The Lichfield District Local Plan |
Access to Trent Valley Station
|Consultation response by the Lichfield Civic Society|
Q4. Do you consider that the Local Plan Strategy is justified? - No
The need for a policy is substantiated by the following in the
Council's Infrastructure Delivery Plan (July 2012) in paragraph 4.23
which states:- "Centro summarises the key issues in its response to
the Department for Transport (DfT) consultation on the InterCity West
Coast refranchising (March 2011), stating:
Q5. Do you consider that the Local Plan Strategy is effective? - No
The current saved Local Plan policy explicitly indicates in Policy L.31 Lichfield Rail Stations that disabled access will be improved at Lichfield Trent Valley Station in the following terms:-
"The District Council will seek the improvement of vehicular and pedestrian access and car parking for Lichfield Trent Valley and Lichfield City railway stations, including parking and access for disabled people. 0.61 hectares (1.5 acres) of land at Burton Old Road, Streethay is allocated for station car parking."
This Local Plan Strategy states in Core Policy 1: The Spatial Strategy on page 25
"At Trent Valley Station accessibility will be improved and a new strategic parking facility will be delivered."
We consider that this Strategy for the period to 2028 should expressly continue the policy commitment to securing the provision of disabled access. This would enable full compliance with disability access legislation. If ramped access were provided it would also improve access for cyclists and those with push chairs or wheeled suitcases.
Concerning the strategic parking facility if it is intended to be part of a regional network of Park and Ride facilities then that should be stated since the catchment area will be much beyond the District and has implications for the scale of provision required. Confusingly the policy Lichfield 5: East of Lichfield (Streethay) on page 101 in paragraph 10 refers to "The delivery of a 'Park and Ride facility' to serve Trent Valley Station and to encourage sustainable travel to and from the development." It seems most unlikely that those living within the Streethay development site would need the use of the Park and Ride facility.
Q6. Do you consider that the Local Plan Strategy is consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework? - No
The NPPF provides in section 2 paragraph number 7 on Securing Sustainable Development the following dimension:-
"a social role - supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by providing the supply of housing required to meet the needs of present and future generations; and by creating a high quality built environment, with accessible local services that reflect the community's needs and support its health, social and cultural well-being."
Public transport by rail is a key local service which should be fully accessible.
Q7. Please set out what change(s) you consider necessary to address your representations.
Substitute in Core Policy 1: The Spatial Strategy on page 25 for the existing wording of "At Trent Valley Station accessibility will be improved and a new strategic parking facility will be delivered." the following or words to similar effect which are based upon the more appropriate wording of the saved Local Plan Policy L.31 set out in Q5 above:-
The District Council will seek the improvement of vehicular and pedestrian access and car parking for Lichfield Trent Valley, where a new Regional strategic parking facility (Park and Ride) will be delivered and Lichfield City railway stations, including parking and improved access for disabled people and cyclists.
Q8. Did you raise this issue earlier in the plan preparation process? - Yes
The omission of improved disabled access was raised in a letter from the Lichfield Civic Society dated 26th February 2011 on the draft Core Strategy in the following terms:-
"The need for improved disabled access at both Lichfield Stations should be explicitly set as policy objectives."