Callerton Masterplan – Our Response

Our Response to the Draft Callerton Masterplan, sent 5th June 2016: –

The draft Callerton Masterplan has us very worried about how cycling infrastructure will be designed and physically provided for in and around the new housing developments. In the masterplan the amount of appreciable consideration for cycling seems almost non-existent, particularly most of the mentions of cycling are specifically conflated with pedestrian routes. These two vital active-travel networks however have completely different design needs.

Active Travel Priority
Globally, there is no description in the document of how the area will be designed to prioritise active travel over private motor vehicle journeys, without this kind of planning there is little chance of encouraging people to choose to travel by active transport. In that we think the masterplan could be much more informed by city policies (LTP and Local Plan).

Cycle Network
Naturally, there needs to be a clear plan of how this area connects to the rest of Newcastle as part of a cohesive cycle network. Within the development areas, there needs to a clear network, that highlights not just the cycle routes which have been included in the document, but also how these connect to the properties and amenities that are proposed. A thoughtful plan highlighting how the new prospective resident would cycle from the front of their house to the city centre is missing. The city centre is within cyclable distance from the proposed developments.

Cycle Infrastructure Design, Quality and Targets
There needs to be an agreed level of service (i.e. agreed design quality) for cycling in the area, with a clear outline of how this will be measured (such as using the Cycling Level of Service Tool developed by Transport for London). For example, section 9 of the document covers Key Infrastructure Items, while cycling is mentioned (though it is linked to pedestrian infrastructure again), it has clearly had no consideration over what infrastructure is needed to identify how section 106 and 278 money should be spent. By way of another example, there is no consideration in the document of how the cycle routes will be kept safe (especially at night). There should be design consideration for personal safety/security included for this (and for pedestrian routes too). Ideally the routes should pass in plain sight of properties and use designs like cycle streets to achieve this (‘eyes on the street’, natural surveillance).

Movement Plans
The movement plans have no mention of cycling included on them, leading us to be concerned that pedestrians and cyclists will be expected to share space. This is not rarely suitable and certainly not acceptable for a built up area, in order to allow pedestrians and cyclists to navigate the area safely and comfortably, they need to have clearly delineated separated space.

Cycle Network and Council Policy
What worries us worried most, however, is the lack of off-site planning: how is the new resident supposed to cycle to other areas of city (such as the City Centre), conveniently, comfortably and safely? Newcastle council must urgently set up a descriptive planning document showing the city’s planned core cycle network, or council will miss out on developers off-site improvement payments (CIL, S106). We suggest a 9+2 network as a minimum
http://newcycling.org/SCR/ and we ask Newcastle council to adopt this network into policy post-haste. A cash-strapped poor council cannot forego these monies.

 

Due to the size of the documents, we have not included a copy here: A copy is available through the following page http://www.newcastle.com/planning-and-buildings/planning-policy/have-your-say-planning/callerton-masterplan  (accessed 27th June 2016)