Company publishes document to assist local authorities and other stakeholders in considering bus operations when they are planning for new homes
- Stagecoach warns that failure to build in public transport to new developments has negative consequences for the economy, environment and work-life balance
- Bus operator offers to provide on-going support through planning, design and delivery process around new residential developments
Transport company Stagecoach has launched a blueprint to help ensure bus services can effectively serve new housing developments being planned across the country.
The company has warned that failure to build in public transport to new developments would result in a greater cost to the economy in lost productivity, poorer air quality for our children growing up, longer working days because of extra commuting time and a less safe living environment with more cars on the road.
Stagecoach has now published a guide to assist and support local authorities and other stakeholders through the planning, detailed design and delivery process around new housing developments in UK towns and cities.
The bus operator believes that effective partnership working at an early stage in the planning process can help deliver more efficient use of road-space and increase bus use, thereby helping to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
The document ‘Bus Services & New Residential Developments’ is being sent out to a wide database of local councils and development industry stakeholders across England, Scotland and Wales.
It includes information and guidance covering a number of areas, including:
– Highways design and specification – including engineering requirements for bus routes, traffic calming measures, shared space areas, and the use of bus gates
– Bus stops and supporting infrastructure – including walking distances to bus stops and bus stop locations and positioning
– Parking provision on bus routes – including good practice recommendations as well as things to avoid
Stagecoach’s Head of Strategic Development and the Built Environment (South), and author of the blueprint, Nick Small, said: “We are working increasingly closely with local authorities and other stakeholders across all areas of bus service delivery to help improve the effectiveness of local bus services and benefit local people. This document builds on that work and offers further support and guidance from a bus operator’s perspective.
“As local authorities in most parts of the country are being expected to plan for a major boost to the supply of new homes, this growth risks further burdening already-congested local roads. High-quality bus services, therefore need to play an even more central role in local land-use and transport plans, to ensure people can reach where they want to go, both within and between our towns and cities. It’s vital that bus companies are involved early on in the planning process to discuss the operational opportunities and challenges for bus routes in new residential developments.
“Where that happens, this type of partnership working can help ensure the delivery of effective bus routes that work for local people and therefore help increase bus use. This in turn delivers significant environmental benefits by reducing the number of cars on the road and helping to improve air quality.”
Last month, during its Annual Green Week, Stagecoach called for tougher action on air quality to protect local communities across Britain. As global concern grows over increasing pollution in towns and cities, the company said urgent action was particularly needed by central and local government to tackle the public health emergency.
Research shows that too many cars and worsening traffic congestion is a major contributor to the 40,000 to 50,000 early deaths a year in the UK from air pollution. The problem is linked to cancer, asthma, strokes, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and dementia, with children, the elderly, and the poorest in society are most at risk. The issue also has a financial cost to the country of over £20billion a year.
Detailed research by Prof David Begg for Greener Journeys has highlighted that across the country the congestion crisis is turning people away from bus travel and putting jobs in the industry and wider economy at risk.
Other research too has shown recently that Britain’s roads are now the most congested in Europe and that time wasted in the UK’s worst traffic jams will cost motorists £62billion by 2025.
One full double deck bus can remove up to 75 cars from the road
Stagecoach is mid-way through a five-year environmental strategy, Shared responsibility, shared future, which has been produced in partnership with the Carbon Trust and sets out a package of investments at the Group’s bus and rail businesses.
It follows a 30% reduction in Stagecoach Group’s carbon intensity since 2007-08 and the achievement of previous targets 12 months ahead of schedule.
By April 2019, the Group is aiming to further reduce carbon emissions from buildings and fleet, lower water consumption and improve its waste recycling rate.
Stagecoach Group has already been awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard for measuring, managing and reducing its global carbon footprint, becoming the first public transport operator to have its boundaries certified outside of Europe.
A copy of Bus Services & New Residential Developments can be found at the following link – http://www.stagecoach.com/~/media/Files/S/Stagecoach-Group/Attachments/pdf/bus-services-and-new-residential-developments.pdf
Various urban design guides