Context and reasoned justification
Local residents own a great many cars. According to the 2011 Census, 48% of Haslemere residents had access to two or more cars or vans. A study of traffic flows in the town showed that the heaviest traffic occurs between 10am-4pm with a peak passing the station at 3-4pm suggesting a relationship with the school run and with the use of shops and other local amenities. The peak volumes give rise to traffic tailbacks at pinch points in Wey Hill up to the traffic lights by Tesco and to a lesser extent, along West Street to Haslemere High Street and at the junction of the A287 and Critchmere Lane.
In this context there are two foot/cycle routes which should be prioritised:
The first concerns Haslemere town’s two distinct shopping areas, the High Street and Wey Hill, each with its own mix of shops, amenities and parking areas, with the station halfway between. This leads residents and visitors to travel by car from one end of the town to the other thus adding to the congestion. Responses to Haslemere Vision’s consultations indicate a strong desire to improve the connection between the two sides of the town and, in the process, to achieve a better balance between the needs of car users and those of other road users and pedestrians. 62% of respondents supported a suggested pedestrian link between the High Street and Wey Hill.
The second concerns a link between the station and the Devil’s Punchbowl which would enhance Haslemere’s reputation for green tourism and its standing as a gateway to the South Downs National Park. 64% of respondents to Haslemere Vision’s Phase I consultation favoured promoting Haslemere as a visitor and tourist destination.
Pedestrian/non-motorised access to the town and village centres and to the countryside from every part of the settlement areas should be promoted and therefore developments must include sustainable access across the site and avoid severance of this access.
When Community Infrastructure Levy money is available, it is expected that funds will be allocated to schemes close to the development; these may fund improvements to our transport network and on-street town environment or contribute tangibly to the Traffic, Parking and Non-Car Transport Opportunities set out in Section 5.
This policy aims to:
- limit the growth of motorised traffic so making Haslemere a more attractive, welcoming and accessible destination for all who seek to use its facilities
- extend and improve the routes and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists
- encourage the use of pedestrian, public and non-motorised transport in the town
- enhance the streetscape and promote a shift from car transport by encouraging improvements to infrastructure for public, commercial and alternative transport modes
- improve connections to surrounding destinations and places of interest
H6.1 Proposals for new housing should ensure they are well and safely connected with the existing settlement.
All new developments should provide:
- safe, direct routes for pedestrians and cyclists from the site to existing pedestrian routes
- sufficient off-street car parking so the need for on-street parking does not increase
- safe accessible on-site storage for cycles
- safely located access for pedestrians, cyclists and motorised transport
Developments within 1km of the station should:
- contribute to reducing traffic congestion and improve the flow of all forms of transport in the vicinity of the station
- make safe provision for electric car technologies
In addition, for new developments of 50 or more dwellings, the development should:
- provide a travel plan to demonstrate how the development will improve local traffic and pedestrian management (Surrey County Council have published guidance on writing travel plans which should be referred to).
H6.2 All developments in the Plan area should improve pedestrian and cycle access to and from the site and the station. Opportunities to facilitate safer pedestrian and/or cycle paths linking the station to Haslemere High Street, Wey Hill and to foot/cycle paths leading to the South Downs National Park and other local attractions will be welcomed.
H6.3 Any development near the new footpath/cycleway routes, identified in Figure 2 – Proposed route Haslemere High Street to Wey Hill and Figure 3 – Proposed route to Devil’s Punchbowl (see maps overleaf) should:
- be designed to ensure that these routes are not severed by new developments
- improve or extend these public rights of way
- not aggravate the creation of new public rights of way
- create new rights of way over these new footpath/cycleway routes
H6.4 Any development proposals that result in new, alterations or renewals to road and/or pavement layouts should improve the public realm by:
- increasing priority given to non-motorised modes
- improving access to public transport
- improving access for commercial transport
Such developments should be encouraged, even if the result is only piecemeal improvement, since over time these may achieve much of what a strategic redesign might achieve. (Developers are recommended to refer to the Building for Life standards no. 7 ‘Creating well defined streets and spaces’ and no. 9 ‘Streets for all’ and to implement these suggestions as far as possible.)
H6.5 Public pedestrian access must be designed into the development to ensure that any construction and land allocation allows a pedestrian/non-motorised route across the site either from outlying areas towards the town centre or from the town to any green space within 200 metres and is either directly or indirectly accessible to the land.
Figure 2 Proposed route Haslemere High Street to Wey Hill