‘Better Planning, Better Transport, Better Places (August 2019)’ has been published by the CIHT to raise the profile of sustainable transport and accessibility in the plan making process.

Since first published in 2012, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has and continues to provide local authorities more of a mandate to implement sustainable transport policies with bigger teeth.

However, a stark view is offered by the CIHT when looking back at opportunities missed for real shifts towards more sustainable travel accompanying new development. It has often been a loud yet stifled passenger in the backseat, only remembered at the last minute.

The CIHT goes as far as saying that requirements for sustainable transport and accessibility should have the same weight as the requirements to demonstrate a deliverable five-year supply of housing and protecting the Green Belt. Moreover, a Local Plan should only be found ‘sound’ if it has a clear strategic vision encompassing accessibility and transport ambitions.

Working within the context of current planning legislation, practical steps to help overcome noted barriers and drive positive change are set out by the CIHT.

We can’t help but feel some of these may rock the boat, not the least a continued affront on ‘predict and provide’ transport models in favour of ‘decide and provide’ (the TRICS database has since published a related document). Nevertheless, this is a welcome call-for-action by the CIHT and at a time where if we cannot embrace this ethos, the UK stands to miss out on fully capitalising upon evolving electric and automated technology as well.