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New planning framework better for transport but still risks traffic jams

27 March 2012
Responding to the publication of the new National Planning Policy Framework today, Richard Bourn, Campaign for Better Transport’s traffic and planning campaigner, said:

“The new planning framework is better than the draft but we will need to see how it plays out on the ground. There is a danger that in the Government’s dash for growth, big developments generating local traffic jams will still get through and that won’t be good for either the economy or the environment.

"We are pleased at the new emphasis on brownfield development and that the town-centre first principle now applies to offices, and not just leisure and shopping developments. But given that the framework states that the transport impacts must be ‘severe’ in order to turn down developments, and that sustainable transport modes should be supported only ‘where practical’, we think this could still result in big traffic-generating developments that could lead to more traffic and congestion.”

The transport charity has also expressed concern that local authorities will be free to set their own targets for parking standards and for development of brownfield land. However, it welcomed a national requirement for larger development to have Transport Assessments and Travel Plans.

Notes to Editors

1. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).