The City of York Council has agreed to develop a new Local Transport Plan to replace the one issued a decade ago, which will be published for consultation in 2022. The Trust were invited to provide advice on what might be included in the new Plan, and have now submitted our initial proposals.
Last year the Trust convened a Citizens’ Transport Forum, with 100 members drawn from across the city to discuss the city’s transport needs. In its report, Towards a Transport Strategy for York, the Forum argued that any new Local Transport Plan “needs to adopt a holistic, bold and visionary strategy which achieves significant changes in travel behaviour in the immediate future”.
We have taken that as our starting point, and looked for ways in which the city’s transport system can contribute positively to the challenges of reducing carbon emissions, improving the environment and public health, supporting the economy and making it easier for people to take part in everyday activities.
The Trust’s 16-strong Transport Advisory Group, which draws on expertise in all aspects of transport policy, has spent the last few months reviewing the 2011 Local Transport Plan, suggesting the focus for the new Plan, and developing specific suggestions for improving public transport, walking and cycling, making it easier for people to travel less, and managing car use and the road network.
Among the suggestions in its initial proposals are:
· Giving pedestrians greater priority and more direct routes when crossing roads
· Developing a connected, continuous and safe cycle network
· Using park and ride sites as local access hubs, with more orbital bus services
· Local centres and community hubs to support working from home
· A parking policy to help manage levels of car use
· Using traffic control and communications technology to discourage through traffic
Professor Tony May, Chair of the Trust’s Transport Advisory Group, said:
“Since the Council’s current Local Transport Plan was produced a decade ago, much has changed, with electric cars, bikes and scooters, ride-hailing services such as Uber, increased online shopping and now more working from home. At the same time we have new commitments to carbon reduction and air quality, and need to support economic recovery. We have gone back to first principles and asked what sort of city we want, and how can transport best contribute. We have looked in turn at each of the forms of transport, and at how they can best support one another. We have looked internationally for examples of good practice.
We would like to hear from everyone about the ideas which attract support, those that don’t, and suggestions that we might have missed.
The proposals are available on our website, along with our review of the 2011 Local Transport Plan and overview of the approach that we have adopted.