Chapter 9 - TRAFFIC, TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE
   
BACKGROUND
OBJECTIVES
 
Policies and Proposals:
 
NEW ROADS
TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
NEW DEVELOPMENT
TRAFFIC IN THE TOWN CENTRE
CAR PARKING
BUSES
TAXIS
PEDAL CYCLING
PEDESTRIANS
LORRIES
RAIL
AIRPORT
TRANSMISSION LINES, PIPELINES AND UNDERGROUND SERVICES
 
ANNEX
 
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BACKGROUND
9.1 Darlington occupies an important position on national and regional communications networks (Figure 9.1). It is at the junction of two major road routes which bypass the town. The north-south A1 motorway links eastern Scotland and Tyneside with the rest of England, and the east-west A66 Trunk Road links Teesside with the M6, north Lancashire, Cumbria and western Scotland. Locally, the traditional road pattern radiates to Bishop Auckland (A68 / A6072), Barnard Castle (A67), Richmond (A66 / A6108), Northallerton (A167), Yarm and south Teesside (A67), and Newton Aycliffe (A167). These are linked by the inner ring road which allows the town centre to be free of through-traffic.
9.2 The bus station in Feethams is served by the national express coach network. Services to nearby towns, the surrounding rural areas and a comprehensive network of town routes all converge on the town centre streets.
9.3 Darlington's position as an inter-city station on the main east coast rail line is strengthened by direct branch line connections to Teesside and Bishop Auckland. Teesside International Airport is on the eastern edge of the Borough. Teesport, the second largest commercial seaport in Britain is about 30km (20 miles) to the east of the town.
9.4 The Local Plan will provide the background for the more detailed highway, traffic and transport proposals of other Council documents, namely the Transport Policies and Programme (TPP) and the Road Safety Plan.
9.5 Households in the Borough have the use of over 33,000 cars (1991 Census). This represents 0.34 cars for each resident. However, 38% of households have no car. The Department of Transport (now the DETR) has forecast that the number of cars nationally will double by 2010, but regional estimates are lower. However, the town shows signs of traffic saturation already at occasional peak times, with delays on the main radial roads and difficulty in finding parking places near the town centre. Some residential streets are fully occupied by cars belonging to residents and their visitors who have inadequate or no space to park their cars off the highway.
9.6 Congestion and delay wastes fuel and results in increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants which, if growth is not checked, will irreversibly damage the environment and the health of residents. Emergency services will take longer to reach their destinations; public transport becomes less reliable; essential delivery and business traffic is impeded; people with disabilities or without cars become less mobile; and road and pedestrian safety deteriorates.
9.7 The environmental and financial consequences of fully meeting the demand for more road and parking space are not acceptable. Instead, the Plan provides for future travel needs by siting new developments in locations which minimise the need for private car travel, by making them accessible by other means, and giving priority to the transport needs of others on existing roads.
9.8 The A1 motorway, A66 trunk road, other A class roads and most B class roads in the Borough form part of the Durham County Strategic Route Network. This provides the framework for assessing the need for new roads and improvements. The Darlington Cross Town Route and its extension to Teesside Airport is the major highway proposal for the Borough, and its route is safeguarded in Proposal T6.1 below.
   
 
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Figure 9.1 Main Road Network and Railway Lines
   
9.9 The A68 is identified as an important tourist route to Weardale, Northumberland and Scotland. The network also forms the basis for lorry routes, but these are not defined in the urban area. Durham County Council and the Borough Council are promoting the development of a rail freight depot at Faverdale industrial estate and a site is allocated in Proposal T47 below.
 
OBJECTIVES
9.10 The Council's objectives for traffic, transport and infrastructure, to be pursued through the policies and proposals of the Plan, are:
  i) To minimise day-to-day travel needs.
  ii) To reduce the dependency on the private motor car.
  iii) To improve conditions for public transport and to promote its use.
  iv) To improve conditions for pedestrians, pedal cyclists and people with disabilities.
  v) To improve access to the town centre for shoppers.
  vi) To eliminate non-essential traffic from the town centre.
  vii) To make the most efficient use of existing main roads.
  viii) To reduce the damaging impact of motor vehicles on the environment.
   
 
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  ix) To minimise the impact of new road construction on the environment.
  x) To improve road safety.
  xi) To reduce excessive vehicle speeds in built-up areas.
  xii) To improve access between the major employment areas of the town and the national transport network.
  xiii) To improve access to the A1, A66, Teesside International Airport and Teesport.
  xiv) To encourage the transport of bulk materials by rail.
  xv) To minimise the impact of transmission lines, pipelines and underground services.
     
Policies and Proposals:
 
NEW ROADS
 
POLICY T1 - Highway and Transport Management - Existing Resources
  THE COUNCIL WILL MAKE THE BEST USE OF EXISTING ROADS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT BEFORE CONSTRUCTING NEW ROADS.
 
POLICY T2 - Highway and Transport Management - New Development
  THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK THE LOCATION OF NEW DEVELOPMENT SO AS TO MINIMISE DAY-TO-DAY TRAVEL NEEDS.
 
9.11 The Durham County Structure Plan forecasts traffic to increase between 32% and 54% by 2006, and it will be neither financially nor environmentally possible to build new roads to meet this demand. Existing roads in the town and the villages in the Borough were not designed for today's traffic and it is not proposed to demolish any buildings to widen them. Public transport makes more efficient use of motorised transport and road space than does the private car. Pedal cycling and walking are more energy efficient means of making short journeys. The Local Plan generally seeks to conserve energy resources and to minimise pollution; it is not desirable to build more roads simply to bring more motor vehicles into the town. Darlington is a compact town and most new development will be located within or on the edge of it. Many land uses are most conveniently located near the town centre, where they are most accessible. Even those uses which are used most by people in cars, such as food superstores, should be located where they are also accessible by others.
 
POLICY T3 - Justification for Major Road Schemes
  THE COUNCIL WILL SUPPORT PROPOSALS FOR NEW ROADS AND THE IMPROVEMENT OF EXISTING ROADS WITHIN THE BOROUGH WHICH:
  1. ASSIST THE ECONOMIC PROSPERITY OF THE BOROUGH;
  2. REMOVE THROUGH-TRAFFIC FROM RESIDENTIAL AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS;
  3. IMPROVE LINKS WITH THE A1(M), A167, A66, TEESSIDE AIRPORT AND TEESPORT;
  4. IMPROVE OVERALL ROAD SAFETY CONDITIONS;
  5. HAVE MINIMAL ADVERSE EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE LOCALITY.
   
 
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POLICY T4 - Route and Design of Major Road Schemes
  IN THE SELECTION OF THE ROUTE AND THE DESIGN OF NEW ROADS, AND IMPROVEMENTS TO EXISTING ROADS, THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO ACHIEVE:
  1. SAFE AND PROPER PROVISION FOR THE MOVEMENT OF BUSES, BUS USERS, PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, PEDESTRIANS, PEDAL CYCLISTS, EQUESTRIANS AND WILDLIFE;
  2. LANDSCAPING AND OTHER MEASURES TO PROTECT AND ENHANCE THE APPEARANCE OF THE LOCALITY;
  3. CO-ORDINATION OF THE APPEARANCE OF CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS, TRAFFIC SIGNS, LIGHTING COLUMNS AND OTHER HIGHWAY FURNITURE AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE DESIGN OF THE ROAD;
  4. THE EFFICIENT USE OF LAND AND MINIMAL DISRUPTION TO LOCAL AGRICULTURE.
  THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO AVOID:
  5. THE PHYSICAL OR SOCIAL SEVERANCE OF COMMUNITIES;
  6. HARMFUL IMPACT ON RESIDENTIAL AMENITY, INCLUDING NOISE, EXHAUST POLLUTION, VIBRATION, HEADLAMP GLARE AND ROAD LIGHTING;
  7. HARMFUL IMPACT ON THE LANDSCAPE AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT;
  8. HARMFUL IMPACT ON PLANT LIFE, WILDLIFE AND GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.
 
POLICY T5 - Environmental Appraisal of Major Road Schemes
  THE COUNCIL WILL PREPARE ENVIRONMENTAL APPRAISALS TO ACCOMPANY ITS PROPOSALS FOR NEW OR IMPROVED ROADS.
 
PROPOSAL T6 - Safeguarding Major Road Schemes
  LAND WILL BE SAFEGUARDED FOR THE FOLLOWING NEW ROADS AND IMPROVEMENTS TO EXISTING ROADS:
  1. DARLINGTON CROSS TOWN ROUTE AND ITS EXTENSION TO THE A67 TEESSIDE AND AIRPORT LINK;
  2. A6072 SWAN HOUSE TO HEIGHINGTON BYPASS IMPROVEMENT;
  3. A66(T) BYPASS WIDENING BETWEEN LITTLE BURDON AND YARM ROAD.
     
9.12 Some road building can be justified and the Department of the Environment, Transport & the Regions (DETR) and the Council maintain and implement a programme of major schemes. New and improved roads are needed to link industrial areas to the national and regional network and these can also have safety and environmental benefits. It is equally important that these roads are carefully located and designed so that they fit in with their surroundings as much as possible. The appearance of standardised road design and materials can be out of character with the locality; the Council will apply similar standards to those it applies to other forms of development. Legislation requires environmental assessments for some new roads, but even modest widening can affect the local environment. The environmental impacts of schemes should be appraised before they proceed; the authority will advise, if asked, on the matters requiring evaluation in any particular case.
   
The Cross Town Route
9.13 The A68 Darlington Cross Town Route is a strategic proposal of the Durham County Structure Plan and the Local Plan shows land being safeguarded for its detailed alignment. The road will connect the A1(M) near its junction with the A68 at Faverdale and the A66(T)
   
 
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Figure 9.2 The Cross Town Route
   
  bypass at a new junction east of Red Hall (Figure 9.2). It is also planned to continue the route eastwards to improve access to Teesside Airport. The route will improve access to the major industrial areas in Darlington, which at present use existing roads in the town. Traffic generated by industrial development at Faverdale and Whessoe Road must cross the town to reach the A66(T) eastwards. Traffic from Yarm Road industrial estate and Morton Park must do likewise to reach the A1(M) and A167 northwards. Industrial areas at Albert Hill and Cleveland Street have inadequate access from all directions.
9.14 Through-traffic on the A66(T) bypass has no access to the northbound carriageway of the A1(M) (and vice-versa) without using existing town roads; the Cross Town Route will provide a convenient alternative.
9.15 The Route will be constructed in stages, the first two of which will be at each end and will enable major development to proceed. Planning permission has been granted for Stage 1, between the A66 bypass and McMullen Road. Stage 2, between West Auckland Road and Faverdale Industrial Estate has already been completed, in conjunction with housing and industrial development. The completion of the Route will provide improvements for residential amenity on many roads which suffer from through-traffic in the north-east part of the town (e.g. Haughton Green) and in the west (e.g. Carmel Road). The new road will be a single carriageway road and it will have intermediate junctions at Faverdale industrial estate, North Road, Cleveland Street, Blackett Road, McMullen Road and Yarm Road industrial estate. It will occupy land which is mostly unused and it will follow, but largely avoid, the trackbed of the former Stockton and Darlington Railway. Access to the trackbed for pedestrians and pedal cyclists will be improved (Policy R12) and the opportunity will be provided to improve interpretation of the history of the railway. There will be minimal property demolition and the Route will provide the opportunity to maintain a green corridor across the town (Policy E3). Appropriate measures will be taken to protect nearby dwellings from noise, vehicle light glare and exhaust fumes. Safe and convenient crossing facilities for pedestrians will be provided. The design of the road will include access to the British Steel Special Sections (formerly DSRM) works.
   
 
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Other Road Proposals
9.16 The A6072 scheme will improve road safety and complete recent improvements to the important links between Darlington and south west Durham. The junction of Stage 1 of the Cross Town Route with the A66(T) bypass involves improving part of the bypass to a dual carriageway. The DETR will complete the dualling of the bypass between Little Burdon and Yarm Road.
9.17 The Council considers that the rest of the A66(T) bypass should be upgraded to a dual carriageway in view of the local, regional, national and international importance of the road from coast to coast. Similarly, the Council supports the widening of the A1 motorway to improve communications between the region and the rest of England. However, neither proposal is included in the DETR's trunk road programme.
9.18 The Council also considers that the DETR should improve access between the A66(M) and the A1(M) by providing a full flow junction where the two motorways merge near Cleasby in North Yorkshire. This would create a bypass to the south and west of Darlington, removing more through-traffic, especially heavy goods vehicles, from the town's roads.
   
Motorway Service Areas
9.19 The Government considers that motorway service areas should not be less than 24km (15 miles) apart. It is unlikely that a need for closer spacing would be sufficient to outweigh objections on road safety or traffic management grounds. There are service areas on the A1(M) at junction 61 at Bowburn, to the north, and adjacent to junction 59 with A167 at Newton Aycliffe, some 19km south of Bowburn. A site for a third is allocated in the Richmondshire Local Plan at Barton quarry, about a further 15km to the south. Accordingly no provision is made for another motorway service area in the present Plan.
 
TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
 
POLICY T7 - Traffic Management and Main Roads
  THE COUNCIL WILL INTRODUCE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT MEASURES TO IMPROVE TRAFFIC FLOW WHERE NECESSARY ON THE MAIN ROAD NETWORK OF THE BOROUGH. ATTENTION WILL ALSO BE GIVEN TO IMPROVING CONDITIONS FOR BUSES, PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, PEDESTRIANS AND PEDAL CYCLISTS.
   
9.20 The main road network of the Borough comprises part of the A1 Motorway, parts of the Durham County primary route network and other important radial and link roads in the urban area. They are illustrated in Figure 9.1. These are the roads most used to gain access to other towns in the region and to cross the town from one part of the Borough to another. It is important to keep traffic moving as freely as possible on these roads, particularly public transport. It is also essential to ensure that non-motorists can cross and use these roads safely particularly in the district and local shopping centres (Policy S10) and the town centre fringe shopping areas (Policy S9). Measures to be introduced will include traffic signals, pedestrian crossings, peak period clearway orders, bus priority orders, and restrictions on access to and from side roads.
   
 
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9.21 The reduction of traffic on existing roads following the building of the Cross Town Route will mean that some roads can be removed from the main road network. Such roads will no longer need to be designed to carry existing traffic flows and changes to them can take place as various phases of the Route are completed.
 
POLICY T8 - Access to Main Roads
  PROPOSALS INVOLVING THE FORMATION OF ACCESS TO THE MAIN ROAD NETWORK WILL BE REQUIRED TO:
  1. MINIMISE THE NUMBER OF DIRECT ACCESS POINTS;
  2. WHEREVER PRACTICABLE USE, AND IF NECESSARY IMPROVE, EXISTING ACCESSES;
  3. PROVIDE REAR ACCESS SERVICING FOR FRONTAGE DEVELOPMENT; AND
  4. AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL ACCESS TO BYPASSES OR OTHER RELIEF ROADS.
     
9.22 Adding new junctions and accesses can reduce the capacity of main roads, particularly in the urban area. Road safety can also be impaired. New roads will have any necessary junctions included in their design. New accesses onto bypasses or other relief roads will be approved where they can be safely accommodated and where no other suitable access to the development is available.
 
POLICY T9 - Traffic Management and Road Safety
  THE COUNCIL WILL ENSURE THAT ALL TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SCHEMES INTENDED TO IMPROVE TRAFFIC FLOW ARE ALSO DESIGNED TO ENSURE SAFE AND ACCEPTABLE VEHICLE SPEED.
   
9.23 Undue congestion and delay on the main roads will be eased wherever possible and minor traffic management measures will be introduced on other roads, but it is not otherwise acceptable to introduce traffic management measure simply to increase vehicle speed. Similarly, removing parking or creating one-way streets can encourage drivers to increase speed beyond safe limits.
 
POLICY T10 - Traffic Calming - Existing Roads
  THE COUNCIL WILL INTRODUCE TRAFFIC CALMING MEASURES IN RESIDENTIAL AND OTHER AREAS WITH POOR ROAD SAFETY RECORDS AND IN AREAS WHERE THROUGH-TRAFFIC HAS BEEN REMOVED BY THE CONSTRUCTION OF BYPASSES AND THE CROSS TOWN ROUTE.
 
POLICY T11 - Traffic Calming - New Development
  NEW RESIDENTIAL AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO INCORPORATE TRAFFIC CALMING FEATURES ON ACCESS ROADS, WHEREVER IT IS APPROPRIATE TO RESTRICT THE SPEED OF MOTOR VEHICLES.
   
9.24 Comprehensive schemes in residential areas and elsewhere with pedestrians and youngsters can be designed to reduce vehicle speed and discourage through-traffic. Measures include altering the geometry and layout of roads in existing and new development, for example installing road humps, speed humps, carriageway narrowing, rumble strips, mini-roundabouts, bollards and other street furniture. Tree planting and other landscaping can be incorporated. The presence of parked cars also assists. It may be necessary to reduce traffic to little more than walking speed in places, in order to provide a safer environment. Schemes should be designed to ensure safe and convenient access for buses and pedal cyclists. Areas which have benefited from such schemes include Skerne Park and Hundens Lane. Other areas will be considered having regard to their existing road safety record and potential for accidents. The bypassed villages of Heighington, Middleton St. George and Haughton-le-Skerne (after construction of part of the Cross Town Route) would also benefit.
   
 
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9.25 Similar features should be designed into new development such as housing estates, retail and business parks. The Council issues guidance for developers.
 
NEW DEVELOPMENT
 
POLICY T12 - New Development - Road Capacity
  TRAFFIC GENERATED BY NEW DEVELOPMENT MUST BE ABLE TO BE ACCOMMODATED WITHIN THE CAPACITIES OF SURROUNDING ROADS IN A SAFE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SATISFACTORY WAY.
 
POLICY T13 - New Development - Standards
  ALL NEW DEVELOPMENT SHOULD INCORPORATE ADEQUATE PROVISION FOR ACCESS AND CIRCULATION BY BOTH VEHICLES AND PEDESTRIANS. ROADS AND FOOTPATHS WITHIN NEW DEVELOPMENT INTENDED FOR PUBLIC USE WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE CONSTRUCTED TO STANDARDS SUITABLE FOR ADOPTION AS PUBLIC HIGHWAY.
     
9.26 Highways considerations are interests of acknowledged importance in making planning decisions. Existing roads giving access to proposed development should not be overloaded. In some circumstances it may be necessary to require the developer to provide for improvements to roads outside the site, and where necessary, before development begins or is occupied, through 'Grampian' conditions and legal or other agreements. Traffic generated by new development should not have a harmful impact on residential amenity (Policy H15) and the landscape, plant life, wildlife and geological features (Policy E23). Planning applications for larger developments may need to be accompanied by traffic impact assessments in order that they can be considered acceptable. Planning permissions must ensure that new development has safe access to and from the highway.
9.27 The Council issues guidance on the layout, design and construction of roads and footpaths. The Council will only take over responsibility to maintain new roads and footpaths if they are constructed to its own standards.
 
TRAFFIC IN THE TOWN CENTRE
9.28 The inner ring road links all the radial roads and has removed the need for traffic to pass through town centre streets. The proposal to build the final western section was abandoned and it can not be justified because of the severe physical environmental damage it would cause to historic and residential areas. Access is gained to the town centre by a series of loop roads connecting ring road roundabouts (Figure 9.3). Traffic restrictions have been introduced to most of the shopping streets and the Council is working towards the comprehensive pedestrianisation of them.
9.29 A daytime survey of pedestrians in the town centre in August 1992 showed that 71% lived in the town: 52% had travelled in by car, 30% by bus and 16% had walked. This was very similar to the 1981 Census, which showed that 68% of people working in Central Ward lived in the town, with 49% travelling by car, 30% by bus and 16% on foot. Of those living outside the town, 71% travelled by car and 22% by bus. Other, more recent, surveys show broadly similar results.
   
 
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Figure 9.3 Town Centre Highways and Car Parks
 
POLICY T14 - Private Car Access to Town Centre
  DURING THE WORKING DAY, PRIVATE CARS WILL ONLY HAVE ACCESS WITHIN THE INNER RING ROAD TO THOSE STREETS GIVING ACCESS TO PUBLIC CAR PARKING. ACCESS ACROSS THE TOWN CENTRE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
   
9.30 It is neither desirable nor essential for private motorists to drive through town centre streets to reach their destination. Most car parks are located close to ring road roundabouts and there are adequate opportunities to set down and collect passengers on the edge of the town centre and at times when access restrictions do not apply.
   
 
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PROPOSAL T15 - Improvements for Pedestrians
  CONDITIONS FOR PEDESTRIANS WILL BE IMPROVED BY INTRODUCING TRAFFIC-FREE AREAS DURING MAIN SHOPPING PERIODS AND BY REDUCING BUS CONGESTION. FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS WILL BE INTRODUCED, PARTICULARLY IN HIGH ROW, NORTHGATE, PREBEND ROW, PRIESTGATE, TUBWELL ROW, BONDGATE AND BLACKWELLGATE. ROUTES INTO THE TOWN CENTRE WILL BE IMPROVED.
   
9.31 The purpose built shopping centres at the Cornmill and Queen Street are attractive and successful because they are entirely traffic-free. Measures are necessary to improve conditions for pedestrians elsewhere by removing as much traffic as possible and by repaving and landscaping the streets (Policy E37). These make the town centre generally a safer, quieter and more attractive place and provide additional space for seating, litter bins, public telephones, direction signs and information points. They also provide appropriate settings for distinctive traditional features such as Pease's statue, High Row railings, the Tub Well and the Market Cross. Traffic restrictions may be introduced initially on an experimental basis. Routes from residential areas and car parks outside the inner ring road must be safe, properly lit, attractive, avoid detours and be well signposted. Improvements will be carried out as part of town centre management initiatives and will be drawn up in consultation with local businesses and the general public.
 
POLICY T16 - Access for Deliveries, Buses, Cyclists, Taxis and People With Disabilities
  PROPOSALS TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR PEDESTRIANS WILL ALSO ENSURE THAT ADEQUATE ACCESS IS AVAILABLE TO THE TOWN CENTRE FOR DELIVERY VEHICLES, BUSES, PEDAL CYCLISTS, TAXIS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.
   
9.32 These groups have special justification to be allowed access to the town centre and their needs must be taken into account when introducing pedestrianisation schemes. However, shops and other businesses do not need vehicular access for deliveries for the whole of the day, except for emergencies. Existing restrictions in Northgate, Skinnergate and High Row show that adequate time for deliveries can be provided before and after the busier parts of the day.
9.33 On the other hand, it is essential that buses have good access to the town centre throughout the shopping day in order to maintain their attractiveness over the private car. However, many routes converge on the town centre, where congestion and physical danger has occurred in the past, with noise and exhaust fumes creating unpleasant conditions for pedestrians. Agreements have been reached with the operators on speeds and safety. Any proposals to achieve environmental and safety improvements which may involve diverting buses into other streets must ensure adequate access to the town centre for passengers.
9.34 Pedal cyclists require access across the town centre to avoid dangers to them on the inner ring road and to reach the cycle parking stands in shopping streets. It is appropriate for them to use bus-only lanes, but they should dismount in streets free of all motor traffic.
9.35 The use of taxis is to be encouraged as an alternative method of travel to the private car and they need access to ranks located close to the main shopping streets. However, there is no other justification to exempt taxis from traffic prohibitions or to allow them unrestricted access across the town centre in bus-only lanes.
9.36 People with disabilities benefit particularly from traffic-free areas, but their mobility is limited when they leave their vehicle. Space is reserved for 'orange-badge' holders in car parks and in town centre streets, and exemptions from some traffic orders are needed to allow drivers to reach these spaces.
   
 
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POLICY T17 - Rear Servicing
  NEW DEVELOPMENT IN THE TOWN CENTRE AREA WILL NORMALLY BE REQUIRED TO MAKE PROVISION FOR REAR SERVICING. REAR ACCESS TO EXISTING BUILDINGS WILL BE IMPROVED WHERE NECESSARY.
     
9.37 It is not intended to provide rear access roads to all properties as this would be expensive and would require the demolition of a substantial number of attractive and historic buildings. However, full use should be made of those roads which do exist and the maximum opportunity to use them should be made when designing redevelopment schemes.
 
PROPOSAL T18 - Collection / Distribution Centre
  A SITE OUTSIDE THE TOWN CENTRE WILL BE SOUGHT FOR THE PROVISION OF A COLLECTION AND DISTRIBUTION CENTRE FOR HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES WHICH:
  1. DOES NOT MATERIALLY ADVERSELY AFFECT RESIDENTIAL OR RURAL AMENITY;
  2. IS LOCATED CONVENIENTLY FOR ACCESS TO THE A1(M), A66, A68, A67 TEESSIDE AIRPORT LINK AND PROPOSED CROSS TOWN ROUTE.
   
9.38 A substantial amount of goods are delivered by articulated and other large heavy goods vehicles designed primarily for travel on motorways. They are not suited to the town centre and they frequently deliver only a small proportion of the load. The damage and congestion they cause and the carriageway width they need could be reduced if the goods were delivered to a reception centre located near to roads on the County lorry route network and transferred to smaller vehicles for local delivery. The centre should not be located near residential areas where lorries can cause nuisance in terms of noise, fumes and vibration (Policy H15). The Council will investigate the establishment and management of such a centre.
 
CAR PARKING
9.39 There is only one purpose-built town centre public car park, the multi-storey at East Street. Most car parks are on land which has been acquired by the Council for development and cleared of buildings. Others are owned privately but are available for public use. Approximately 2,800 spaces are available in all central car parks. Only 1,250 of these are inside the inner ring road. A considerable amount of on-street parking is available for the public, mainly in the terraced residential areas which surround the town centre.
9.40 Annual surveys of the Central Parking Zone (Figure 9.4) show gradually increasing numbers of cars visiting the town centre (Figure 9.5). The supply of suitable spaces for shoppers is unable to meet demand on some days, particularly in the period before Christmas, when special additional arrangements now need to be made. Demand will continue to increase with growth in car use. Furthermore, some of the car parks are small, difficult to find and not ideally located for the shopper. Searching for a space adds to congestion. Some car parks are proposed for development and the prominent location of others detracts from the appearance of the town centre. Residents complain about parking in their streets.
9.41 Ideally, there should be a smaller number of larger, centrally-located, car parks for shoppers, with peripheral car parks for them on days of peak demand and for commuters. Parking should be reduced in residential areas. 'Park-and-Ride' may become appropriate on days of peak demand, but investigations have shown that it would not be successful at present.
   
 
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Figure 9.4 Central Parking Zone
 
Figure 9.5 Town Centre Car Parking
   
 
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  9.42 The Council considers that there should be approximately 2,000 parking spaces available for public use during the week inside the inner ring road with at least a further 1,000 spaces in car parks outside it. Additional spaces should be made available on Saturdays and just before Christmas. There is a limit on the number of cars which can be physically accommodated in the town centre without damaging it or its approaches and it is not intended to provide a parking space for all drivers who would prefer to use their cars, especially commuters. The Council will have regard to the economic health of the town centre in considering the level of provision to be maintained.
 
PROPOSAL T19 - Multi-Storey Car Parks
  LAND FOR MULTI-STOREY CAR PARKS WILL BE SAFEGUARDED AT: BEAUMONT STREET; COMMERCIAL STREET; CROWN STREET. A MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK WILL BE RETAINED AT EAST STREET.
     
9.43 The most efficient way in land use terms to increase the physical number of parking spaces is by building multi-storey car parks. The alternative is to demolish more buildings, but this is neither financially nor environmentally desirable. The sites listed above have good access from the inner ring road and well designed buildings will replace the existing open tarmac areas. Their design will need to pay particular attention to appearance, ease of use and safety. They could be built in conjunction with development for commercial uses in accordance with other policies and proposals. The exact number of spaces will depend on their detailed design, but it is estimated that these car parks, together with the existing car parks at East Street can provide the desired 2,000 spaces within the inner ring road. The capacity of East Street car park will be increased when its upper deck is brought back into use.
 
PROPOSAL T20 - Town Centre Surface Car Parks
  SURFACE CAR PARKS WILL BE RETAINED FOR PUBLIC USE IN AND ADJACENT TO THE TOWN CENTRE AT:
  ARCHER STREET;
BARNARD STREET;
CHESNUT STREET;
HIRD STREET;
GARDEN STREET;
KENDREW STREET (EAST);
NORTHUMBERLAND STREET;
PARKGATE;
PARK PLACE (EAST & WEST);
RUSSELL STREET;
TOWN HALL.
   
9.44 Many of the existing surface car parks will still be needed even when all the multi-storey car parks are built. Development has taken place at Russell Street and about 150 spaces are still available for public use. More space will be available for the public at Park Place (West) when the cattle market at Clifton Road closes. The appearance from the main roads of the more visually prominent surface car parks will be improved (Policy E16). Proposal T20 will provide the desired 1,000 spaces outside the inner ring road. The Town Hall staff car park will continue to be available for the public on Saturdays and Bank Holidays. The car park at the Safeway superstore in Victoria Road provides additional space.
9.45 Figure 9.3 shows the location of the multi-storey and surface car parks and the Table overpage sets out their capacities. In addition, secure places for motor cycles will be provided.
   
 
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9.46 The other existing surface car parks are the subject of development or other proposals: Abbott's Yard (Proposal S3), Beaumont Street West (EP11), Park Lane ('Clifton Road', H5.8), Victoria Road (H5.14) and Kendrew Street west (H5.16). The timing of their release may depend on the rate of progress in constructing replacement spaces in multi-storey car parks or will have to await the closure of the cattle market.
   
  Table - Public Car Park Capacities
 
Multi-Storey Car Parks: Capacity:  
East Street  
350
 
Commercial Street  
650
*
Beaumont Street  
550
*
Crown Street  
450
*
Total multi-storey car parks
2,000
*
       
Surface Car Parks:   Capacity:  
Archer Street  
80
 
Barnard Street  
115
 
Chesnut Street  
180
 
Hird Street  
25
 
Kendrew Street (East)  
95
 
Garden Street  
85
 
Northumberland Street  
25
 
Parkgate  
20
 
Park Place  
225
 
Russell Street  
150
*
Town Hall  
85
 
Total surface car parks
1,085
 
       
Total All Car Parks  
3,085
*
       
* Estimate for proposed multi-storey car parks and remaining section of Russell Street surface car park
All capacities are approximate for Mondays to Fridays.
 
POLICY T21 - Public Use of Private Car Parks
  THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO MAKE PRIVATE CAR PARKS AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC USE BY AGREEMENT WITH THEIR OWNERS WHERE NECESSARY AT TIMES OF EXCESSIVE PARKING DEMAND. PUBLICITY WILL BE GIVEN TO THEIR AVAILABILITY.
   
9.47 Bank Holidays, the shopping period before Christmas and major sporting events at Feethams football and cricket ground generate car parking demands which cannot be met in the public car parks. The temporary use of private car parks helps cater for extra demand and reduces problems in residential streets.
 
POLICY T22 - Priority in Central Car Parks
  THE MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC CAR PARKS SERVING THE TOWN CENTRE WILL GIVE PRIORITY TO SHORT-STAY PARKING.
   
9.48 The more centrally-located car parks, especially those inside the inner ring road are already reserved for the short-stay needs of shoppers and other visitors. Commuters are encouraged to use the more peripheral car parks which are still within a reasonable walking distance of places of work. The Council ensures this by setting charges for car parks at different rates. Charges may vary on different days according to demand. Conditions or legal or other agreements will be used to achieve this in new privately-operated car parks. Similar agreements will be sought with existing privately-controlled car park operators. The objective is to ensure that the overall level of parking provision in the central area supports the town centre's vitality and viability whilst affording encouragement to the use of public transport in conformity with the Plan's strategic aims and objectives.
   
 
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PROPOSAL T23 - Albert Road Car Park
  A PUBLICLY AVAILABLE CAR PARK WILL BE PROVIDED AT ALBERT ROAD.
   
9.49 Commercial uses on the east side of North Road generate a substantial amount of parking. Inadequate space exists within these premises and drivers use residential streets instead. This vacant site lies within the safeguarded area for the Cross Town Route (Proposal T6.1), but there is sufficient space to design the road in this area and incorporate a replacement car park.
9.50 The Council maintains public car parks at Peel Street (off Yarm Road) and Cockerton. Consideration will be given to providing others where sufficient need exists and suitable sites can be found.
 
POLICY T24 - Parking and Servicing Requirements for New Development
  NEW DEVELOPMENT WILL NORMALLY BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE SAFE SPACE FOR VEHICLE PARKING AND SERVICING WITHIN THE SITE. PROVISION SHOULD BE MADE FOR DELIVERIES, RESIDENTS, EMPLOYEES, CUSTOMERS, VISITORS AND OTHERS WHO MAY VISIT THE PREMISES INCLUDING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. THE NUMBER OF SPACES TO BE PROVIDED SHALL HAVE REGARD TO THE EXPECTED LIFE OF THE PROPERTY AND THE ULTIMATE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITE. PERMISSION WILL NORMALLY ONLY BE GRANTED WHERE THE PROPOSALS SATISFY THE STANDARDS SET OUT IN THE ATTACHED ANNEX.
   
9.51 The Annex to this chapter sets out car parking standards approved by Durham Council early in 1994; these have been subsequently modified and adopted by the Borough Council. The standards are here expressed as maxima designed to ensure that adequate off-street parking is ordinarily provided throughout the foreseeable life of a development, whilst avoiding any over provision likely to encourage the use of private cars in preference to available alternatives. They will be applied flexibly in the light of particular circumstances, account being taken, in the town centre of the need to provide no more space overall than is required to maintain its vitality and viability and, elsewhere, of the need to avoid duplicating car parking provisions where premises are so grouped that car parks can be shared or multi-purpose car trips be undertaken. Where standards for any proposed land use are not prescribed, individual assessments will be based on the requirements imposed on the most closely comparable uses.
9.52 Proper on-site provision for all forms of parking and servicing, including motor cycles, pedal cycles and access for taxis, avoids problems on surrounding roads and it is important to allow for expected increases in demand for parking during the life of the buildings. Parking spaces for people with disabilities should be provided close to building entrances. Parking areas should be designed to minimise the danger of theft and personal attack and should be suitably landscaped to avoid visual intrusion.
 
POLICY T25 - Parking and Servicing Requirements for New Development in the Town Centre
  IN THE TOWN CENTRE, OPERATIONAL PARKING SPACE WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE PROVIDED WITHIN ITS CURTILAGE UNLESS THE COUNCIL HAS BEEN SATISFIED THAT DEVELOPMENT IS OF A SMALL SCALE WHICH CAN BE SAFELY AND CONVENIENTLY SERVICED FROM A POSITION WITHIN THE HIGHWAY. NON-OPERATIONAL PARKING SPACE WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY WHERE IT IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE TOTALITY OF THE PROVISIONS OF POLICIES T19-T20, THAT IT IS GENERALLY AVAILABLE, AND THAT PRIORITY IS GIVEN TO SHORT STAY PARKING.
   
9.53 Operational parking spaces are required for vehicles regularly and necessarily involved in the operation of the business, including commercial vehicles which deliver or collect goods and service the buildings. Exceptions could be made for small scale infill developments and changes of use which have servicing requirements which can be safely met from nearby highways. Non-operational parking spaces are for vehicles which do not need to park or wait at the premises, including cars belonging to employees, shoppers, business callers or sightseers. Provision for these is made in publicly controlled car parks which are managed so as to differentiate between short-stay and long-stay demand. The town centre is defined on the Proposals Map as the area bounded by the inner ring road and Raby Terrace.
   
 
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POLICY T26 - Town Centre Fringe Parking
  PARKING STANDARDS MAY BE RELAXED OUTSIDE THE TOWN CENTRE BUT WITHIN THE OFFICE DEVELOPMENT LIMIT AND THE NORTHGATE FRINGE SHOPPING AREA WHERE A SIGNIFICANT PROPORTION OF EMPLOYEES ARE ABLE TO USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT OR TO ENSURE THE RETENTION OF AN EXISTING BUILDING.
   
9.54 A more flexible approach in applying standards is desirable in the commercial streets outside the town centre. Proposals to use existing buildings or to redevelop sites are frequently unable to achieve the full parking or servicing standards. Reasons include the shortage of space available, the need for the scale of the building to fit in with its surroundings and for the proposal to be economically viable. Furthermore, larger developments, such as major offices, in this area can take advantage of public transport and should minimise the number of employees commuting by private car. On the other hand it is important that development in this area does not add to existing parking congestion or environmental problems in surrounding residential streets. It is also essential that the proposal does not impair road safety. Existing on-site space already used or otherwise suitable for parking and servicing should normally be retained and any new retail development permitted in this area will normally be required to include full parking space for customers and for servicing.
 
POLICY T27 - On-Street Parking Control
  THE COUNCIL WILL REMOVE ON-STREET PARKING WHERE THIS CAUSES ROAD SAFETY HAZARDS, IMPEDES BUS OPERATIONS OR CAUSES UNACCEPTABLE DISTURBANCE TO RESIDENTS. REGARD WILL BE PAID TO THE IMPACT OF DISPLACED VEHICLES ELSEWHERE.
   
9.55 It is necessary to prohibit waiting by vehicles at junctions and elsewhere in order to assist buses, road safety or residential amenity. However, it is important that such measures do not simply move the problem to other streets or encourage drivers to speed (Policy T9).
 
POLICY T28 - Residents' Parking Schemes
  THE COUNCIL WILL INTRODUCE RESIDENTS' PARKING SCHEMES WHERE RESIDENTS ARE SEVERELY INCONVENIENCED BY OTHERS' PARKED VEHICLES.
   
9.56 The older terraced housing which surrounds the town centre has inadequate car parking or garaging and many residents rely on the front streets for parking places. Commuters and shoppers also park in these streets during the day and this is likely to continue. The Council has introduced a pilot scheme in the Larchfield Street area, to the west of the town centre, in order to test the effectiveness of such measures. When introduced with traffic calming proposals (Policy T10) such schemes can significantly improve the amenity of older residential areas.
   
 
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POLICY T29 - On-Street Short Stay Parking
  ON-STREET PARKING AREAS FOR NON-RESIDENTS WITHIN AND ADJACENT TO THE TOWN CENTRE AND OTHER SHOPPING CENTRES WILL BE CONTROLLED TO GIVE PRIORITY TO SHOPPERS AND OTHER SHORT STAY VISITORS INCLUDING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEMAND WHICH CAN NOT BE MET WITHIN PUBLIC CAR PARKS.
   
9.57 The availability of on-street parking contributes towards the attractiveness and accessibility of the town centre and some other shopping areas in the older parts of town. Restrictions can be introduced to ensure that convenient spaces are not occupied by all-day commuter parking.
 
BUSES
 
POLICY T30 - Use of Public Transport
  THE COUNCIL WILL PROMOTE THE USE OF BUSES WITHIN THE BOROUGH AND TO OTHER DESTINATIONS.
   
9.58 Many people depend on buses for their travel needs and there are also significant environmental benefits in maintaining and improving services as an alternative to using the private car in the town. The bus operators require the support of the local authorities to ensure that services within the town, to the villages in the Borough and to other destinations, are convenient and reliable. Traffic orders can give priority for buses in busy roads and maintain easy access to stops. Policies T4 and T7 ensure that the needs of buses and bus users are taken into account as appropriate in the design of new roads, improved roads and traffic management schemes. The Council issues concessionary tokens to the elderly and people with disabilities in order to assist their mobility.
 
POLICY T31 - New Development and Public Transport
  THE LOCATION AND LAYOUT OF NEW DEVELOPMENTS SHOULD BE SUCH THAT THEY CAN BE CONVENIENTLY AND EFFICIENTLY SERVED BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT. THE MAXIMUM WALKING DISTANCE TO THE NEAREST BUS STOP SHOULD NOT EXCEED 400m.
   
9.59 Most new development should be located close to existing bus routes in order to encourage and make the best use of public transport, as well as to be accessible to non-car users. The internal layout of larger housing developments and industrial estates should be designed to be easily accessible and make provision for buses to stop and turn safely. Layouts should include footpath links to bus stops either within or adjacent to the site. A maximum walking distance of 400 metres to the nearest bus stop reflects current national guidance found in paragraph 4.3 of Circular 82/73 and supplementary policy advice contained in the emerging County Durham Structure Plan Review. Policy H11 requires shorter walking distances to bus stops from new housing development for the elderly and mobility handicapped.
9.60 The town centre is the hub of local bus routes and it makes sense to locate most retail, recreation, entertainment and leisure development there. Out-of-centre retail stores, provided mainly for car users, should also be located where they can be served by buses to and from a range of destinations. Policy S11 requires shorter walking distances to bus stops in shopping centres.
 
POLICY T32 - Feethams Bus Station
  THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO IMPROVE OR REPLACE FACILITIES FOR PASSENGERS AT FEETHAMS BUS AND COACH STATION WITH THE CO-OPERATION OF THE OPERATOR.
   
 
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9.61 The bus station in the town centre currently presents a poor image of Darlington to many visitors to the town. It was built in the early 1960s and is noisy, smelly and visually unappealing. There is no toilet (other than for people with disabilities), or refreshment provision and it is now much larger than is needed for the operator's requirements. A proposal is being considered to redevelop the bus station, together with the adjoining Beaumont Street site, for a mixture of uses, including a bus and coach point.
 
POLICY T33 - Provision for Waiting Passengers
  SAFE AND CONVENIENT WAITING FACILITIES WILL BE PROVIDED FOR PASSENGERS AT ROADSIDE BUS STOPS IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEMAND.
   
9.62 Bus shelters are provided for waiting passengers by the Council and sometimes by agreement with others, including developers. Some of those in the town centre will need to be replaced if proposals to re-route some services (Proposal T15 and Policy T16) are implemented. Others need to be replaced by more attractive shelters in keeping with other environmental improvements (Proposal E37) being carried out. Timetable and other information is displayed. Many shelters need to be regularly repaired because of vandalism and graffiti. Facilities should be convenient to use as well as attractive in appearance. They should accommodate the needs of people with disabilities.
 
TAXIS
 
POLICY T34 - Taxi Ranks
  PROVISION FOR HACKNEY CARRIAGE RANKS WILL BE MAINTAINED AT CONVENIENT LOCATIONS IN THE TOWN CENTRE, AT FEETHAMS BUS STATION, DARLINGTON RAILWAY STATION AND IN MAJOR SHOPPING AREAS OUTSIDE THE TOWN CENTRE.
   
9.63 Taxis provide an important service as part of the transport network. Improved provision is needed to collect and set down passengers at the bus and railway stations. Shoppers in the town centre need ranks close to the pedestrianised streets. Policy T24 requires new development such as retail, hotel and recreation uses to provide waiting and setting down areas for taxis.
 
POLICY T35 - Taxi Offices
  TAXI OFFICES WILL ONLY BE APPROVED IN LOCATIONS WHICH DO NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT RESIDENTIAL AMENITY OR ROAD SAFETY.
   
9.64 Taxi offices need to be conveniently located for customers and require good road access. Consequently, they seek to locate on the edge of the town centre. Noise from vehicles, drivers, customers and radio equipment can be disturbing to residents, particularly at night. Drivers should only wait or rest at those offices which have satisfactory on-street or off-street parking spaces available.
 
PEDAL CYCLING
 
PROPOSAL T36 - Cycle Route Network
  FURTHER LINKS IN THE CYCLE ROUTE NETWORK WILL BE PROVIDED. PRIORITY WILL BE GIVEN TO PROVIDING CROSSINGS OF THE INNER RING ROAD AND OTHER MAIN ROADS. SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETED ROUTES WILL BE WAYMARKED AND PUBLICISED.
   
 
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9.65 The Council attaches particular importance to pedal cycling, both as a means of travel to work and for recreation. A network has been identified in the town which will provide safe and convenient routes for pedal cyclists and it is shown on the Proposals Map. These avoid busy roads and link residential areas with the town centre, industrial areas, district and local shopping centres, major open spaces and the countryside. A cycle path is being provided in the Skerne Valley linear park. The network makes use of paths and quiet streets, but special provision is needed to cross the inner ring road and other busy roads. Only one controlled crossing has been provided to date and the Council will include others in future programmes. Other links have been provided as part of new development or by creating special paths in parks and open spaces. Signposting and publicity assists their use.
9.66 Pedal cycling takes place not just on the formally identified network. For many cyclists' journeys it is not possible to avoid the busier roads and there are other locations which will be identified for improvements. Policies T4 and T7 ensure that the needs of cyclists are taken into account in the design of new roads, improved roads and traffic management schemes.
 
POLICY T37 - Cycle Routes in New Developments
  NEW DEVELOPMENT WHERE ADDITIONAL PEDAL CYCLE JOURNEYS ARE POSSIBLE WILL BE REQUIRED TO INCLUDE ROUTES FOR PEDAL CYCLING, ESPECIALLY WHERE IT IS LOCATED ON OR ADJACENT TO THE CYCLE ROUTE NETWORK.
   
9.67 The layout of roads in new housing, industrial, shopping and other developments with public access should take the needs of cyclists into account and avoid conflict with motor vehicles and pedestrians. Some paths can be shared with pedestrians but others need to be separated and detailed guidance will be issued. It is important that cycle routes avoid isolation and undue separation from other routes in order for them to be safe and attractive to use. Purpose designed links forming part of or giving access to the cycle route network will normally be adopted as public highway.
 
PROPOSAL T38 - Public Cycle Parking
  PUBLIC FACILITIES FOR PARKING PEDAL CYCLES WILL BE PROVIDED AND MAINTAINED IN THE TOWN CENTRE AND AT OTHER APPROPRIATE LOCATIONS.
   
9.68 The Council has provided stands for cycle parking throughout the town centre and at shopping and recreation facilities elsewhere in the town. More will be provided at appropriate locations to cater for increasing demand. Cycle parking in new development is required by Policy T24.
 
PEDESTRIANS
 
POLICY T39 - Conditions for Pedestrians
  FOOTPATHS AND OTHER AREAS FOR PEDESTRIANS SHOULD BE DESIGNED:
  1. TO BE SAFE FROM MOTOR VEHICLES;
  2. TO ENSURE PERSONAL SECURITY AND AVOID FEAR OF ATTACK;
  3. TO PROVIDE A CONVENIENT AND DIRECT ROUTE TO DESTINATION;
  4. TO PROVIDE ATTRACTIVE SURROUNDINGS INCLUDING PLANTING;
  5. TO A REASONABLE WIDTH AND WITH A COMFORTABLE SURFACE;
  6. TO ASSIST THE MOBILITY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.
  THE COUNCIL WILL TAKE MEASURES TO COMBAT THE PERSISTENT AND INCREASING ENCROACHMENT BY MOTOR VEHICLES OF SPACE FOR AND ON THE AMENITY OF PEDESTRIANS.
   
 
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9.69 People walk by choice and by necessity, at different speeds and sometimes in small groups. They carry shopping, wheel pushchairs and supervise small children. They share space with young people at play, often on wheels at speed. It is therefore important that conditions for all pedestrians should be as safe and pleasant as possible. Footpaths should incorporate dropped or flush kerbs with tactile paving to help people with disabilities, pushchairs, etc to cross roads. The Plan seeks to encourage walking as a means of transport or leisure exercise and detailed guidance on the design of areas for pedestrian circulation will be issued.
9.70 Many drivers unnecessarily park or stand their vehicles for their own convenience on footways and other areas not intended for them, without regard for the safety or amenity of pedestrians or the damage being caused to the surface. Sometimes this is an attempt to evade waiting or other restrictions. Similarly, many drivers disregard access prohibitions designed to give priority to pedestrians in the town centre. Measures will include supervising Council-owned land, issuing instructions to Council employees and contractors, preparing publicity, and requesting the Police to give greater priority to enforcing traffic and highway law.
9.71 The needs of pedestrians are provided for in several other policies, including, the design of major road schemes (T4), traffic management (T7), traffic calming (T10 and T11), highway design and new development (T12 and T13) and improvements in the town centre (T15).
 
LORRIES
 
POLICY T40 - New Development and Lorries
  DEVELOPMENT LIKELY TO RESULT IN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE NUMBER AND SIZE OF HEAVY GOODS AND OTHER LARGE VEHICLES WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED ON INDUSTRIAL SITES LOCATED CONVENIENTLY FOR ACCESS TO THE A1(M), A66, A68 CROSS TOWN ROUTE AND A67 TEESSIDE AIRPORT LINK.
   
9.72 The trend towards larger lorries designed for long distance travel at high speeds on motorways means that existing town roads are not suitable for them. Industrial areas at Faverdale, Yarm Road and Teesside Airport are located close to roads on the County lorry route network and access to them will be improved by constructing the Cross Town Route (Proposal T6.1). New development in employment areas (EP2, EP3, EP8, EP9 and EP10) must be considered in relation to the likely increase in the number and size of heavy goods and other large vehicles. Advisory routes will be signposted.
 
PROPOSAL T41 - Overnight Parking at Chestnut Street
  THE COUNCIL WILL MAINTAIN AN OVERNIGHT LORRY AND COACH PARK AT CHESNUT STREET.
 
POLICY T42 - Lorry Parks
  LORRY PARKS WILL BE PERMITTED IN EMPLOYMENT AREAS PROVIDED THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF POLICY T40 ARE MET.
   
9.73 The Chesnut Street lorry park is conveniently located for drivers' overnight accommodation and town centre evening amenities. It has space for 60 vehicles which avoids the need for vehicles to park on streets overnight. Consideration will be given to improving its security. Lorry parks will also be permitted in suitable industrial areas listed in Policies EP2, EP3, and EP9.
   
 
page 136
 
POLICY T43 - Residential Areas and Lorries
  THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK THE REDIRECTION, TO SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE ROUTES OR PARKING AREAS, OF HEAVY GOODS AND OTHER LARGE VEHICLES CAUSING ROAD SAFETY PROBLEMS OR UNDUE DISTURBANCE TO THE AMENITY OF AREAS OF A PREDOMINANTLY RESIDENTIAL CHARACTER.
   
9.74 Lorries need to use some minor roads to gain access to their destinations in the Borough, but they can cause nuisance in terms of damage, noise, fumes, vibration and congestion. They are already prohibited from certain roads in the town and consideration will be given to further restrictions as stages of the Cross Town Route are constructed (Proposal T6.1).
 
RAIL
 
POLICY T44 - Passenger Railways
  THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE THE USE OF RAIL PASSENGER SERVICES INCLUDING THE PROMOTION OF SERVICES ON THE BRANCH LINES TO BISHOP AUCKLAND, HARTLEPOOL, MIDDLESBROUGH, SALTBURN AND WHITBY.
     
9.75 Freight services have been withdrawn from the branch line to Weardale, and the Council considers passenger services to Aycliffe industrial estate and Bishop Auckland to be in doubt in the long term. Services to Teesside and beyond continue be at risk. The economic prosperity of Darlington depends on its excellent communications with the rest of the country, but the loss of branch line services could result in fewer inter-city trains stopping here. The Council will also seek to retain the branch line stations within the Borough at North Road, Dinsdale and Teesside Airport and those elsewhere along the line. The branch lines have the potential for greater importance in the local transport strategy and provide alternative means of transport to the private car. Furthermore, improvements are needed for people with disabilities and the carriage of pushchairs and pedal cycles.
9.76 The tourism potential of the branch lines' associations with the historic Stockton and Darlington Railway will be explored in conjunction with the development of North Road Railway Museum and Centre (Policies TO8 and TO9). The Council will seek the retention of the track and structures on the line to Weardale in the event of public passenger services being withdrawn.
 
POLICY T45 - Darlington Railway Station
  THE COUNCIL WILL CONTINUE TO ASSIST IN THE PROMOTION OF IMPROVEMENTS FOR PASSENGERS AT DARLINGTON STATION.
   
9.77 Darlington station is just to the east of the town centre. Its location and layout does not permit satisfactory access for local bus services. Recent improvements have been made inside the station for passengers. There is adequate space for commuter car parking, but more space is needed nearer the platforms for setting down and short-stay waiting for arrivals. The Council has improved signposting between the station and town centre. Other improvements will be encouraged as required, including information on bus and taxi services.
 
PROPOSAL T46 - North Road Railway Station
  A NEW PLATFORM FOR PUBLIC PASSENGER SERVICES WILL BE PROVIDED AT NORTH ROAD STATION.
   
 
page 137
   
Figure 9.6 Railways: Darlington Urban Area
   
9.78 The former station building and surrounding land is occupied by the Railway Museum. Public access is still required to one platform and trains still run through part of the building. This impedes the development of the museum and damage is caused to this listed building by vandalism and graffiti. Access for passengers would be improved by siting a new platform to the east and diverting the track. This would allow the whole of the existing building to be enclosed within the security fence. The work will be carried out by agreement between the Council and Railtrack.
 
PROPOSAL T47 - Road / Rail Freight Depot
  A SITE WILL BE SAFEGUARDED FOR A ROAD / RAIL FREIGHT DEPOT AT FAVERDALE.
     
9.79 The removal of European trade barriers and the opening of the Channel Tunnel has improved opportunities for international freight haulage by rail. The Council and British Steel Special Sections (formerly DSRM) have identified a site at Faverdale industrial estate and are promoting a transfer centre to attract long distance freight which normally travels by road onto rail. The site is shown on the Proposals Map; it will have direct road access to the Cross Town Route (Proposal T6.1) and it is well located for the A1(M) (Policy T40).
   
 
page 138
 
POLICY T48 - Rail-Served Industrial Land
  RAIL ACCESS TO INDUSTRIAL LAND AT YARM ROAD AND FAVERDALE WILL BE SAFEGUARDED.
   
9.80 The southern part of Yarm Road industrial estate has rail access to the branch line to Teesside. A substantial amount of land is available for development (Proposal EP3) and it would be suitable for new firms transporting goods which would, environmentally, be better carried by rail than road. Land at Faverdale adjacent to the proposed road / rail freight depot (Proposal T47) is also available.
 
AIRPORT
 
POLICY T49 - Teesside Airport
  PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO ACCESS TO, AND PASSENGER AND FREIGHT TRAFFIC FACILITIES AT, TEESSIDE AIRPORT. THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK OPPORTUNITIES FOR OTHER IMPROVEMENTS FOR ACCESS, TO THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT AND FOR PUBLICITY.
     
9.81 The airport has the capacity to expand its passenger and freight services and Policy EP9 proposes additional airport-related development there. The recently constructed A67 Teesside Airport link has improved road access, but internal improvements will be needed to accommodate future growth. The Council is supporting a study to improve rail access to the airport, possibly involving the relocation of the existing station. Development at the airport should respect the character of its landscape setting (Policy E7) and the adjacent Area of High Landscape Value (Policy E8).
 
TRANSMISSION LINES, PIPELINES AND UNDERGROUND SERVICES
 
9.82 As part of the communication and power systems throughout the Borough, overhead lines, pipelines and underground services are essential. Through their very nature these services can affect the possible use of land and sites through which they pass, and conversely the lack of service provision can hinder possible site development. In addition overhead lines can be visually intrusive especially in areas of open landscape and significant urban views.
 
POLICY T50 - Overhead Lines
  PROPOSALS FOR OVERHEAD LINES SHOULD AVOID VISUAL INTRUSION IN THE LANDSCAPE. AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE EITHER ABOVE OR BELOW THE GROUND WILL BE SOUGHT WHERE THE IMPACT IS CONSIDERED TO BE UNACCEPTABLE.
   
9.83 Visual amenity will be protected throughout the Borough. Special attention will be paid in the Area of High Landscape Value (Policy E8), conservation areas (Policy E35) and from important views (Policy E10).
 
POLICY T51 - Location of Services
  OVERHEAD LINES AND UNDERGROUND SERVICES SHOULD BE SITED TO MINIMISE CONSTRAINING THE POTENTIAL OF LAND FOR DEVELOPMENT AND TO MINIMISE ADVERSE IMPACT ON NATURE CONSERVATION.
   
9.84 The provision of power and services must be undertaken in a manner which maximises opportunities for development or redevelopment of any site through which they pass. Services and other infrastructure, such as roads, should be grouped wherever possible. At the same time nature conservation interests must be safeguarded, for example overhead lines may interfere with bird flight paths, whilst underground cables may have a direct impact on a nature conservation feature.
   
 
page 139
 
POLICY T52 - Drainage Infrastructure
  DEVELOPMENT WHICH CANNOT BE SATISFACTORILY SERVED BY EXISTING OFF-SITE DRAINAGE INFRASTRUCTURE WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY WHERE ENFORCEABLE AGREEMENTS WITH INTENDING DEVELOPERS TO SECURE THE CARRYING OUT OF ANY REQUISITE OFF-SITE WORKS CAN BE ENTERED INTO, HAVING REGARD TO THE ADVICE OF THE DRAINAGE AUTHORITY.
   
9.85 The sites and areas where the Local Plan provides for new development are already, or can in the future be, adequately served by existing infrastructure.
 
POLICY T53 - Sewage Treatment Works
  PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR NEW OR EXTENDED SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTS PROVIDED THAT:
  1. THERE IS NO MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE AMENITIES OF THEIR SURROUNDINGS IN GENERAL AND OF NEIGHBOURING OCCUPIERS IN PARTICULAR;
  2. THEIR APPEARANCE DOES NOT MATERIALLY ADVERSELY AFFECT THEIR SETTING OR THE CHARACTER OF THE AREA;
  3. THEY ARE NECESSARY IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH EC AND UK LEGISLATION REGARDING THE TREATMENT OF URBAN WASTE WATER.
 
POLICY T54 - Stressholme Sewage Treatment Works
  LAND WITHIN THE BOUNDARY OF STRESSHOLME SEWAGE TREATMENT WORKS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP WILL BE SAFEGUARDED FOR THE PROVISION OF BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDED TO ACHIEVE SATISFACTORY STANDARDS OF SEWAGE TREATMENT. THE DESIGN OF SUCH BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE SHOULD ENSURE THAT ANY LOSS OF AMENITY TO NEIGHBOURING OCCUPIERS AND USERS OF LAND, AND ANY DETRIMENTAL IMPACT ON LANDSCAPE CHARACTER, IS MINIMISED.
 
POLICY T55 - Broken Scar Water Treatment Works
  LAND WITHIN THE BOUNDARY OF BROKEN SCAR WATER TREATMENT WORKS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP WILL BE SAFEGUARDED FOR THE PROVISION OF BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDED TO ACHIEVE SATISFACTORY STANDARDS OF WATER TREATMENT. THE DESIGN OF SUCH BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE SHOULD ENSURE THAT ANY LOSS OF AMENITY TO NEIGHBOURING OCCUPIERS AND USERS OF LAND, AND ANY DETRIMENTAL IMPACT ON THE CHARACTER OF THE SURROUNDING AREA, IS MINIMISED.
   
9.86 Improvements to both sewage and water treatment facilities may be required during the Plan period to meet European Union and UK legislation. Development which is needed to achieve treatment standards is most likely to be located within the Stressholme Sewage Treatment Works and the Broken Scar Water Treatment Works, which are identified on the Proposals Map. Whilst Policies T54 and T55 indicate that essential sewage and water infrastructure development will in principle be permitted within the boundaries of the treatment works, Plan policies relating to development in general apply to such proposals in order to ensure that the impact on the amenity and character of the area is acceptable.
9.87 This is particularly significant in relation to the Area of High Landscape Value (AHLV). Stressholme Sewage Works is wholly within the AHLV. It is recognised in Policy E8 that
   
 
page 140
   
  infrastructure development has to take place within the AHLV, and that often it cannot satisfy the design requirements which generally apply in the Area. In such circumstances, every effort should be made to ensure that harm to landscape character is minimised.
 
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ANNEX: CAR PARKING STANDARDS
The car parking standards set out in this Annex are based on standards produced by Durham County Council in 1994 and subsequently modified by the Borough Council. The standards for facilities for people with disabilities are based on guidelines prepared by the Institution of Highways and Transportation. They have been adopted by the Borough Council.
The standards are expressed as maxima and should be interpreted in conjunction with Policies T24 to T26 and paragraphs 9.51 to 9.54 of the Local Plan.
Operational and Non-Operational Parking
Operational parking space is the space required for cars and other vehicles regularly and necessarily involved in the operation of the business of a particular building. It includes space for delivering and collecting goods at premises but not for storing or servicing vehicles except where this is necessary as part of the business carried on at the premises. Residential parking, being essential and directly related to car ownership, is classified as operational parking space.
Non-operational parking space is the space required for the vehicles which do not need to park or wait within the curtilage of the building, including cars belonging to employees (mainly long-stay parking), shoppers, business callers and visitors (mainly short-stay parking).
The Town Centre
Policy T25 permits non-operational parking space within the town centre only if it is made generally available to the public. Exclusive or dedicated staff or customer parking is not acceptable. Policy T26 adopts a flexible approach in certain areas outside the town centre.
Mixed Uses
Certain developments may incorporate more than one independent land use, in which case the standards for the appropriate category of development will be applied simultaneously. Where it can be shown that the parking demands are likely to arise at different times of the day or on different days of the week, dual use of car parking space is encouraged.
Facilities for People with Disabilities
Space will normally be required for people with disabilities to park their vehicles in accordance with the type and capacity of car parks, as follows.
(i) For car parks associated with employment premises and provided for employees and visitors:
up to 200 spaces - 5% of capacity, subject to a minimum of 2 spaces, to be reserved;
over 200 spaces - 2% of capacity, plus 6 spaces.
Spaces for employees with disabilities are additional to those recommended above. Reservations should be ensured, for example by marking a space with a registration number.
(ii) For car parks associated with shopping areas, leisure or recreational facilities, and places open to the general public:
up to 200 spaces - 6% of capacity, subject to a minimum of 3 spaces to be reserved;
over 200 spaces - 4% of capacity, plus 4 spaces.
These spaces should be appropriately marked out and signed, should be as close as possible to the destination and should be big enough to allow wheelchair access. Dimensions are shown in Figs 1 - 3.
 
 
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Car Park Layout
Car parking areas should be laid out so that there is sufficient space for vehicles to manoeuvre within the site and enter and leave the site in a forward direction. This requirement does not apply to private residential drives on housing estate roads. Recommended car park dimensions are shown in Figures 1, 2 and 3.
Layouts should incorporate safe routes for pedestrians and, where appropriate, pedal cyclists. Traffic calming features and lighting should also be included. Planting and means of enclosure must allow good visibility for security reasons. Further advice on safety and security measures in car park layout is available from Durham Constabulary.
Use of the Standards
The standards set out in the following sections have been designed to ensure that, in normal circumstances, adequate off-street parking is provided for vehicles likely to be generated during the life-span of new development. On the other hand they are intended to avoid the construction of unnecessarily large parking areas which encourage the use of the private car over other means of travel. In assessing the parking requirements, it is intended that the standards are applied with a degree of flexibility so as to take account of the particular circumstances or location of the development. For example, reduced non-operational requirements may be appropriate for communal non-operational parking which forms part of proposals which enable multiple-purpose car journeys e.g. Proposal EP4 (Haughton Road development) and Policies S11, S12 and S13 relating to new shopping development. These standards should be read in conjunction with the current Durham County Council Guide to Design and Construction of Estate Roads.
Where standards for a particular land use are not provided, individual assessment will be necessary for each particular case.
 
 
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Car Parking Standards for Development Control
Land Use Operational Requirement Non-Operational Requirement
1 Residential
(a) Dwelling with 5 or more bedrooms 4 spaces. -
(b) Dwelling with 4 bedrooms 3 spaces. -
(c) Dwelling with 3 or less bedrooms 2 spaces. -
In situations where house development will be of a high density (such as housing association or Council development, starter homes, terraced housing or flats) a minimum provision of 1 car space per dwelling must be provided adjacent to each dwelling or group of dwellings. In addition, visitor parking of 1 car space per 2 dwellings should be provided on a shared communal basis. No more than 10 spaces should normally be grouped together.
Parking provision should be well located so that on-street parking is minimised. If communal spaces are provided for casual parking then the distance from dwelling curtilage to the nearest parking space should not normally exceed 25m. Provision of communal parking spaces within the highway shall be limited to minor access roads. Communal parking areas are not permitted on shared access ways.
In situations where house extensions involve the creation of additional bedrooms, the car parking provision should be increased in compliance with the above standards.
(d) Flat conversions, Bedsitters and Houses in Multiple Occupancy 1 space per bedroom. (This requirement may be relaxed where residents are unlikely to be car owners. The assessment should take notice of traffic and parking conditions of the roads adjacent to the development.) -
2 Special Residential
(a) Elderly / Nursing Home Staff: 1 space per resident member of staff. Staff: 1 space per 2 non-resident staff employed at the busiest time.
Visitors: 1 space per 4 residents.
(b) Sheltered Accommodation (restricted to elderly 60 / 65+ and restricted to one-bedroom units) Staff: 1 space per resident member of staff. Staff: 1 space per 2 non-resident staff employed at the busiest time.
Residents / Visitors: 1 space per 2 units.
(c) Semi-Retirement Accommodation (where individual units are self-contained) - Staff: 1 space per 2 non-resident staff employed at the busiest time.
Residents / Visitors: 1 space per unit.
(d) Purpose-Built Student Accommodation Staff: 1 space per resident member of staff. Students / Visitors: 1 space per 3 students.
(e) Community Housing for Disabled People Each application will be assessed on individual circumstances or other special types of hostel. In some cases it may be acceptable to provide initially a proportion of the required number of spaces provided that the layout identifies the location of the residual spaces, and provided also that agreement is reached over the funding of residual spaces.
3 Hotels, Motels, Guest Houses Minimum of 50m2 for servicing purposes. Guests: 1 space per bedroom.
Staff: 1 space per resident member of staff. Staff: 1 space per 2 non-resident staff employed at the busiest time.
Where restaurants and bars are open to non-residents, land use category 4 should also be applied.
       
       
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4 Restaurants, Cafes, Public Houses, Licensed Clubs, Hotels open to non-residents Minimum of 50m2 for servicing purposes. Staff: 1 space per 2 non-resident staff employed at the busiest time.
Staff: 1 space per resident member of staff. Customers, urban areas: 1 space per 4m2 of public area.
Customers, rural areas: 1 space per 2.5m2 of public area.
5 Fast Food / Hot Food Take-Away Shops Each application will be assessed on individual circumstances.
6 Retail
(a) General Retailing (other than categories (b)-(f) below) 50m2 per 500m2 gross floor area (GFA). Staff: 1 space per 100m2 GFA. Customers: 1 space per 25m2 GFA.
(b) Supermarkets ( under 2,500m2 GFA.) 50m2 per 500m2 GFA. Staff: 1 space per 100m2 GFA. Customers: 1 space per 20m2 GFA.
(c) Superstores (over 2,500m2 GFA.) 50m2 per 1,000m2 GFA. Staff: 1 space per 100m2 GFA. Customers: 1 space per 10m2 GFA.
(d) Retail Warehouses (other than DIY stores) 50m2 per 1,000m2 GFA. Staff: 1 space per 100m2 GFA.
Customers: 1 space per 25m2 GFA.
(e) DIY Stores 50m2 per 1,000m2 GFA. Staff: 1 space per 100m2 GFA.
Customers: 1 space per 15m2 GFA.
(f) Garden Centres 50m2 per 1,000m2 gross display area (GDA). Staff: 1 space per 100m2 GDA. Customers: 1 space per 25m2 GDA.
7 Cash and Carry Warehouses 50m2 per 500m2 gross floor area (GFA). Staff: 1 space per 100m2 GFA. Customers: 1 space per 2 5m2 GFA.
8 Storage and Distribution Warehouses 50m2 per 500m2 gross floor area (GFA). Staff: 1 space per 200m2 GFA.
9 Industrial Buildings 50m2 per 100m2 gross floor area (GFA) up to 300m2 GFA, and then 50m2 per additional 500m2 GFA. Staff / Visitors: 1 space per 50m2 GFA.
10 Offices 50m2 per 500m2 gross floor area (GFA). Staff / Visitors: 1 space per 30m2 GFA..
11 Car Sales 1 space for delivery vehicle. Staff / Visitors: 1 space per 50m2 gross display area.
12 Garages, Service Stations, Car Repair Workshops 1 space for each broken down vehicle. Staff / Visitors: 1 space per 20m2 GFA.
4 spaces for each service / repair bay.
Where a car wash is provided, sufficient space for 5 cars to wait will be required on site.
       
       
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13 Education
(a) Nursery / Primary / Secondary Schools 50m2 for servicing. Staff: 1 space per full-time member of staff.
Facilities for contract buses and parents to pick up and set down as appropriate. Visitors: 1 space per 6 full-time members of staff.
Students: 1 space per 10 students over the age of 17.
Hard-surfaced play areas should be capable of accommodating car parking at special events.
(b) Colleges of Further Education, Universities, Teacher Training Colleges 50m2 for servicing. Staff: 1 space per full-time member of staff.
Where the development is likely to generate the provision of buses, special measures may need to be taken to accommodate waiting buses on off-street sites. Student / Visitors: 1 space per 5 full-time students and / or 3 part-time students at the busiest time (depending on the use made of the facilities at different times of the day).
14 Places of Worship 1 space per resident member of staff. Staff: 1 space per non-resident member of staff.
Worshippers: 1 space per 10 seats.
15 Places of Entertainment, Cinemas, Theatres, Bingo Halls, Concert Halls (including halls with fixed seating) Minimum of 50m2 for servicing. Staff: 1 space per 2 members of staff employed at the busiest time.
Customers: 1 space per seat.
16 Community Centres and other Public Halls (including public halls without fixed seating) Minimum of 50m2 for servicing. Staff: 1 space per 2 members of staff employed at the busiest time.
Customers: 1 space per 10m2 of floorspace.
17 Art Galleries, Museums and Exhibition Halls Minimum of 50m2 for servicing. Staff: 1 space per 2 members of staff employed at the busiest time.
Visitors: 1 space per 30m2 of public floorspace.
18 Hospitals 50m2 per 250m2 gross floor area. Staff: 1 space per 2 members of staff employed at the busiest time.
Outpatients: 3 spaces per consulting room.
Visitors: 1 space per 2 beds.
19 Clinics, Health Centres, Doctors, Dentists, Veterinary Surgeons 1 space per practitioner. Staff: 1 space per 2 members of staff, other than practitioners, employed at the busiest time.
Patients: 3 spaces per consulting room.
20 Libraries Minimum of 50m2 for servicing. Staff: 1 space per 2 members of staff employed at the busiest time.
If the library serves as a base for a mobile library, a further space will be provided for this vehicle. Visitors: 1 space per 50m2 of ground floorspace.
       
       
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21 Sports Facilities Minimum of 50m2 for servicing. Staff: 1 space per member of staff employed at the busiest time.
Patrons / Visitors: 1 space per 2 adult patrons able to use the facilities at any one time.
Where facilities for substantial numbers of spectators are to be provided, special consideration should be given to the need to increase parking provision.
22 Touring Caravan and Camping Sites 1 space per caravan for servicing. Staff: 1 space per 2 members of staff.
Visitors: 1 space per 10 pitches.
23 Self Catering Holiday Accommodation 1 space per 4 bedspaces for servicing. Staff: 1 space per 2 members of staff.
Visitors: 1 space per 10 units.
 
 
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Figures 1 - 3: Recommended Car Park Dimensions
 
 
 
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