National Planning Policy Framework consultation

The government are consulting on the new draft National Planning Policy Framework. Since it is the document which all local plans and planning policy have to adhere to it’s pretty important. On the face of it looks like it is a big improvement on the current (2012) one in that it actually refers to and promotes cycling which the last one ignored almost entirely.

The relevant sections are  85, 92, 103, and 105, which refer to cycling.

Bristol Cycling have submitted a response.

Response to NPPF Consultation May 2018

Bristol Cycling Campaign (BCyC) welcome the additions made to the Draft NPPF relating to planning for cycling. The current (2012) NPPF neglects cycling and fails to recognise that enabling cycling is not just desirable but necessary if we are to meet or aspirations for air quality, CO2 emissions, reduce congestion and improvement of mental and physical wellbeing.

We recommend a change to Section 92 b) to ‘legible pedestrian and cycle routes’

We welcome Section 105 d), which states that planning policies should provide for walking and cycling networks. However it is vital that wider transport infrastructure plans and schemes are considered holistically so that cycling infrastructure is incorporated into major road and public transport infrastructure projects from the inception, and are seen as integral parts of the transport network rather than separate and unrelated. Local planning policy should ensure provision for cycling is designed in from the inception of new private and public sector developments. We would welcome an addition to section 105 to this effect.

We also welcome Section 110 of the draft framework. This should be supported by the adoption of best practice design guidance by local authorities to ensure that developments meet these criteria.

The development of plans for cycling networks is necessary precondition for the widespread delivery of high standard cycle infrastructure but planning policy alone is not sufficient and these changes to the NPPF should be backed up by adequate funding so that planned routes and networks can be delivered.

In addition to this, improved Department for Transport infrastructure guidance that draws upon national and international best practice is necessary to ensure that schemes that proposed schemes meet the standards required to enable cycling amongst all ages and abilities.