The Parish Plan

SECTION D - TRANSPORT

1. Introduction

1.1 Papplewick falls within the area covered by the County Council's Local Transport Plan for Greater Nottingham. This document sets out the County Council's priorities for transport within the Greater Nottingham area. However, these proposals do not always reflect the needs of a rural parish such as Papplewick.

2. Traffic Levels

2.1 The Parish Council has been concerned about the level of traffic passing through the parish since it campaigned for the 30mph speed limit through the village in the 1930's. Since then the quantity of traffic using parish roads has increased substantially. With ever increasing numbers of vehicles passing through, the effects upon parishioners have been felt even more severely.

2.2 In collaboration with the Council for the Protection of Rural England, Papplewick Parish Council conducted a survey of traffic on 26th November 1996. It was subsequently ascertained that Linby Lane carried the third highest volume of traffic per day in the county and the highest of any 'B' class road from those parishes taking part. The following results were obtained:

Vehicles averaged over a 16-hour period:

Forest Lane

9,752

Linby Lane

10,752

Moor Road

6,992

Main Street

6,728

2.3 Traffic peaks at 'rush hour' times. In fact, the quantity of vehicles passing through the crossroads during the morning and afternoon slots of 8.00-9.00am and 4.00-5.00pm respectively often means that gridlock virtually occurs with consequent disadvantage to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, including school children, wishing to cross any arm of the junction. It is evident that these have little spare capacity during peak times and congestion will become increasingly severe.

2.4 In its Consultative Draft Local Plan, Gedling Borough Council proposed the construction of 1,600 dwellings at Top Wighay Farm in Linby, together with an additional 400 houses on land between Papplewick Lane and Linby Lane, Linby. They also proposed 26.4 ha. of employment land at Top Wighay Farm. Gedling Borough Council recognised at paragraph 5.12 of the Consultative Draft that traffic growth in the Borough was likely to be between 13% and 33% over the Local Plan period to 2011. In other words, between 1,391 and 3,531 extra vehicles per average day would be passing through the crossroads at Papplewick before the effects of the Local Plan were taken into account.

2.5 Although the proposed development at Top Wighay Farm has been withdrawn from the Revised Deposit Draft Plan, the Parish Council envisages that new proposals to build atop Wighay Farm will be announced either when the Adopted Local Plan is produced or if a new Consultative Draft Local Plan is published in years to come. This will lead to higher levels of traffic passing through the parish.

2.6 Further, increased vehicle movements would arise along both Papplewick Lane and Moor Road as a result of any future proposed development north of Papplewick Lane. This will be the easiest route from this site towards Nottingham. Secondly, the substantial development proposed by Ashfield District Council in its Draft Deposit Local Plan on land at Grange Farm will have an additional increase on traffic levels, a majority of vehicles heading towards Nottingham during the morning rush hour and back again in the evening.

2.7 The Parish Council fully appreciates the negative impact significantly enhanced traffic flows along parish roads will have on its residents in terms of noise, vibration, pollution and inconvenience.

POLICY D1

The Parish Council will strongly oppose any large-scale developments that will lead to an increase in the quantities of vehicular traffic passing through or originating in the parish.

2.8 Traffic problems are not simply restricted to the village and Moor Road but can also be felt elsewhere within the parish. There has been a long-standing problem with traffic emerging from Forest Lane end onto Mansfield Road due to the heavy volumes of vehicles carried by Mansfield Road and lack of suitable spaces in the flow for right-turning vehicles. Queues extending back along Forest Lane to Stanker Hill are commonplace with waiting times of up to 20 minutes inconveniencing both residents of Mansfield Road and other parishioners wanting to use this junction.

2.9 When the County Council suggested works to erect traffic signals at the Seven Mile House in 1992, it was also proposed that improvements would be made at Forest Lane, i.e. an island. However, it is understood this was abandoned due to a change in Government policy and withdrawal of the funding. Another theory was that with the better management of northbound traffic at the Seven Mile House, sufficient breaks in the flow would occur to enable right-turners to leave Forest Lane. Unfortunately, this has not proved to be the case as northbound vehicles leaving Burntstump Hill have filled the gaps created by the traffic signals halting Mansfield Road traffic. In any event, the signals exercised no control over southbound motorists that still had to be accounted for when leaving Forest Lane end. The Council believes that an urgent solution to this problem is required and that only an alteration to the junction configuration will suffice.

POLICY D2

That the County Council, as highway authority, be urged to carry out urgent improvements to the junction of the A60 with Forest Lane to alleviate problems of congestion associated with this junction.

2.10 The Council is mindful that a significant number of vehicle movements originate within the parish. According to the 1991 Census, 12.9% of parochial households had no cars, 38.3% were using one car and 48.8% were favoured with two or more such conveyances. [1991 Census Profiles Part 2 - August 1993 - N.C.C. Planning & Economic Development] This means that there were 359 cars or light vans garaged in the parish. Although figures from the 2001 Census were not available at the time of writing, it is unlikely that this figure has reduced and in all probability has risen over the intervening period.

3. Traffic Calming

3.1 In the 1998 Parish Appraisal of those responding to the question 'Would you like to see measures to reduce speeds on roads in the parish?' 93% stated that some form of action was required. When asked to specify areas where there was a problem with speeding, there were 29 references to Forest Lane, 29 to Main Street, 14 to Linby Lane, 8 to Mansfield Road, 10 to the Crossroads and 5 thought speeding a problem generally in the parish.

3.2 In an effort to reduce the effects of traffic on the village, particularly the speed of vehicles passing through, the Parish Council, assisted with match-funding by the County Council, embarked on a traffic calming scheme. In the first instance, it was decided that gateway schemes would be installed on Linby Lane and Forest Lane, these roads being identified as places where the greatest impact could be made on speeding traffic. The gateways were installed at both locations during 2000. Although the Parish Council was not party to speeding measurements undertaken by the County Council prior to the introduction of these measures, from casual observations it is believed that reductions in traffic speeds commensurate with the type of scheme used have been achieved.

3.3 The Parish Council is aware that speed limit contravention is not restricted to Linby Lane and Forest Lane. Indeed, it was recognised that similar problems exist on Main Street and Moor Road but funds were not then available to extend the traffic-calming scheme to these areas. It is hoped that the present 40mph speed limit on Moor Road will be reviewed and that by extending the 30mph zone, reductions in the average speed of traffic using this route will be obtained. The introduction of further traffic calming measures will be dependent upon the County Council as highway authority allocating the necessary funds. Policy 5/7 of the Notts. Structure Plan states that traffic management measures will be taken to improve conditions in residential areas affected by through traffic.

POLICY D3

The Parish Council will continue to use its best endeavours to persuade the Highway Authority to allocate the necessary resources to improve traffic management in the parish but will oppose traffic management measures that are likely to result in residents being subjected to increased levels of pollution from vehicle emissions, noise and vibration.

3.4 It is recognised by the Parish Council that appropriate funding will only be available for additional calming and other traffic management schemes in the longer term. Much welcome relief from the effects of LGV traffic was brought to Main Street as a result of a 7.5 tonne weight restriction imposed in 1975. This same limit was subsequently extended to Forest Lane and Linby Lane from 10th April 1995. Unfortunately, the Forest Lane/Linby Lane restrictions were widely ignored at first but following concerted action by the Parish Council and Nottinghamshire Police, instances of contravention are now reduced although they have not abated altogether.

POLICY D4

4. Public Transport

4.1 Private cars have a deleterious effect on the environment in terms of the noise, vibration and pollution they create together with the unsustainable use of fuel resources. In the 1998 Parish Appraisal, just over 77% of those answering the question 'Do you regularly use public transport?' responded negatively. Reasons for being dissatisfied with current public transport provision included the expense, inconvenience and irregularity of services. The Parish Council believes that wherever possible alternatives of sufficient quality and convenience should be available for people to be able to choose methods of transport that are less polluting.

POLICY D5

The Parish Council will encourage wherever possible the use of alternative forms of transport to the private car.

4.2 The parish is currently served by several bus services. Whilst the current level of bus service provision is likely to be regarded as above average for a rural parish, if greater use is to be made of public transport, the Parish Council does not wish to see a reduction in either the frequency or destinations of buses passing through the parish. Further, concerns have been expressed by residents about the inequalities in fare structures on journeys from this parish when compared to neighbouring communities.

POLICY D6

The Parish Council will strongly oppose any reductions in either the frequency or destinations of buses passing through the parish.

POLICY D7

The Parish Council will continue to persuade public transport operators to address the inequalities in fare structures on journeys between this parish, Hucknall, Nottingham and Mansfield.

4.3 The Council aims to do its part to ensure that travelling by bus is pleasant, safe and convenient. In particular, the Council will recommend that existing bus shelters are cleaned and maintained to a high standard and that new shelters are erected where necessary. In order that passengers avoid having to wait unnecessarily, the Council will press for the introduction of 'NextBus' real time information displays at bus stops throughout the parish. We will also look at steps to make it easier to get to bus stops, particularly where busy roads need to be crossed, and the installation of raised kerbs at bus stops to improve access onto public transport for the elderly and infirm. There should be better integration of the existing bus services with the Robin Hood Line and NET Line One.

POLICY D8

The Parish Council will, wherever possible, seek to improve provision for public transport (e.g. integration with the Robin Hood Line and NET Line One).

4.4 It is recognised by the Parish Council that residents of Mansfield Road have particular difficulty getting to the village. Indeed, apart from using the A60 itself, there are currently few other transport options available whatever the ultimate destination of people travelling from this part of the parish. There are no dedicated cycling facilities. Due to heavy volumes of fast moving traffic along the A60, cycling is often considered unsafe and the fear of conflicts with other road users means that this choice of transport is overlooked.

5. Footways and Cycleways

5.1 In its Deposit Draft Local Plan, Ashfield District Council propose linking the development at Grange Farm to Moor Road by cycleways and footpaths. However, once onto Moor Road, such traffic would be met with no cycle facilities and few footways. It is anticipated that the significant increase in cycle and pedestrian traffic arising from the Grange Farm development will result in an unacceptable number of conflicts between these vulnerable road users and vehicular traffic, especially on that part of Moor Road between the Calverton Mineral Line and number 281 which is subject to the national speed limit and where there is no current footway provision. Further, this section of road forms part of the Robin Hood Way and ramblers are forced to face the risks of walking in the carriageway. Residents at numbers 353-357 Moor Road feel isolated from the rest of the parish because they are unable to walk safely towards the village.

5.2 The Local Transport Plan recognises (at paragraph 3.2.6) that, "the provision of cycling facilities however remains distorted with most of the cycle route network concentrated in the flatter south and west with comparatively little development in the north and east." The Parish Council believes that the County Council should remedy this deficiency. Our whole community can benefit from greater walking and cycling opportunities that will contribute towards sustainable transport, improve health, access to services and provide a sense of community.

5.3 In relation to Mansfield Road the Parish Council will negotiate with the highway authority for the provision of a dedicated cycle track along the eastern side of the existing carriageway, commencing opposite number 203 and terminating at the junction with Forest Lane.

5.4 It is also proposed that from the junction with Forest Lane southwards to the Seven

Mile House, that the cycleway and footway be segregated and located on the western side of the carriageway. In part, this will allow for greater pedestrian usage along Mansfield Road between the Seven Mile House and the railway bridge where it forms part of the Robin Hood Way and the fact that additional space is available to create a better overall facility for both classes of road user. From the Seven Mile House eastwards along Burntstump Lane, the existing footway can readily be converted to combined cycle and pedestrian use.

5.4 Establishing the above mentioned cycle routes will have various benefits, which can be summarised as:

a) A safer, alternative means of transport for Mansfield Road residents.

b) The routes will feed into the proposed Calverton Mineral Line multi-user recreational route (see F1) allowing direct access by cycle from Mansfield Road and Moor Road to Bulwell, Bestwood and south Hucknall, including the proposed NET Line 1 station at Butler's Hill and the Sustrans Millennium Cycle Route.

c) Access to Burntstump County Park.

d) Access to Papplewick Pumping Station.

e) Access to the County Council's 'Double H' cycle track network via Burntstump Lane and Ash Lane.

f) Allow cyclists using the Calverton Mineral Line multi-user route to visit Burntstump Country Park, the Park Hospital and Nottinghamshire Police Headquarters at Sherwood Lodge, either for recreational or work purposes.

5.5 As part of its desire to increase cycling and walking facilities for all residents, and in accordance with policy 5/5 of the Nottinghamshire Structure Plan, the Parish Council proposes:

POLICY D9

The Parish Council will encourage the creation of a network of cycle routes along Mansfield Road, Burntstump Lane and Moor Road as illustrated in Diagram 1.

6. Public Footpaths

6.1 Walking can be a cost-effective, healthy and non-polluting form of transport. The Linby and Papplewick Parish Paths Partnership (a joint venture between Papplewick and Linby Parish Councils and Nottinghamshire County Council) have compiled a strategy to increase the network of publicly accessible footpaths within the parish. However, it is recognised that better footway provision is also required if parishioners are to convert to this mode of travel for shorter journeys rather than using motorised vehicles and it is hoped that policy D9 will contribute towards this aim.

7. Highway Maintenance

7.1 A lack of adequate funding over several years by the Highway Authority has led to a reduction in the standard of footway maintenance within the parish. In recent years, following numerous complaints from residents, the Parish Council has had to argue extensively for this deficiency to be remedied. Examples of footways in an unacceptable state include parts of Main Street and Mansfield Road. Further, footway improvements to Linby Lane in the adjoining parish of Linby will provide a more convenient route to Linby School for Papplewick children and reduce the number of short, polluting car journeys between the two villages.

7.2 In an effort to improve the standard of highway maintenance, the Parish Council has entered into negotiations with the County Council as Highway Authority regarding the possibility of an agency arrangement whereby the Parish Council would have direct input into the administration of highway matters. The precise form of this agreement has yet to be determined.

POLICY D10

The Parish Council will continue to pursue a more active role in the administration of highway matters, and if possible, to pursue an agency agreement with the highway authority.

POLICY D11

The Parish Council will press for Ash Lane in the vicinity of Papplewick Pumping Station to be designated a quiet lane with a 20 mph speed limit to encourage cycling and pedestrian usage as part of Robin Hood Way, and to better ensure the safety of residents and visitors to the Pumping Station.

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