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South Bucks Local Development framework 2010 - Printable Version

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South Bucks Local Development framework 2010 - Admin - 13-04-2015

The information below is taken directly from the South Bucks Local development Framework - Transport paper Iver & Richings Park 2010

Building a relief road for Iver has been regarded as an option for many years.

The table below summarises the pros and cons of building a relief road:
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There follows a description of the relief road routes that have been considered, all options would need to go through a thorough environmental, social and economic assessment should they be progressed any further.

Iver High Street relief road – This relief road option was considered over 15 years ago, the report was unavailable for reference. The option would be a new road connecting Thorney Lane North (north of the Ridgeway Industrial Estate) to the B470, east of Shredding Green Farm. This relief road would relieve Iver High Street – but there would still be a significant amount of HGVs on Thorney Lane. To combat this, a suggestion was to have a weight limit introduced on Thorney Lane south of the Thorney Business Park, which would then require the HGVs to use the relief road rather than North Park, however the weight limit on the bridge over the canal on Market Lane/Mansion Lane would prevent this from being a practical suggestion.

Link Road Concept (1997) – This relief road concept was developed as 3 different parts, however part 3 is a combination of parts 1 and 2 (to see a schematic drawing of the suggested route please see Appendix 3).

i) Link Road and South Connection – There would be a new road connecting Thorney Lane to Hollow Hill Lane through the area of land located between the Canal and Railway. This alignment would allow the direct access to the link road from the Thorney Business Park with access for the Ridgeway and Court Lane Estates from their existing junctions on Thorney Lane. This would also provide access to the site currently safeguarded for a Multi Modal Waste Transfer Station. From Hollow Hill Lane the route continues south, following the alignment of the existing Market Lane before crossing the open land to connect with the Sutton Lane junction. This would include the construction of a new railway bridge to the east of the existing bridge. The limitations of this proposal include the cost of infrastructure such as a new bridge as well as the need for the agreement of Slough Borough Council as the route is cross boundary. However, their agreement may not be forthcoming as this new road would increase the numbers of HGVs using Slough’s roads.

 ii) Link Road and North Connection - there would be the same road connecting Thorney Lane to Hollow Hill Lane through the area of land located between the Canal and Railway as in the above option. From the new Hollow Hill Lane junction the route continues north following the line of Hollow Hill Lane before passing onto an embankment up to 3.5 metres high to cross the canal adjacent to the east of the existing bridge. A new priority junction with Hollow Hill Lane would be required north of the new bridge. The existing bridge could be maintained as a service route and cycle/footpath but would be closed to traffic. The road alignment would impact on Mansion Lane Caravan site and would involve crossing the south west corner of the former Mansion Lane landfill site. The route then follows Mansion Lane at grade. This would require the new link road to be in cutting at the Mansion landfill site to tie in existing levels. The route would then continue westward across the open farmland to pass to the south west, but next to, the transformer station in the grounds of the former Lossie Nurseries. There would be a substantial cost to the building of this road.

 iii) Link Road and North and South Connections – A combination of the above options, this provides an alternative HGV north south through route to replace Thorney Lane which would be closed to HGVs. The significant shortcoming of this relief road is that it runs parallel to the M25 and as such may be attractive as a rat run to avoid congestion on the M25. Consequently, it may attract more HGV vehicles and rather than relieve the problem may actually increase traffic levels in the area. Other problems are those mentioned above; the likely opposition from Slough BC and the substantial costs of building it, which in the case of option iii) is far higher than option i) or ii).

South Link Concept (2001) – This route emanates from the west of the Ridgeway Trading estate and turns south over the canal. It then continues south through the Thorney Business Park, passes over the railway line, crosses the open farmland alongside the existing track and links into North Park. Between the canal and the railway line a junction provides a link to the west affording access to the Thorney Business Park and a link to the east providing access to Thorney Lane. HGV restrictions are proposed along Thorney Lane south of the Thorney Business Park access and north of the Ridgeway access to force all HGVs using the Ridgeway, Thorney Business Park and Court Lane sites to use the link road. (Please see Appendix 4 for a schematic plan of the proposed route as visualised by Aspen Burrow Crocket Ltd.) The limitations of this scheme are the high costs resulting from the new infrastructure required (such as a new bridges over the canal and the railway line), as well as the need to go across Green Belt farmland. There may also be a high price for land acquisition in this area due to there being rich mineral deposits. The Inspector that presided over the Minerals and Waste Local Plan Inquiry noted the need for a new access to serve any Multi-Modal Waste Transfer Station on the safeguarded land. The options considered at that time included a new access road running south across the canal and railway line, to link in with North Park, west of Richings Park. Should the Multi Modal Waste Transfer Station be progressed in the future, and this new access be provided, further consideration and discussion would be needed over the scope for its wider use by HGVs from the Thorney Business Park, and potentially the Ridgeway Trading Estate.

Funding for a relief road

The following section looks at the different options for funding a relief road, should it be demonstrated that this would be the best way of relieving the HGV problem in the area. To consider funding it is essential to reflect on the local, regional and national policies that can influence the funding process. Feedback from residents within Iver indicates that many of them feel a relief road for the village is needed. However, Transportation for Buckinghamshire has to take into account national and regional transport policy when setting its priorities. The Local Transport Plan 2006/07 – 2010/2011 emphasises the importance of effective management of the existing network to keep traffic moving and maximise traffic capacity, achieving modal shift, managing demand and reducing the need to travel. However, there is an acceptance that a truly balanced strategy that effectively delivers against economic, social and environmental objectives will still require some new transport capacity.

a) Major Scheme
Any publically funded Iver relief road would require a major scheme bid to Central Government. For any such bid to stand a chance of receiving funding it would need to be prioritised by the South East of England Partnership Board, and as such accord with its policies as laid out in the South East Plan. The finalised South East Plan was published by the Secretary of State in May 2009 and covers the period to 2026. 8 Section B8 of the South East Plan forms the Regional Transport Strategy for the region. Policy T1 is of most salience to a potential Iver relief road and indicates that the transport system is a resource that has a finite capacity. Only when all efforts and options have been explored to manage the network we already have, can any upgrading of the transport system be considered. Any upgrading will be prioritised to support delivery of the spatial strategy by:

• Supporting the function of the region’s international gateways and inter regional movement corridors.
• Developing the network of regional hubs and spokes.
• Facilitating urban renewal and urban renaissance.
• Improving overall levels of accessibility.

Iver High Street, Thorney Lane South and Richings Way/North Park are not defined as inter-regional corridors or a regional spoke by the South East Plan. Furthermore a relief road will have only minimal impact on overall levels of accessibility. It is therefore highly unlikely a major scheme bid for an Iver relief road would ever be successful in the current policy climate. Indeed Regional Prioritisation Funding has been applied for on behalf of a scheme to build a relief road but it has not been chosen for the first round of prioritisation.

b) Developer Contributions

 Another way to pay for a relief road would be through developer contributions made through Section 106 agreements at the time that a planning permission is granted. Previous investigations into relief roads have been done under the understanding that the Thorney Business Park and Ridgeway Trading Estate would be redeveloped and as such the development may go some way to pay for better access to the sites by way of a relief road. Depending upon the form of any significant development proposals on the Thorney Business Park, Ridgeway Trading Estate (or the land safeguarded for a Multi Modal Waste Transfer Station), contributions towards, or even provision of, a relief road (or alternative means of access) might be appropriate. It would be more difficult to seek contributions towards a relief road (or alternative means of access), from development proposals that would result in a significant reduction in HGV movements. One developer representation to the emerging Core Strategy proposed significant residential development on Green Belt land to the south of Iver, to enable delivery of the Iver High Street relief road option. South Bucks District Council does not support this proposal. There is no need for Green Belt land to be released to meet the District’s South East Plan housing requirement. Even if the District Council were supportive, prior to seeking to the address the issue of HGV movements through changes in land use, it would not be possible to demonstrate the very special circumstances necessary to allow residential development on Green Belt land. A Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) may be another way for development within South Bucks to contribute to a relief road in Iver. CIL is a new charge by which local authorities are empowered to charge on most types of new development in their area. CIL charges will be based on simple formulae which relate the size of the charge to the size and character of the development paying it. The proceeds of the levy will be spent on local and sub-regional infrastructure to support the development of the area. Whilst there may be other priorities for CIL spending for South Bucks District Council in the longer term, should land use changes not result in HGV improvements, CIL contributions could be used to deliver an Iver relief road.

c) Other

The location of Iver and Richings Park (close to the M25, Heathrow and London, on the GWR line) means that the area can not only be affected by local development, but also by projects of national importance. Proposals of particular relevance include the expansion of Heathrow and/or improvements in sustainable access to Heathrow (e.g. the Heathrow Hub). If such projects are realised, Buckinghamshire County Council will work with partners, including South Bucks District Council to apply its influence to seek to minimise any detrimental effect on local residents and businesses. These proposals may also present opportunities to gain funding for transport improvements. Other schemes for funding a relief road could also include PFI, however this could incur significant ongoing revenue costs. This section has investigated the methods of attracting funding for a relief road. In the short to medium term, given the current policy and financial climate, it is extremely unlikely that a solution involving the diversion of traffic away from the Iver/Richings Park area will be provided by public funding. As such, a new relief road or alternative means for access to one or more of the industrial sites would need to be delivered directly alongside development, through developer contributions (S.106 or CIL), or via the opportunities that might arise in connection with projects of national importance (such as the Heathrow Hub).

6. Conclusion

 Buckinghamshire County Council acknowledges that many residents in Iver and Richings Park feel that their quality of life is being affected by the high numbers of HGVs in the area. A significant factor is that there are several industrial estates in one localised area. The HGV vehicles travelling to and from these industrial sites have limited routing options, with all of the HGV traffic having to travel either along Iver High Street (when heading north) or through Richings Park (when heading south), leading to localised environmental and amenity issues. Transport for Buckinghamshire supports the proposals in the emerging Core Strategy, which aim to reduce the number of HGV movements generated by the four industrial sites in the Iver/Richings Park area. If successfully implemented, this approach appears to offer the most realistic and cost effective option to reduce the levels of HGV movements within the Iver/Richings Park area. However, should such measures prove unsuccessful, or other opportunities arise, Transport for Buckinghamshire would support in principle the provision of a relief road (or alternative means of access to the industrial sites) – whilst making it clear that public funding is unlikely to be available in the foreseeable future. Should a relief road (or alternative means of access to one or more of the industrial sites) be delivered in the future, complementary traffic management measures would help ensure that the benefits (in terms of a reduction in HGV movements through Iver and Richings Park) were maximised.

If you want a copy of the paper click on the pdf below
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