car being much less than it is now. Increases in fuel prices may well make reliance on the car uneconomic and this will affect personal choices, such as where to live in relation to work.

4.04.

At present, most people would consider giving up their car an unacceptable restriction on their freedom. Public opinion is not going to shift from this position unless other choices, involving more sustainable forms of transport (such as public transport, cycling and walking), are made attractive and motorists bear the environmental cost of their actions. Such a shift will not be brought about without major Government intervention.

4.05.

This Plan has the difficult task of reconciling the reality of the current state of opinion with the sustainable objectives placed on it by PPG13 and in the Government's White Paper 'A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone'. It must also look forward to 2006 when, quite conceivably, government action and public opinion may have changed significantly. This chapter, therefore, must do what it can to stop the existing situation from deteriorating and, as far as possible, enable these far-reaching changes in transport policy to take place in the District.

4.06.

The topic of telecommunications is also considered in this chapter, because of its potential for reducing the need to travel. The transport and telecommunications implications for the expansion of Aylesham are considered in Chapter 14.

4.07.

Existing Situation

The strategic position of Dover town has resulted in it being a focus for communications between Britain and the rest of Europe. Today, the port handles more passengers and freight vehicles than any other in Europe. The town and port are also served by two mainline rail routes and two trunk roads. This results in strategic travel, connected with the port, and local travel. The Council has little influence over the building and use of strategic roads, which are the responsibility of the Highways Agency. However, even though the strategic road network minimises the impact of port-related traffic on the town, the effects of this traffic on local people and the environment, through congestion, noise, pollution, etc, are of concern to the Plan.

4.08.

The District contains an extensive road network, which is being upgraded to fulfil its strategic function. Road traffic accidents in the District are around the County average, at four accidents per 1,000 population (1993 figures). About three quarters of these occur in the urban areas. Water transport centres on the port of Dover, although there are some commercial traffic uses at Port Richborough on the River Stour. The river is also used by pleasure-craft.

4.09.

The rail network provides two mainline routes to London, serving 9 stations within the District. These allow for local as well as long distance journeys. In addition, bus services connect all the District's major settlements although cost, routes and timetabling do not make them a popular method of transport for those with access to a car.

4.10.

There is a growing network of special facilities for cyclists. Recreational walking is well served by an extensive network of rural rights of way, which includes sections of the North Downs Way and Saxon Shore Way. Pedestrians are generally not given priority in urban areas, although parts of Dover and Deal town centres are pedestrianised.

4.11.

Although there is no comprehensive information on how people travel in the District, the Census records how the District's residents travel to work. Figure 4.1 shows that, apart from the car, all methods of travelling to work are in decline.

 

Source: OPCS Census of Population 197, 1981 and 1991
Note: 1971 Figures include some parishes which are now in Thanet District. These have not been desegregated as it is considered that they do not significantly bias the figures which are concerned with proportions rather than totals.
Note: Car includes drivers and passengers

4.12.

Between 1980 and 1991 road traffic in both Dover and Kent increased by about 70%. Although this increase is from a low base, it is well above the national average (49%). While Dover and Kent's figures will have been influenced by increases in port related traffic, the overall growth is of such a size that it cannot all be attributable to this and increased car use for commuting. It is, therefore, probable that the trends shown in Figure 4.1 have been repeated for other types of local trips.

4.13.

Current predictions indicate that these trends are set to continue. The DTLR predicts that, by 2013, road traffic is likely to grow nationally by some 40-70%. It also expects car ownership in the District to increase by between 25% and 34% from 1996 to 2011.

4.14.

The road-building programme (see paragraphs 4.29-36) in the District will resolve some environmental and safety problems by accommodating part of this growth. However, this growth may, to some extent, be offset by strategic traffic being diverted away from the Port to the Channel Tunnel. Eurotunnel estimated that between 1987 and 2013, cross-Channel traffic would grow by 183%, and that the Tunnel would attract about 75% of all cars, 66% of coaches and 33% of goods vehicles. Current indications suggest that total cross Channel growth will be as predicted but that the likely split is less clear.

4.15.

There are important differences between the urban and rural areas. The 1991 Census revealed that, in the District, 41% of households in urban areas do not have access to a car, compared to 20% for households in the rural area. People living in the rural area generally have less choice over how they can travel; bus and rail services do not cover all areas and walking or cycling is often not viable. The result is that the rural population is more car dependent. The Census also showed that the District's households have the second lowest level of access to a car in the County. This indicates that the District has above average potential for increases in the ownership and use of cars, particularly if the local economy improves. However, it also provides an opportunity to create more effective alternatives to private car use before the District reaches the congestion and pollution levels experienced elsewhere.

4.16.

In line with national trends, the District displays very high unsustainable trends in travel. The use of non and less polluting forms of transport is declining in favour of private motor vehicles, and disproportionate investment is continuing to be made in road-building. The County Council has carried out some schemes to reduce accidents, calm motor traffic and improve conditions for pedestrians, such as at Melbourne Avenue, Dover, London Road, Sholden and Mill Hill, Deal. However, these have been developed as a response to individual problems, such as its accident reduction strategy.

4.17.

Applying the Plan's Aims and Objectives

The thrust of Aim 1 (especially Objectives 10-15) is to ensure that provision is made for safe and attractive alternatives to the motor car, while managing the use and environmental impact of cars. Major new developments should be served by a range of means of transport and traffic generated pollution should be controlled. Good transport systems are essential to the economic objectives of Aim 2. In accordance with Aim 3, transport policy should seek to ensure that the environment is generally accessible to everyone and that, wherever possible, a choice of means of transport is available. In addition, particular expertise and imagination will be required of development proposals in the interests of good design.

4.18.

Transport Strategy

Based on the Aims and Objectives and the existing situation, the Plan's Transport Strategy seeks to:-

  1. locate new development where it can be served by a choice of travel options;
  2. increasingly manage, rather than meet, the demand for private car travel, particularly in the urban areas;
  3. improve and increase facilities for buses, trains, taxis/hire cars, cycling and walking, especially in urban areas;
  4. improve accessibility for the disabled;
  5. reduce the average annual number of road accident casualties, at least in line with the national target of a 30% reduction from 1981-85 level;
  6. reduce and prevent speed related crashes and casualties through the introduction of traffic calming and slow speed environments;
  7. help ensure that road traffic generated pollution is not higher at the end of the Plan Period than at present and, if possible, lower;
  8. improve accessibility in rural areas; and
  9. to locate major generators of travel demand in existing urban centres accessible by means other than the private car.
4.19.

Although the Plan will play its part, the success of this strategy is largely dependent on public opinion, the decisions of public transport operators and government action (see paragraph 4.04). In addition, the full support of the County Council, as the Highway Authority, is required. To ensure that Planning and Highway Authorities work together, the Government has made it clear that transport policies and proposals should be developed through Structure and Local Plans.

4.20.

The role of a Transport Plan (a non-statutory plan produced by the Highway Authority) is to amplify the Structure Plan's policies and set out a programme of action. Funding for individual schemes identified is sought through bids made to the DTLR. The County Council can also fund non capital schemes. Maintenance works and financial support for public transport are funded from the County Council's revenue sources.

4.21.

As recommended by PPG13, both the Structure Plan and Transport Plan commit the County Council to producing Urban Transport Strategies in conjunction with the District Councils. These are non statutory documents, based on planning policies. They consider, and try to resolve, the transport problems of individual urban areas in a comprehensive way. They will be used to justify bids made through the Transport Policies and Programme for funding specific schemes. The Local Plan establishes the principle of the need for particular transport related schemes, which the Strategy for the District will then develop in detail. The County Council and District Council have jointly approved the Urban Transport Strategy for the towns of Dover, Deal and Sandwich. This will be kept under regular review.

4.25.

ROAD HIERARCHY, DEVELOPMENT AND ACCESS

Individual roads within the highway network are designed for a particular purpose and classified by the Highway Authority, accordingly. Outside the urban area, the most important routes are classified as primary, secondary and local. Local routes are divided into B class roads and others. Within the urban areas, roads are classified as primary, district, and local distributors, and access roads. This classification is described in detail in the Transport Plan for Kent. All the proposed classified routes are shown on the Local Plan Road Hierarchy Map. Roads which are not shown on this Map are considered to be access roads.

4.26.

Structure Plan Policies T18 and T19 provide a framework for considering the effect which proposed development would have on the highway system. Policy T18 seeks to ensure that development, which is likely to significantly increase traffic (particularly heavy goods vehicles), is well related to the rail and road primary or secondary route networks. In implementing this, Policy T19 seeks to avoid a proliferation, or increased use, of accesses onto the primary and secondary road network. Any such development should be accessed by a suitable local road. Exceptional circumstances will be needed to justify development which involves the construction of new accesses onto the primary or secondary route network. In addition, all development affecting the trunk road network will need to comply with DoT Circular 4/88.

4.29.

ROAD CONSTRUCTION AND IMPROVEMENTS

The County Council's Local Transport Plan for Kent 2001/02 includes a major scheme within Dover District - the A256 Corridor Scheme. The A256 scheme involves upgrading the road to dual carriageway from the Pfizer roundabout northwards to the vicinity of the Richborough Power Station and includes dedicated facilities for bus and cycle use. A southern access road is also proposed to link the A256 with the Sandwich Industrial Park. The A2/A260 was identified as the secondary route to the Channel Tunnel including a bypass for Denton. Whilst it is not in any current funding programme, the District Council believes that the future growth of cross Channel traffic including a possible 2nd Fixed Link may well justify such a scheme and will therefore keep the issue under review.

4.30.

The County Council's programme includes a scheme to improve Coombe Valley Road, Dover in the vicinity of the railway bridge. This scheme, which seeks to improve a very substandard access to the largest hospital in the District and the second largest concentration of employment in Dover, also has the strong support of the District Council. However, it is a longstanding scheme and unlikely to proceed without a major contribution from the District Council and Railtrack.

4.31.

The Highways Agency is proposing a scheme to dual most of the remaining single carriageway sections of the A2 between Lydden Hill and Dover. The Highways Agency's preferred option has been published for public consultation and it has issued a safeguarding line to protect the option of an on-line improvement. It is Council policy to support this scheme. However, it is uncertain when the scheme will be implemented. Notwithstanding this, the safeguarding is extant and it is, therefore, shown on the Proposals Map.

4.32.

With regard to the proposed expansion of Aylesham (Policies AY1 and AY2), land needed for road improvements beyond the Development Area is within Canterbury City Council's area. It falls to the Canterbury District Local Plan to make provision for safeguarding (see also Chapter 14).

POLICY TR4 View Map of this site ?

Land is safeguarded on the Proposals Map for the construction of:-

  1. the A2 dualling, Lydden Hill to the Duke of York roundabout, Dover; and
  2. the A256 Scheme, Sandwich.

Environmental Appraisal

The Objectives of protecting the countryside, reducing pollution, protecting habitats, recycling redundant land, protecting the historic environment, concentrating investment in urban areas and encouraging alternatives to the motor car are significantly undermined by the road schemes identified. No Objectives are supported by the policy.

4.35.

In the 1970s, the County Council proposed a North Deal Distributor road. The scheme was subsequently abandoned although, from time to time, the concept has been raised when planning applications have been considered. The County Council does not consider the scheme to be justified in cost terms and it is consequently not in the road building programme.

4.36.

Although there is some local support for this road, as a solution to Deal's traffic problems, caution is needed. A new road could bring major pressure for development and, at the very best, would transfer existing traffic problems from North to West Deal. The Plan does not propose any land allocations which would warrant the construction of such a road. Rather, it proposes that traffic problems in Deal are best resolved through management measures.

4.47.

Vehicle Parking

The Council has undertaken a comprehensive survey of parking in Dover, Deal, Sandwich and some of the larger villages and an outline parking policy is now finalised for Dover, Deal and Sandwich. The policy will be reviewed on an on-going basis and amended where appropriate.

4.48.

The Council has supported decriminalising on-street parking and control has now been passed from the Police to the Council. The comprehensive parking survey and decriminalisation of on-street parking have provided the basis for the following vehicle parking policy indications:-

  1. the pace of change in recent years shows that it will not be possible to accurately predict the need for parking over the Plan Period and, consequently, parking policies will need to be sufficiently flexible to allow response to changing situations without the need for major review;
  2. dedicated long-stay tourist parking should be provided in town centres;
  3. long-stay parking should generally be located on the periphery of the town centres, but in a way which does not adversely affect residential amenity;
  4. short-stay parking should continue to be located as close to the town centres as possible, in sufficient quantity to allow the car borne shopper and others easy access to town centre services;
  5. all car parking should be appropriately signed and convenient to the identified need and readily accessible to minimise congestion and abortive search journeys;
  6. there will be a need for increased control to allow more on-street parking for residents, particularly in or adjoining the centres of Dover, Deal and Sandwich; and
  7. the general problem of illegal on-street parking will be controlled by the decriminalisation regime operated by the Council.
4.49.

Although the Council has yet to take a comprehensive view on the adequacy and location of public parking, there is a possibility that additional parking will be needed in Dover during the Plan Period, particularly if any of the temporary car parks come out of use. The Dover and Western Parishes Local Plan allocates a site for a 950 space multi-storey car park at Russell Street. In view of the uncertainties over the number of spaces which will be needed, and over funding, it is considered that the continued allocation of this site cannot be justified. However, the issue of public parking provision will need to be addressed in any proposals for the redevelopment of the St. James's Area - see Policy AS9.

4.50.

The car parking situation in Deal will require monitoring prior to the Council considering additional public car parking for Deal. This approach is consistent with the 'Parking Strategy Study for Dover, Deal and Sandwich' which concluded that demand for parking in Deal is close to actual provision. The Council will reconsider the provision of parking in Deal as part of the review of the Plan.

4.51.

In recent years, the Council has undertaken environmental enhancement schemes on a number of car parks. This is in line with PPG6, which indicates that town centres should provide an adequate level of good quality and well managed car parks.

4.52.

CYCLING

Government advice, especially PPG13, and Structure Plan Policies T1 and T11 are supportive of cycling. The National Cycling Strategy issued in July 1996 contains the key strategic objective of increasing cycle use. The central target is to "double the number of trips by cycle (on 1996 figures) by the end of 2002 and to quadruple the number of trips by cycle (on 1996 figures) by the end of 2012". Cycling is a healthy and pollution free method of travel, which also reduces traffic congestion, noise and energy consumption. This is especially the case with certain types of journey such as short regular trips to work, shops or school (nationally 60% of car trips are under 5 miles long), and longer ones for leisure purposes. Information on cycle ownership and use in the District is limited. Consequently, the Council, in conjunction with the County Council, will carry out periodic surveys to ensure effective use of the limited resources available for cycling.

4.53.

The Council considers that there is enormous potential to increase the amount of cycling. In recent years, substantial cycling facilities have been provided in the District. Purpose built cycleways include routes between Union Street and Aycliffe, Dover, between Sholden and Burgess Green and between Whitfield and Sandwich. Some Regional Routes have been introduced for leisure cycling and public cycle racks in appropriate locations throughout the District. Additionally, the National Cycle Route has been provided in various locations in the District. There is an urgent need to develop and extend a network of safe cycle routes, for all categories of user, including the possibility of spinal cycle routes in Dover and Deal, and to provide comprehensive facilities for cycle parking.

4.54.

The Plan will help achieve this through proposing cycle routes and requiring new development to make provision for cycling. Such provision includes direct construction of cycleways (Policies TR2 and 3), and the provision of secure cycle parking and commuted payments (Policy TR7).

4.55.

Cycle routes can be created through a combination of measures. Some routes might involve the construction of a cycleway on land either within, or beyond, the limits of highways, while others could be created by setting aside part of an existing carriageway solely for cyclists or where space allows by designating footways for shared pedestrian/cycle use. In addition, cycling can be made safer by appropriate traffic management measures and highway maintenance. The Council, in line with the advice in PPG13, considers that cycle routes should not be isolated from all other activity. The exception to this is sections of the long distance coastal route.

4.56.

The Council has prepared a Cycling Action Plan, which identifies routes and cycle parking requirements across the District. The routes have been chosen to fit at least one of the following criteria:-

  1. work, business and shopping journeys;
  2. school journeys;
  3. tourism journeys; and
  4. leisure journeys.
4.57.

It is considered that the following routes, shown on the Proposals Map, will be provided during the Plan Period, subject to a range of funding sources coming forward:-

  1. National Cycle Route; Dover Eastern Docks to Langdon Cliffs (National Trust site), Coastguard Access Road, including shared use Wellington Promenade and Deal Promenade;
  2. Farthingloe to Dover;
  3. Capel-le-Ferne to West Hougham (link to Regional Route 17);
  4. River to Dover town centre and Marine Parade via Crabble Meadow, Riverside Walk, Charlton Green and Maison Dieu Road;
  5. Dover to Whitfield, via Park Hill, Old Park Hill, Old Park Barracks and Sandwich Road;
  6. Dover to Eastry, via Green Lane, Whitfield and Sandwich Road;
  7. Dover to Deal, via Guston, East Langdon, Martin and Coldblow;
  8. Walmer Station to Deal town centre and The Marina, via Sydney Road, Court Road, Telegraph Road and Gladstone Road;
  9. Sholden to Deal town centre and The Marina, via Church Lane, Church Path and link to Western Road and West Street;
  10. Sandwich to Ramsgate, via A256, Access Road (connecting A256 and Sandwich Industrial Estate) and Ramsgate Road; and
  11. Eastry to Sholden, via West Street and Finglesham.
4.58.

Some tourism related routes and facilities will be provided as part of the Council's Tourism and Economic Development role. Cycling can be an excellent way to enjoy the countryside and also a good way of introducing people to cycling for their everyday transport needs. A scheme has been adopted to encourage employees to cycle to Pfizer and provide cycle parking facilities in Sandwich. As other resources become available during the Plan Period, the remaining identified cycling infrastructure will be provided. New development may also bring forward opportunities to expand the cycle network further. For example, the development of remaining land at the former Tilmanstone Colliery is likely to involve the creation of a cycle track to Elvington along Burgess Hill.

POLICY TR9 View Map of this site ?

The Council, in conjunction with the Highway Authority, will seek the provision of the cycle routes shown on the Proposals Map and the safeguarding of routes which lie outside the limits of existing highways.

Environmental Appraisal

The policy strongly supports the Objectives of reducing pollution and encouraging alternatives to the car. It only partly supports countryside protection, as some countryside may be required for cycling provision. On the other hand, this will be less than that required to meet the needs of motorists. The Objective of concentrating investment in the urban areas is only partially supported. No Objectives are adversely affected.

4.59.

WALKING

Walking has similar benefits as cycling in improving peoples' health and reducing traffic pollution, congestion and the demand for more roads. The Census shows (see Figure 4.1) that, over the last 20 years, the proportion of people in the District who walk to work has dropped by almost one third. However, the Council's retail study2 showed that walking is still a very popular way for people to get to both Dover and Deal town centres. In addition, part of most car and public transport journeys involve walking.

4.60.

There is a clear need for comprehensive information about the amount and purpose of walking undertaken by the District's population. The Council will carry out surveys in conjunction with the County Council to establish this. It will then consider where the potential for increased walking lies and draw up proposals, accordingly.

4.61.

In the meantime, the Plan aims to promote walking by ensuring that new roads and development incorporate safe and convenient provision for pedestrians (Policies TR1, 2 and 3). In addition, the Plan identifies a network of Major Footpaths in Dover, Deal and Sandwich. The Riverside Walk, Dover is currently fragmented and proposed sections can only be created by building over the river or through redevelopment. In the latter case, the Council will consider using its Compulsory Purchase Powers if developers are not willing to make provision at the time of redevelopment.

4.62.

Urban footpaths will be safeguarded from development and opportunities will be sought for enhancement or extension of the existing network when sites are being developed.

POLICY TR10 View Map of this site ?

The following major urban footpaths shown on the Proposals Map will be safeguarded:-

  1. DOVER - Priory Steps, Tower Steps, Priory Hill, Tower Hamlets Road; Biggin Street to Maison Dieu Road; Dieu Stone Lane, Harold Passage, Zigzag Path, Connaught Road; Barton Path; Crabble Meadows; Hubert Passage; Effingham Passage; Old Charlton Road to Connaught Hill; Napier Road, Astley Avenue, Old Roman Road; Godwyne Road, Connaught Road; Redstones Path; Riverside Walk;
  2. DEAL - Sandown Road to Canute Road; Canute Road, Ethelbert Road, Godwyn Road; Cannon Street to Northwall Road; St. Patrick's Close to West Street; Garden Walk; West Street to High Street; St. Patrick's Road to West Street; South Court, Middle Street, Crown Court; Bridgeside to London Road; Church Path (Sections Between Manor Road and Bridgeside); Sutherland Road; Tar Path; Middle Deal Road to Church Path; Dola Avenue; Church Lane; Church Lane to Delane Road; Church Path to Park Avenue; Manor Road to London Road; Leas Road to Mill Road; Charles Road to Mill Road; Bowser Close to Patterson Close; Glack Road to St. Martin's Road; St. Martin's Road to Elizabeth Carter Avenue; St. Martin's Road to St. Richard's Road; Downs Road to Salisbury Road; Salisbury Road to Church Street; Mayers Road to Station Road; Church Street to Neville Gardens; Salisbury Road to Dover Road; Meryl Gardens to Dover Road; Church Path, the Shrubbery; Dover Road to Newlands Drive; Alfred Row;
  3. SANDWICH - Jubilee Road housing area to Woodnesborough Road; Black Lane; Burch Avenue to Fordwich Place; Honfleur Road to Fordwich Place; the Butts, Rope Walk, Mill Wall, the Bulwark; St. George's Lees, Mill Wall; St George's Road, Mill Wall; Pondicherry Alley; Pillory Lane, Fisherman's Wharf; Three Kings Yard to St Peter's Street; Seven Post Alley to Market Street; Market Street to King Street; Holy Ghost Alley; Rope Walk to Whitefriars Meadow; Richborough Road to Strand Street via Gallows Field.

Environmental Appraisal

The policy strongly supports the reduction of pollution and providing alternatives to the car. No Objectives are adversely affected.

4.63.

The District contains an extensive network of statutory footpaths, most of which is found in the rural area. This includes byways and sections of the North Downs Way and Saxon Shoreway long distance paths. Some of these rights of way are also bridleways. Other rights of way include roads used as public paths (RUPPs) and unsurfaced unclassified county roads.

4.65.

BUS

Nationally, bus services are increasing but the number of passengers are falling. The decrease is due to reduced use of local, rather than long distance, services. Information on bus usage in the District is not available as this is considered to be commercially sensitive by the bus companies. However, the Census shows that, for journeys to work, the national trend is borne out.

4.66.

Bus services currently serve the vast majority of settlements in the District. The Council considers that bus use should increase over the Plan Period. Most potential for increasing use lies in encouraging an increase in the use of local services, especially in the urban areas. Growth in urban and rural areas depend on the same requirements, namely:-

  1. more stable services geared to needs of passengers;
  2. high quality vehicles and pleasant waiting areas;
  3. attractive ticketing schemes;
  4. good passenger information; and
  5. traffic management measures designed to help buses.
4.67.

The Council can also help to influence bus usage through granting concessionary fares, improving waiting facilities and encouraging the Highway Authority to introduce traffic management schemes, which give priority to buses. The Council does operate a concessionary token scheme, which can also be used for trains and taxis, and will continue to do so. The Council will also consider ways in which the scheme could be widened.

4.68.

In relation to waiting facilities, the Council has carried out improvements, such as in Pencester Road, Dover, and improved bus shelters in rural and suburban areas. The District Council is undertaking a survey of bus waiting facilities in Dover, Deal and Sandwich and a programme of improved shelter facilities is being implemented. Traffic management schemes incorporating bus priority measures are considered in paragraphs 4.76-80.

4.69.

TAXI AND PRIVATE HIRE CAR

Taxis and hire cars are an extremely flexible form of public transport. They can be particularly useful for people who do not have access to a car. They are also potentially important in encouraging car owners not to use their car for trips into town centres. The Council will continue to encourage taxi use through providing taxi ranks in town centres. Wherever possible, pick up bays will be required outside new shops. The specific needs of taxis will also be considered in traffic management schemes.

4.70.

RAIL

Within the District, the rail network connects the main centres of population via 9 stations. Dover Priory is the principal station, with services in the following three directions:-

  1. London via Folkestone and Ashford;
  2. London via Canterbury and Faversham; and
  3. Ramsgate via Deal and Sandwich.
4.71.

The line of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) to Ashford has now been approved and is under construction. The Council expects rail operators to provide new rolling stock and maximise the use of rail in the Folkestone, Dover, Ashford area. The Council will also seek to protect existing stations and request the relevant railway companies to investigate the provision of additional halts at:-

  1. Coombe Valley/St Radigunds;
  2. Buckland (Winnant Way);
  3. Buckland (Mayfield Road/Napier Road);
  4. Lower Walmer (Hamilton Road);
  5. Sandwich (Moat Sole);
  6. Sandwich (Ash Road); and
  7. Sandwich (Richborough).
4.72.

Land at Richborough Power Station, some of which falls within the District, is safeguarded for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link as required by the Safeguarding Directions of the Secretary of State for Transport. It provides access to sidings, in Thanet District, which may be needed for storage of ballast during construction of the CTRL.

POLICY TR12 View Map of this site ?

Land at Richborough Power Station, shown on Sheet 2 of the Proposals Map, is safeguarded for rail development associated with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Environmental Appraisal

The policy supports rail freight, the use of redundant resources and the reduction of pollution, but the extent of these is unknown. No Objectives are adversely affected.

4.73.

Planning has limited influence over the railway system. Structure Plan Policies T8 and T9 are supportive of development which would improve the quality of rail services and encourage freight to be moved by rail, but these are only of relevance if such proposals are made. The main way in which planning can support railways is through location policies which ensure that major travel generating development is accessible by train. This aspect is covered in Policy TR1.

4.74.

WATERWAYS AND SHIPPING

The District contains the internationally important Trust Port of Dover and small scale facilities at Port Richborough, on the River Stour. PPG13 encourages the use of shipping, especially for freight movement, and the Council is fully supportive of this. Port development is considered in Chapter 3.

4.75.

ACCESS TO FACILITIES

The 1991 Census indicates that almost 13,000 people in the District have a limiting long-term illness and that a quarter of all households contain such a person. Access within buildings is considered in Chapter 8. However, before anyone can enter a building they have to get to it, and the design of streets, town centres and public transport can make this difficult, especially for those who are mobility impaired, or have a pram or pushchair. This can be achieved by avoiding unnecessary street furniture (to reduce obstructions for the blind) and providing crossing points with dropped kerbs or flush carriageways. Such works are controlled by the Highway rather than the Planning Authority. The Council will ensure that these issues are taken into account by the relevant Highway Authority.

4.76.

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

Traffic management is a general term used to cover a range of measures, including pedestrianisation, bus priority, and traffic calming schemes. Such measures can be used to, among other things:-

  1. optimise road space in order to limit traffic congestion and reduce the need for additional highway construction;
  2. improve road safety;
  3. reduce the impact of vehicular traffic, in terms of the amount of noise, disturbance, air pollution and physical severance created;
  4. provide a safe and pleasant environment for other forms of travel than the car, especially for pedestrians and cyclists; and
  5. make residential areas and town centres more attractive, by limiting through traffic and reducing vehicular speeds in appropriate circumstances.
4.77.

Traffic management schemes have a very important part to play in supporting the Plan's transport policies. Such schemes are, by their very nature, often reactive to situations. Consequently, it is not either possible or desirable for the Plan to anticipate circumstances and set down a full programme of schemes. The Urban Transport Strategy will consider the need for, and content of, such schemes in more detail and has the benefit that it can be reviewed more regularly than the Plan.

4.78.

The following schemes are currently programmed to take place during the Plan Period:-

  1. traffic calming in St Radigunds, Dover;
  2. traffic calming in Middle Deal Road, Deal;
  3. traffic management in Tower Hamlets, Dover;
  4. traffic management in Shepherdswell and Eythorne;
  5. traffic management in Alkham;
  6. traffic management in Folkestone Road, Dover; and
  7. traffic management in Wingham.
4.79.

Other schemes could include Queen Street, Deal, where a secondary distributor road crosses the primary shopping area. In addition, the Council's retail study identified the need to examine further traffic management measures in Dover Town Centre (see Chapter 11). Although traffic management is a very useful tool, particular care is required when schemes are proposed in, or would affect the setting of, conservation areas. In any event, the County Council should liaise closely with affected landowners, the community and the District Council on the development of such schemes so that all known planning constraints are considered from the outset.

4.80.

The Council, in conjunction with the Highways Authority, will ensure that the most effective and efficient use is made of the existing road network in terms of road safety, traffic capacity and environmental conditions. Where appropriate, traffic management schemes will be implemented subject to funding priorities.

4.82.

Some small scale telecommunications development, such as domestic antenna, does not need planning permission. For other types of development which do require permission, national planning advice is given in PPG8. The PPG advises planning authorities to respond positively to telecommunications proposals and not to question the need for the service or to seek to prevent competition between competitors. However, the PPG recognises that the visual effect of telecommunications equipment can cause harm, especially in designated areas, and must be taken into account. There may be occasions, though, when other benefits, such as reducing the need to travel, may outweigh such harm.

4.83.

Structure Plan Policy T21 requires local plans to make provision for the development of telecommunications facilities. In the absence of any identified needs, the Plan does not allocate any sites for telecommunications installations. However, it is considered that general policy guidance is needed to deal with any major proposals which may arise, and smaller scale and domestic installations.

4.84.

The District contains a rich built heritage and landscapes and wildlife habitats of national and countywide importance, which may well make accommodating telecommunications needs particularly difficult. Some small developments may not need planning permission but, in other cases, the Council will seek to ensure that any damage to the environment is avoided or minimised.

4.85.

The Council appreciates that technical considerations are often an important factor in determining siting and design of masts and apparatus, but is also concerned that policies to protect the environment are not compromised. When such conflict arises, the Council will seek to ensure that proposals incorporate all practicable design measures, including landscaping, to reduce the impacts. If, after incorporating such measures, the development would still cause harm, the Council will consider whether there is a case for setting aside normal planning considerations. This would only be justified if all other alternatives, such as resiting and sharing existing facilities, have been exhausted and there is a wider technical or legal requirement for a telecommunications facility which outweighs the need to protect the environment. When considering mast sharing the Council will bear in mind that the visual effect of one heavily used large tower may be greater than an additional smaller structure. In order to prevent future dereliction, the Council will impose a restoration condition on permissions for telecommunications development which is likely to have a limited lifespan, is located in a sensitive area and/or is unlikely to be reusable for an alternative purpose.

4.86.

In general, the Council will only seek to approve details where such apparatus is to be sited within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a conservation area or a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Where proposals adjoin such designated areas, prior approval will not be sought unless appraisal indicates that the visual impact would, exceptionally, warrant such action. Wherever possible and subject to operational requirements, masts should be located on commercial premises, where a building's bulk helps to reduce visual impact.

4.87.

In some instances, domestic satellite television antennas benefit from permitted development rights, provided they are sited to minimise visual impact. Where this has not been achieved, the Council may take action to require a more satisfactory solution. In a conservation area or an AONB, planning permission is required for a satellite dish on a front elevation, including a chimney or roof slope. Listed Building Consent will be required for a dish on any part of a listed building. The former Department of the Environment's 'A Householder's Planning Guide for the Installation of Satellite Television Dishes' provides detailed guidance.

POLICY TR13 View Map of this site ?

Proposals for telecommunications development will be permitted provided:-

  1. there is no conflict with policies to protect the environment; or
  2. when such conflict does occur it has been reduced to acceptable levels through design measures; or
  3. when such conflict cannot be resolved through design measures there are no practicable alternatives, such as resiting or mast sharing, and there is a technical or legal requirement for a telecommunications facility which outweighs that to protect the environment.

Environmental Appraisal

The policy supports the Objective of minimising the need to travel, but the extent of its impact is not clear. It undermines the Objectives of protecting the countryside and habitats, and reducing pollution, while the impact on the historic environment is unknown. Improving the performance of this policy in relation to the Objectives is difficult given existing Government Advice.

1Roadside Service Provision in Dover District, 1994
2Dover District Council Retail Study, Erdman Lewis, 1994

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