Somerset Council is carrying out a public consultation on a set of planning policy principles that would steer new development in Somerset. This is a rare opportunity for all bus users to influence planning policy and ensure that new developments encourage the use of sustainable transport rather relying on the assumption that everyone uses a car.
The proposals are aimed at prioritising sustainable methods of transport and reducing the need to travel, but they overlook the need to ensure that the developments can be served safely, adequately and efficiently by bus routes. There’s a need to ensure that there are safe, well-lit paths to bus stops too.
Also, developers should be required to fund new and improved bus stop infrastructure as well as providing revenue support for new bus services for the first few years of operation.
The Somerset Bus Partnership is drafting a detailed response but I encourage all bus user groups and your members to do so too, particularly if there are examples you can cite on your local patch where previous planning decisions have had a detrimental impact on the ability of bus operators to provide a bus service to the development (such as a superstore set well away from main road bus stops but with a large car park just in front of it, or a linear housing development along a lengthy cul-de-sac).
Full details can be found via the link below and the closing date is 16th October 2023.