Highways & Transport

Highways & Transport

The comments below provide the detail behind my summary and refer to the combination of highways and transport.

Highways

  1. MX2-39 site is surrounded by roads that are B category or less; these roads and villages cannot support the volume of traffic expected from MX2-39;
  2. The highway infrastructure comprises only the B1217 (Collier Lane) – a narrow road that carries traffic from Sherburn, Lotherton, Tadcaster, Aberford and Barwick to and from the M1 – this road does not provide any suitable infrastructure for MX2-39;
  3. Promoters of MX2-39 estimate 97% of users will utilise the access proposed to M1 motorway junction. There is no evidence of this and census data for Barwick and Aberford reveal a proportion of the residents’ commute to areas not directly accessible from junction 47 motorway including, but not restricted to, Otley, Wakefield and Doncaster;
  4. Detailed and properly structured traffic studies and subsequent forecasting would yield different data;
  5. Traffic from MX2-39 will create car and bus traffic emanating from and travelling to the site that will use any available alternative routes to Leeds. This means a daily increase of many hundreds of car travelling through Barwick via Aberford and through Garforth; roads impacted by this huge increase in car traffic will be the A642, Cattle Lane and Bunkers Hill;
  6. MX2-39’s existing infrastructure can’t accommodate the new traffic. LCC recognises this matter in its SAP yet is promoting the B1217 as the means to deliver sufficient carriageway capacity for the project.
  7. A new and sufficiently effective junction on Collier Lane will be required to provide ingress/egress to the houses. The junction will consume and destroy the field to the south of Collier Lane and disturb unique soil at Hook Moor. Hook Moor is an SSSI and its eco-system is fragile – and is an integral part of the magnesian limestone Green Infrastructure corridor as defined by Natural England and incorporated within Leeds City Councils’ Adopted Core Strategy;
  8. The SAP’s proposition for road traffic is totally inadequate to accommodate an additional 5,000 to 10,000 cars and their expected ~25,000 daily vehicle movements;
  9. The existing north bound off ramp to junction 47 fails to meet the demand of existing traffic flows alighting the motorway to the A642 (Aberford Road). Traffic queues via the hard shoulder as well as lane one of the motorways;
  10. As well as the low, narrow rail bridge at Barwick Road Garforth and the inadequate Town End junction Garforth which is used daily by a large percentage of our residents, and has already been identified as a limiting factor in previous planning applications in both Barwick and Garforth;
  11. RAT RUNs through the nearby towns and villages of Aberford, Garforth and Micklefield will occur as no southbound access or northbound exit between the A1/M1 link and the A1;
  12. At the time the junction of the A1/M1 link with the A1 was designed, no new town was envisaged in this area – in other words the SAP is out of phase with the road system development;
  13. A single site access/egress is proposed. A development of the scale proposed confined with a single access is not feasible;
  14. MX2-39’s promoter refers to a potential second site access/egress off Lady Lane. This lane is constrained at its junctions with Barwick In Elmet and Garforth. It is unsuitable;
  15. The low and narrow rail bridge at Barwick Road, Garforth and the inadequate Town End junction in Garforth, where accidents and congestions occur frequently. Town End has already been identified as limiting factors in previous planning applications in both Barwick Parish and Garforth;
  16. The NPPF makes reference in paragraph 162 to local planning authorities working with other authorities and providers to, “assess the quality and capacity of infrastructure for transport”. There is no evidence that this has occurred;
  17. The Hook Moor M1 junction 47 is not able to take additional capacity at peak times. At rush hour this can be found to be ‘backed up’ from the junction all the way down the hard shoulder and onto the motorway;
  18. In addition, the south west corner of the proposed development is designated for employment use, thereby increasing the likelihood of commercial vehicles making use of the highway thereby causing further disruption and associated pollutants;
  19. The current proposal indicates that the road (B1217) from the junction will require upgrading to dual carriageway. It is currently at its physical limit at rush hour and this cannot take more traffic. It is an accident blackspot and there would be difficulties in the expansion of the carriageway given the current site constraints and the existence of the SSSI at Hook Moor on the south side of the carriageway;

Public Transport

  1. North East Leeds is generally poorly served by public transport – transportation between MX2-39, villages and Leeds and York requires car ownership;
  2. Outer North East has no railway stations within its boundaries;
  3. The nearest railway stations are in One South East (“OSE”) at Garforth, East Garforth and Micklefield, where railway services are provided on the Leeds-York/Selby lines;
  4. At peak times the service through these stations operates at maximum capacity from the current population;
  5. Access to Garforth station for ONE residents requires a car journey as there are no coordinated or reliable bus services between Aberford and Garforth, or between Barwick and Garforth;
  6. Limited car parking is available at Garforth Station – the car park is full from 7:30am during week days;
  7. Peak time trains into Leeds are generally packed; peak time commuters have an uncomfortable “standing room only” ride into Leeds every morning and back from Leeds every evening;
  8. Trains from Micklefield and East Garforth into Leeds are much less frequent than trains from Garforth; travelling to the Micklefield and East Garforth stations from Aberford and Barwick is already difficult as it requires a car journey through housing estates to get to the station – where there are poor parking facilities;
  9. It will be insufficient to run a shuttle bus to the station along the B1217 and A642 to accommodate travellers – the A642 is already overloaded every rush-hour period; the traffic slow moving morning and evening;
  10. MX2-39 cannot count these stations as supporting the proposals as the stations are in Outer South East and MX2-39 is in Outer North East;
  11. Leeds City Council and M & G seem to be reliant on this railway link but the parties are not taking into consideration the demands that OSE’s SAP will place on the rail services. The OSE demands alone will increase the load on the service far beyond its capabilities;
  12. The rail service cannot be included in the transport service for MX2-39 which means the householders will be required to be car owners and car users;
  13. For 5,000 houses at MX2-39, all occupiers will need to own cars; I expect this will yield an ownership level of approximately 2 cars per household equating to 10,000 cars. This alone will require a minimum space for car parking, amongst the houses, of approximately 11.5 Ha of parking space out of the 160 Ha;
  14. Bus services to provide a viable transit system for MX2-39 will require buses to travel on the M1 exacerbating an already fully loaded motorway at peak times;
  15. Alternative routes (avoiding the M1) will mean the journey from MX2-39 to Leeds will take longer than 45 minutes and to Wetherby will take longer than 30 minutes;
  16. York, Doncaster and other destinations, which are not currently catered for with the current bus services;
  17. The above problems will be exacerbated by Outer South East SAP;
  18. The proposal references the electrification of the Trans Pennine route to provide additional capacity. However the above arguments still apply; poor access to the stations, and the stations infrastructure and inability to support car parking mean that the OSE centred rail link cannot be considered for MX2-39;
  19. Any additional volume of people joining the services at Garforth would also prevent any additional people from being able to utilise the train from Cross Gates as the capacity of the service would be full (this already occurs on some services in the morning rush hour);
  20. The proposal makes reference to being MX2-39 being surrounded by bus routes (paragraph 5.4.40). The current services are very basic; this description applies to the Aberford to/from Wakefield and Wetherby services, as well as the 64 and 64a services via Barwick in Elmet and the East of Leeds;
  21. The above services would need to be considerably rerouted to enter MX2-39;
  22. The 64/64a runs two services per hour and the 174 only one service per hour. To service an increased population of over 10,000 people it would be necessary to increase this substantially to many buses per hour – and the journeys would still take a long time;
  23. An increase in bus services will require an increase the entry/exit points to MX2-39. This would again impact significantly on the local historic villages of Aberford and Barwick in Elmet, a key criterion in the maintenance of green belt land under paragraph 80 of the NPPF thereby calling into question the validity of the proposal;
  24. Promoters of MX2-39 suggest that 97% of users will utilise the access proposed to M1 motorway junction. We believe this number is an arbitrary number to help support the SAP. My census data for Barwick and Aberford reveal that a good proportion of residents commute to areas not directly accessible from junction 47 motorway;
  25. For example, Otley, Wakefield and Doncaster are destinations for residents of Barwick and Aberford. I reasonably extrapolate that similar proportion of inhabitants of MX2-39 would have similar destinations;
  26. The traffic studies and forecasts offered are incorrect;