Thursday, 19 October 2017

Ideas to offset increase in traffic from homes

MORE frequent trains, a cycle network and tighter parking restrictions could offset the impact of traffic increases in Henley, a report claims.

MORE frequent trains, a cycle network and tighter parking restrictions could offset the impact of traffic increases in Henley, a report claims.

The £50,000 transport study, produced by Peter Brett Associates, was commissioned by the town council in support of the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan.

A preliminary report said about 120 more cars would pass through the town at peak hours if 450 new homes were built between now and 2027, an increase of 12 per cent.

Now the consultants have published the full document, including a list of suggestions for tackling the problem.

It proposes:

* Reducing the need to travel as many potential housing sites identified in the plan don?t include space for shops, placing a ?high dependence on the car for journeys less than 2km?.

* Encouraging retailers to build smaller shops outside the town centre within walking distance of new homes.

* Establishing a ?click and collect? point at Henley station for people to collect online shopping after work.

The report also recommends ?personalised travel planning?, a broad range of initiatives encouraging people not to drive when possible. These could include marketing campaigns, publicising bus and train timetables and offering incentives like discounts or free gifts.

Pavements could be widened to create wider footways or ?shared space? with cyclists while traffic-calming measures could be introduced to encourage pedestrians.

These could include a 20mph speed limit in the town centre, chicanes or speed bumps as well as additional crossings, signage and street lighting.

The report says these are especially important in Gillotts Lane, which could be widened to allow two-way traffic at its southern end. It might also be subject to width or weight restrictions.

It calls for a network of cycle paths across Henley with additional signage and street lighting, saying existing facilities are ?limited?.

It says some streets around St Mark?s Road and St Andrew?s Road could be narrowed to create cycle lanes, which would remove on-street parking on one side. Meanwhile, all buses could stop at a ?public transport hub? in the station car park ?to allow users to easily interchange in one location?.

There could be electronic display boards with live departure times and operators could be encouraged to extend their routes and hours of operation.

The document says GWR should be urged to increase capacity on trains to London Paddington and Twyford, which are frequently full at peak times, and to run trains every 30 minutes instead of every 45 minutes.

Parking restrictions or residents? permit parking schemes could be rolled out in streets that get busy during the day.

Other suggestions include a community speedwatch scheme, electric vehicle charging points and cheaper rates in car parks that are currently under-used. The study will form part of the council?s transport strategy, which will be produced following consultation.

Councillor Will Hamilton, chairman of the council?s transport strategy group, said: ?It was important that we carried out a study. Now we have the information we need, everyone needs to work together towards the best ways of mitigating the traffic increase.?

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