Supplementary memorandum by Railtrack
plc (WTC 80A)
WALKING IN TOWNS AND CITIESSUPPLEMENTARY
1. What examples are there of your organisation
being actively involved (not simply as consultees) in the land
use planning of areas within walking distance of stations?
(a) are there examples of planning in such areas
where the rail industry does not have a direct interest in the
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
has developed a concept called "transport development areas".
This concept looks at how meeting the planning policy to bring
urban "brownfield" sites back into use can be improved
by enhancing public transport access to the site. Different transport
modes such as rail, underground and bus can contribute to sustainable
transport in a built environment.
By improving public transport links it is anticipated
that car usage can be reduced and overall land use density improved.
The higher rate of return received by the developer through maximising
the density of development enables the funding of improved transport
links. Railtrack is supporting this scheme through the part-sponsorship
of the good practice guide targeted at local authorities and others
who wish to promote the development of this initiative. The concept
has received widespread support from a number of elected bodies,
eg Scottish Executive and Greater London Authority.
Through the activities of Railtrack many town
and city centre development projects practical examples of how
pedestrian movements can be enhanced and integrated are being
secured. One such example is the recent resolution by Luton Borough
Council to grant outline planning consent for the redevelopment
of the station which provides, as an integral element of the master-plan,
a new station square and a significant improvement in pedestrian
links into the town centre. At present the link is an unattractive
raised walkway, which is open to the elements and not offering
a sense of safety. The new plans envisage upgrading the walkway
and providing a new ground level route that will provide for the
first time a direct and attractive route into the town.
This approach is being adopted and promoted
in property schemes throughout the country. Other examples include
plans for the redevelopment of the old goods yard at Brighton
where a significant new mixed use urban quarter is being promoted
in association with the Borough Council. A master-plan led scheme
is evolving where significant new linkages between the station,
existing communities and the new development will break down some
of the urban design challenges facing that part of the town. The
needs of pedestrians and cyclists again is at the heart of the
In addition Railtrack is consulted on all development
plans from local authorities to which Railtrack responds.
(b) would "station area plans" (as used
in the USA) be in the rail industry's interests by generating
additional patronage, as well as helping to meet the Government's
sustainable development objectives?
Railtrack's Major Stations master-plan initiative
is looking at the long-term needs of all the major stations. For
example initial plans for London Waterloo have been drawn up in
recognition of the need to include local stakeholders, including
the local authority and community groups. Local meetings, including
a workshop with all key stakeholders present to discuss the various
options proved to be the catalyst in the formation of the South
Bank Partnership. This significant Railtrack led initiative has
now been able to secure SRB funding and is looking at the long-term
development needs of the wider South Bank area.
There is value in being able to set plans for
enhancing stations and their facilities in a wider local context.
Railtrack would continue to support working closely with local
authorities through the Local Transport plan process as this enables
decisions to be made on how to plan delivery of improvements in
an informed and structured way.
For instance, choices on increasing car park
provision can be directed towards locations best able to handle
the consequent increase in road use and decisions taken on how
alternative transport modes can be developed to manage changes
in local demand.
We are working with Sustrans to develop the
Access Routes to Stations initiative which will improve alternative
access for pedestrians and cyclists.
(c) will Rail Passenger Partnership funding be
adequate to make a significant contribution to such a planning
effort throughout the country?
Railtrack welcomes the development of the Rail
Passenger Partnership funding scheme. We feel that the Rail Passenger
Partnership fund is able to contribute to valuable schemes that
the industry is unable to fund through commercially viable grounds
alone, however we feel it would not be appropriate for us to comment
on whether this is adequate. This is a matter for the SRA.