Memorandum by Institution of Highways
and Transportation (TAB 48)
1. This submission is concerned with the
transport issues associated with tall buildings.
2. The inquiry brief does not define what
it considers to be a "tall building". For our submission
a precise definition is not needed since the transport issues
raised are common to all developments. However, a definition will
be needed to clarify the scope of the inquiry.
3. Tall buildings are usually used as offices
or residential units. Therefore the transport impacts usually
coincide with, and add to, peak traffic flows.
4. Tall buildings attract and generate substantial
numbers of trips in a focused area of the transport network when
the existing transport infrastructure or systems are heavily loaded
5. Most tall buildings are located in urban
centres where access and parking are often difficult. The construction
of new tall buildings places additional demands on already stressed
transport services and infrastructure, often in a particularly
6. Tall buildings represent high-density
development and should only be permitted near major transport
interchanges with capacity to accommodate additional passenger
flows, or the potential for increased capacity. "Proximity
in public transport" and "accessibility" should
be material considerations in determining the appropriateness,
nature, scale and location of tall buildings.
7. Applications for tall buildings must
be accompanied by a comprehensive transport assessment in accordance
with best practice in the forthcoming DTLR guidance "Transport
Assessments: A Good Practice Guide". They should also conform
to other relevant Planning Policy Guidance Notes (or whatever
replaces any or all of them arising from the recent Green Paper
on Planning). The inquiry should consider any conclusions and
recommendations in the light of potential changes to the planning
8. Transport Assessments should pay due
attention to access by all the non-car travel modes and the access
needs of disabled people.
9. Developer and/or occupiers should modify
the application, or fund new or enhanced transport infrastructure
and services, in order to minimise any adverse transport impacts
and overcome objections or reasons for refusal. A "Travel
Plan" should be required to encourage more sustainable travel
10. Applications for tall buildings should
be accompanied by an Emergency Plan detailing access arrangements
in the event of an emergency or major incident.
11. The Institution of Highways & Transportation
(IHT) represents over 10,000 professionals working in highways
and transportation in the public and private sectors. It promotes
professionals excellence as the leading learned society dealing
with urban and regional transport systems and infrastructure at
all stages of the project life cycle. We would be delighted to
present oral evidence and answer questions if the Committee would
find it of value.