Local authorities must be involved in transport planning in the north of England to ensure increased connectivity delivers sustainable growth, planners have said.
A new report from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has warned that new transport links will not necessarily lead to economic growth.
The report found that increased connectivity encourages housing and labour markets to spread out to peripheral areas which leads to increased car use. This, in turn, exacerbates problems like congestion and air pollution.
The report, a response to Transport for the North’s (TfN) consultation on its draft Strategic Transport Plan, urged TfN to work closely with local and combined authorities, in particular their planning departments.
This will ensure, the report argued, that transport investment will support urban regeneration and sustainable patterns of growth, reducing journey distances and promoting travel by public transport, walking and cycling.
‘This plan is a welcome return to planning strategically for transport at the regional level,’ said James Harris, RTPI policy and networks manager, referring to the draft Strategic Transport Plan.
‘It demonstrates how when working with a broad range of stakeholders, the North of England can articulate their shared vision for a well-connected, prosperous future.
‘We’ve made a number of recommendations to improve the final plan, which we think will help avoid any unintended negative impacts.’
This article first appeared on www.localgov.co.uk.