Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

Delivering Sustainable Travel at Yeovil

5.63 With some key transport corridors already under significant pressure at peak times, it is important to ensure that Yeovil delivers its growth in a way that is as sustainable as possible to reduce the need for reliance on car movement in order to access vital goods and services. Access by sustainable travel modes to shops, jobs and health/leisure opportunities will be crucial if this expansion is to be achieved without further adding to the pressures that are already faced by the town, including issues of poor air quality, carbon dioxide emissions, severance and congestion at strategic junctions. Car traffic is the main cause of poor air quality that has meant the whole town being designated an Air Quality Management Area.

5.64 With an additional 7,815 dwellings envisaged for Yeovil between 2006 and 2028, and with the current highway network already close to capacity at peak times, there is a strong case for delivering sustainable transport alternatives to avoid the need for costly highway infrastructure improvements. Similarly there is huge potential to deliver health benefits.

5.65 The University of the West of England report on behalf of the Department of Health South West[1] advocates an innovative approach to integrated transport planning in Yeovil through eight 'seed project' proposals. The report recognises that local stakeholders do not alone have the capacity to act and that national and regional resources would need to be redirected to make this project a priority. At the same time it demonstrates that such investment can deliver a very high ratio of benefit to cost, which if implemented would be distributed across a wide range of objectives including improved access, social inclusion, health and well-being, economic development, traffic reduction, climate change, minimising noise and air pollution, and biodiversity.

5.66 The report recommends that a feasibility study be undertaken specifically focusing on determining the wider social benefits of implementation. Prior to such feasibility studies being carried out it is difficult to factor these projects into the Local Plan. However, there is a very strong link for building some of these projects into the Yeovil Sustainable Urban Extension as these measures form an integral part in the delivery of the filtered permeability, infrastructure and routes/services required to deliver modal shift.

5.67 Since the Yeovil Sustainable Urban Extension modal shift policies will require feasibility and transport assessment work, it would be desirable for this work to be carried out in tandem. Also the emerging Yeovil Transport Strategy Review 2 (YTSR2) will consider the feasibility of Park & Ride[2]. Any eventual project needs to be costed and, subject to the business case being made, contributions sought through planning obligations/CIL in accordance with relevant policies.

5.68 The Transport and Accessibility chapter contains a policy for delivering sustainable travel in the existing towns of Yeovil and Chard, as well as district wide sustainable transport policies. The sections below relate to Yeovil’s Sustainable Urban Extension.

1. 'Active and Low Carbon Travel a transport vision for Yeovil' (May 2010) [back]
2. 'Park and Go' - Seed Project 2 'Active and Low Carbon Travel a transport vision for Yeovil' (May 2010) [back]