Pedals Comments to Rushcliffe BC for Planning Application 17/00941/OUT – Land at Sharp Hill Wood Melton Rd Edwalton: The development of the Site for up to 600 new dwellings etc.

Mr Hugh McClintock (for Pedals: Nottm Cycling Campaign),

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Comments were submitted at 4:48 PM on 22 May 2017 from Mr Hugh McClintock (for Pedals: Nottm Cycling Campaign).

Application Summary

Address: OS Field 7525 Land At Sharp Hill Wood Melton Road Edwalton Nottinghamshire
Proposal: The development of the Site for up to 600 new dwellings, construction of a primary school and the creation of a community park, together with associated access, drainage, landscaping and other infrastructure works
Case Officer: Mr Matthew Marshall
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Customer Details

Name: Mr Hugh McClintock (for Pedals: Nottm Cycling Campaign)
Address: 162 Musters Road West Bridgford Nottingham

Comments Details

Commenter Type: Other Body
Stance: Customer objects to the Planning Application
Reasons for comment:

Introduction and general comments

It is very important that the layout of all roads within the development, and especially residential streets, is designed to promote lower speed and calmer driving styles and thereby assist the encouragement of walking and cycling.

This is important as well as the provision of safe and coherent off-road routes, within the development and with good links to existing and proposed routes outside, both within West Bridgford and Edwalton, and to and from areas such as Ruddington to the south of the A52.

Figure 5 of the Transport Statement: Cycling Catchment Area, shows a 5km radius “Indicative Catchment Area” but is of very limited value without also showing the very significant barriers to safe cycling within this Catchment Area, especially the presence of the A52 Trunk Road, which most cyclists currently regard as very dangerous to cross anywhere within the vicinity of the housing site.

This map is in any case very out of date, with no reference for example to Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 15 or the current County Council West Bridgford Strategic Cycle Route Network proposals and also with various other errors such as showing the Grantham Canal towpath between Gamston and Bassingfield as an “on-street” route! These omissions / errors do not inspire much confidence in the assessment of the potential for the developers increasing cycle use within and to and from this proposed housing development!

The importance of effective measures to increase cycling locally, endorsed in the recent DfT Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (April 2017), is now all the greater in view of the recent increased evidence of the very serious health effects of poor air quality, mostly generated by motor traffic, and, furthermore, the fact that the Greater Nottingham Area has been identified as one of the worse urban areas in the UK for poor air quality. Among the worst local hotspots for poor air quality are both Trent Bridge and Lady Bay Bridge and their main approaches, and this also implies the need for a comprehensive set of measures in the wide area to address this increasingly serious problems, and including much stronger promotion of active travel. The inclusion of quality Active Travel facilities should therefore be considered as a viable method of reducing the impact of the additional population of the area on traffic levels and congestion and consequent increased air pollution.

Although some of the West Bridgford area, including parts close this site, are relatively hilly, current acting as a deterrent to much higher levels of cycling use, the significance of this deterrent could well soon change with growing use of ebikes, encouraged by lower prices and more widespread of this form of cycling, already increasingly common in many countries in Continental Europe.

Detailed comments

We welcome all the proposed footway/cycle routes links shown on Figure 17: Principal Footway / Cycleway routes but with these qualifications and other comments on how the routes and their connections might be improved, in cooperation with the County Council and Highways England.
Proposed routes within the site (shown in blue):-

  • The connection between the site and the south end of Musters Road must be for buses and cycles only and not for other traffic, to avoid increasing general traffic levels in the Boundary Road / Musters Road area. With increasing use of ebikes, helping to erode the deterrent of hills, this could become a very important direct route between the new housing area and West Bridgford town centre, etc. However, the attractiveness of this route for cyclists will be significantly reduced if there is increased general traffic as a result of the opening of this link to all traffic, a move that would anyway be very undesirable on other grounds including the increased road safety and air pollution risks to nearby residents and local schools such as Jesse Gray School. It would be particularly dangerous for children walking or cycling to and from this school, something that on public health grounds should be strongly encouraged.
  • The connection at the south end of the site to and from the Sharp Hill subway under the A52 must, in close cooperation with Highways England, including improvements to make it more attractive and brighter, as well as further improvements to provide a safe connection across the A60 to and from Ruddington Village and the connecting quiet stretches of road in between.
  • A rather more direct alignment for this spine route on the east side of Sharp Hill Wood would be preferable to provide a less steep and therefore more comfortable connection between the south-west and north-east side of the site, including the proposed connections, east of the adjoining Taylor Wimpey Housing site, between Melton Road and Boundary Road including Rushcliffe School.
  • It is also important in this and the adjoining housing developments to provide safe and flatter routes across the A606 to the east, i.e. Edwalton and the existing route between Village Street and Beckside, now to be upgraded by the County Council, and connecting north from there via the existing route through the green area on the west side of Gamston and connecting to and from the Grantham Canal towpath a bit west of Morrisons superstore. An improved route between Sharp Hill and Edwalton would also connect to the proposed upgraded route which Pedals and other local groups want to see across the A52 Gamston-Lings Bar Road between Edwalton and Tollerton, including upgraded paths and a new bridge over the A52 east of the Edwalton Golf Course, We are pursuing this suggestion with Highways England in connection with their current A52 Nottingham Major Project Scheme.

for Pedals,
22 May 2017