Future transport plans

1 April 2011, 06:00 | Updated: 1 April 2011, 08:12

Heart's been finding out how transport in part of the Thames Valley will change over the next 15 years.

West Berkshire Council have announced plans to develop their system in the future with their New Vision setting out how transport in the district will develop over the next fifteen years.

The new Local Transport Plan looks at transport related opportunities and challenges for the future, key elements of which are reflected in the overall transport vision: ‘To deliver effective transport solutions for all by increasing choice and minimising congestion’.

These themes of increasing travel choice and minimising congestion will be important for supporting the delivery of the new development outlined in the Local Development Framework.  Along with a number of other themes, these are designed to balance the economic and social benefits of travel with the environmental and health impacts.

The document includes strategies for four geographical areas; Newbury and Thatcham; The Eastern Area; The North Wessex Downs; and The East Kennet Valley. These together cover the whole district and are designed to complement the Local Development Framework.

Aspects of the plan include the need to reduce the effect of the A339 corridor on Newbury, as well as improving bus services in the town, encouraging sustainable travel such as walking and cycling particularly in the eastern part of the district, and making further efforts to improve safety for all road users in the more rural areas.

This plan is important for setting out the transport related infrastructure that will support the delivery of the Local Development Framework, especially the two strategic housing sites in the Newbury area. The schemes, measures and projects that the Council will carry out, often in partnership with other organisations, in order to deliver the aims of the new plan will be detailed in a separate Implementation Plan that residents will be able to comment on later this year. An indicative Implementation Plan will be made available alongside the new Local Transport Plan on the 1st April after being considered by the Council’s Executive on 31st March.

Gary Lugg, Head of Planning and Countryside said: “The plan represents the strategic vision for how travel and transport services will develop over the coming years. A lot of work has been done to establish what has proved successful and how we can develop this further. Clearly there are links to our other plans such as the Local Development Framework and we have to take into account the current financial situation when deciding how to develop these ideas further but I believe this is a strong plan that will serve the district well.”

View The Local Transport Plan (2011-2026) by clicking here