Objection to planning application for 9 detached houses on green fields in Aldcliffe

81641FD0-E492-4641-A6F3-2026863F7903Dynamo has objected to the planning application for 9 detached dwellings in the village of Aldcliffe – reference 19/01460 – as follows:

Dynamo objects to this planning application on the grounds that:

1.   it does not offer a safe, sustainable cycle route between the development and the canal towpath (National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 108);

2.   it worsens conditions for cyclists on Aldcliffe Road (contrary to NPPF para 84: “ensure that development . . does not have an unacceptable impact on local roads”)

3.   there are no facilities in the village itself, so Aldcliffe is NOT amongst the villages identified in the Local Plan as suitable for sustainable development.

Nine detached houses, similar to the ones recently built at the top of Aldcliffe Hall Drive (Planning Support Statement para 5.5), will have at least 2 cars per house, if not more. This will lead to more traffic on Aldcliffe Road, which is – via the canal towpath – part of an official cycle route between Fairfield and Lancaster University.

Aldcliffe Road is practically single-track along part of its length because of on-street parking, and adding yet more traffic is a bad move. Moreover, there will soon be a new Aldi supermarket on Aldcliffe Road, and the City Council should consider how much extra traffic this is likely to generate along the whole length of the road if it becomes a rat run from south Lancaster to Aldi.

The developer brushes aside considerations of safe and convenient access for cyclists and pedestrians: cyclists are expected to use the road made busier by this development, and it seems that pedestrians are expected to squash themselves against the hedges. (Highway Access Proposals para 1.6: “There are no formal footways alongside the Aldcliffe Road carriageway but pedestrians have been observed to share the carriageway within the village and then connect to the canal towpath which provides a direct, traffic-free link.”). This contravenes paragraph 110 of the NPPF: “. . . applications for development should: a) give priority first to pedestrian and cycle movements, both within the scheme and with neighbouring areas”.

Posted in Aldcliffe, Cycling, planning applications | Leave a comment

Ask your election candidates to support cycling

(Apologies for not mentioning this earlier.)

Cycling UK is asking all cyclists to contact their parliamentary candidates to see if they will support an increase in investment in cycling and walking to at least 5% of transport spending next year, rising to at least 10% within five years.

Find out how to do this on the Cycling UK website at https://www.cyclinguk.org/2019election.  All you need to do is enter your postcode and then follow the simple instructions.

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Reporting road faults to Lancashire County Council

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China Street, Lancaster – spot the cycle lane

A reminder that you can report road faults – potholes, faded road markings, etc. – to Lancashire County Council’s Report It website.  It is easy to use, and you can upload up to 5 photographs.  Alternatively, you can telephone 0300 1236780.

Dick has had a mini-blitz on worn-out road markings and advanced stop lines and will be keeping an eye on progress.

You can add your own spots around the district and also see where other people have reported faults.

Don’t expect miracles: the red textureflex (which in parts of the city centre is practically archaeological) is expensive and the County Council doesn’t have much of a budget.  But they must surely have plenty of white paint to refresh worn-out road markings.

Posted in City and County Councils, Cycle Infrastructure, Cycling, Maintenance | Leave a comment

Objection to planning application for 37 houses on Bowerham Lane

A16A16B6-5EBA-4930-99AE-AFA98F5DE308Dynamo has objected to planning application 19/01158 for 37 dwellings on green fields on Bowerham Lane between Hala and the M6 as follows:

Dynamo (Lancaster & District Cycle Campaign) objects to this application as there is no provision in the plans to encourage cycling to/from this new development. Policy DM 20 of Lancaster City Council’s Development Plan (Sept 2015) states: “Proposals should minimise the need to travel, particularly by private car, and maximise the opportunities for the use of walking, cycling and public transport”.

The City Council – which this year declared a climate emergency – is permitting small-scale developments piecemeal (e.g. 25 houses just south of this site – ref 18/01413) without looking at the bigger picture. An extra 20 houses here and 30 houses there make the roads busier – and hence the on-road cycle routes like Bowerham Road more off-putting to would-be cyclists. Where are the essential infrastructure links and improvements to promote sustainable transport?

Moreover, these mini-developments are, cumulatively, impacting on the poor air quality of Lancaster while practically nothing is done to compensate for this.

With e-bikes, the hill up to this development is within the range of many people, so the topography is not a reason not to promote cycling.

Posted in Cycle Infrastructure, Cycling, planning applications, South Lancaster/Bailrigg | Leave a comment

Working on the Caton Road alternative cycle route

1AC3C5E2-7E0C-4E80-A5D8-0A19F6955BC4Work has begun on Caton Road to provide an alternative cycle route for the year and a half during which the Millennium Path between Lancaster and the Holiday Inn will be closed for flood defence works.

This photo shows the grass verge south of the Holiday Inn (opposite Lancaster Business Park) being dug up to create a shared-use path for this section.

According to the City Council’s timetable, the alternative route will be open in mid-January, at which time the current path will be closed.

Posted in Cycle Infrastructure, Cycling, planning applications, River Lune, shared-use paths, Sustrans | Leave a comment

Objection to planning application for 680 houses NE of Bailrigg Lane

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Proposed site outlined in red

Dynamo has objected to planning application 19/01135/OUT for up to 680 dwellings north east of Bailrigg Lane in south Lancaster.  This proposed development would fill in the fields between Bailrigg and Hala.

Our objection reads:

Dynamo wishes to object to the planning application as the development does nothing to promote the City Council’s policy DM20:

“Proposals should minimise the need to travel, particularly by private car and maximise the opportunities for the use of walking, cycling and public transport. Development proposals will be supported where they seek to: (i) Make the best use of existing public transport services and where appropriate provide opportunities for improving and sustaining the viability of those services; (ii) Ensure that there is convenient access for walking and cycling to local facilities.”

Specifically:

1.   The developers are not proposing anything that will make cycling to and from local services easier or more convenient, nor are they offering anything to compensate for the extra motor traffic that their development will create.

2.   In section 7.11.2 of the Transport Assessment, the developer makes a highly questionable statement that the addition of 680 houses will not have an impact on the existing traffic network:

“In summary, the capacity assessment undertaken as part of this traffic impact analysis has demonstrated that the signal controlled access, consented as part of the Lancaster Science Park application, will adequately accommodate the traffic associated with the proposals.”

There will only be two vehicle access points to the new development – one on Bailrigg Lane and one on Hala Hill.

Scotforth East Ward has roughly 2,000 dwellings already, so this development will increase the number by one third again. Each dwelling will have, on average, more than one car and possibly as many as three. It is therefore inconceivable that there will be little impact on traffic; the developer’s complacency needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

3.   The travel documents are just an exercise in cutting and pasting. Section 5.3 of the Transport Assessment is repeated word for word – complete with misspelled place names – in Section 4.3 of the Travel Plan Framework. They focus more on where you can cycle to for leisure on the National Cycle Network, whereas what people really need are safe routes to shops, work, schools and public transport hubs. This lack of care suggests that the developers have not really looked at local conditions.

4.   There is no acknowledgement of the impact of additional car traffic on the surrounding roads. The signposted cycle routes from Lancaster city centre to the University along Whinfell Drive or Ashford Road will undoubtedly become busier with an increase in cars trying to find the quickest way around south Lancaster to avoid the “modest increases in queuing at several of the junctions under consideration” (section 7.11.4).

5.   Section 6.5 of the Design and Access document implies that there will be cycle access to the site on the existing footpath from Bailrigg Lane to Winmarleigh Road (which would be useful) but there is no mention of this in the Travel Assessment – again, indicating a very slapdash attitude to this important matter.

In short, the developer is parasitically relying on the new build of the Health Innovation Campus plus the County Council’s bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund – whose outcome is at present unknown, at least publicly – to cope with the large increase in traffic that they will cause to our district. They offer nothing in mitigation, and the City Council – which this year declared a climate emergency – must not let them get away with it.

No planning permission should be granted until plans for sustainable transport and safe cycle routes between the new development and the city centre/railway station/schools have been finalised, and funding – including from these developers – identified and secured.

Posted in Cycling, planning applications, South Lancaster/Bailrigg | Tagged | Leave a comment

St George’s Quay and high tides

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The shared-use path on St George’s Quay (pictured) occasionally has to be closed at high tide.  There’s no argument about that, but sometimes there’s a long delay in re-opening the gates.  The reason for this is a shortage of staff at the Environment Agency, who operate it.

Dynamo’s roaming reporter conducted a mini-survey of one cyclist on the path.  He commuted along it daily and didn’t find it an inconvenience or a danger to use the road when the path is blocked off.

Any other views or experiences?

Posted in Cycling, River Lune, shared-use paths | Leave a comment