THE NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL (SOUTH BRISTOL LINK CLASSIFIED ROAD) SIDE ROADS ORDER 2013

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1 JUNE 2014 THE NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL (SOUTH BRISTOL LINK CLASSIFIED ROAD) SIDE ROADS ORDER 2013 THE NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL (SOUTH BRISTOL LINK) COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER 2013 THE NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL (SOUTH BRISTOL LINK) COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER (No 2) 2014 EXCHANGE LAND CERTIFICATES IN RESPECT OF SPECIAL CATEGORY LAND PROOF OF EVIDENCE OF ROB THOMPSON ON BEHALF OF NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL IN RESPECT OF TRANSPORT

2 Contents Personal Details Scope of Evidence Policy Context and Guidelines Assessment of the Overall Benefits Assessment of the Transport Impacts Consideration of Objections Conclusions Appendices 1. The South Bristol Link Transport Model 2. The South Bristol Link Economic Appraisal Process 3. Figures 4. Tables

3 1. Personal Details 1.1 I am a Business Manager in Atkins Highways and Transportation Consulting Services. I qualified with a BSc in Economics with Statistics from the University of Bristol and am a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and the Transport Planning Society. I have over 38 years of experience in transport planning, specialising latterly in the development of multi-modal solutions to transport problems and issues. 1.2 In this context, I have been the project manager of the following major multi-modal transport studies: i. South East Dorset Transport Study (July 2008 to November 2011) ii. Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study (GBSTS) (January 2004 to June 2006) (CD 3/3); iii. M25 (Orbit) Multi-Modal Study (November 2001 to March 2003); and iv. Zagreb (Croatia) World Bank Urban Transport Master Plan Study (January 1998 to February 2000). 1.3 I was the project manager for the GBSTS which developed a transport strategy through to 2031 for the Greater Bristol sub-region (comprising the area covered by the four West of England Authorities - Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils). The GBSTS (CD 3/3) contained a wide-ranging series of measures designed to accommodate the anticipated growth in population and employment in the sub-region through to An important part of the strategy was a network of rapid transit services. 1.4 Since 2008, I have been involved in the further development of the three rapid transit schemes: Ashton Vale to Temple Meads (AVTM), North Fringe to Hengrove Package (NFHP) and South Bristol Link (the Scheme); known collectively as MetroBus. 1

4 1.5 For A VTM, I was responsible for managing the Atkins' inputs including the development of the Major Scheme Business Case (MSBC), the Confirmation of Interest, the Best and Final Funding Bid (BAFB), the Public Inquiry, the Bristol City Council review, and the submission of the revised planning application. For the AVTM Public Inquiry in May-July 2012, I was the expert witness for the transport aspects of that scheme. 1.6 For NFHP, I have been responsible for managing Atkins' recent inputs including the planning applications for the Stoke Gifford Transport Link and the full NFHP scheme. 1.7 Atkins has been involved in the development and appraisal of transport measures within the route corridor of the Scheme from the earlier light rail proposals through to the completion of the GBSTS and the subsequent development of measures emerging from the GBSTS. Atkins has been involved in the development and progress of the Scheme including the demand forecasting and business case, the environmental appraisal, the planning aspects and the preparation of the planning application. Atkins was also responsible for developing the transport modelling tools which form the basis of the SBL transport model, the output from which has underpinned the preparation of forecasts of the passenger demand for the Scheme, the impact on the highway network and the subsequent business case. 1.8 I hereby declare that insofar as the contents of this proof of evidence are matters within my knowledge they are true. Insofar as they are not within my direct knowledge, they are true to the best of my knowledge and belief and are drawn from documentation and information to which I have had access. The evidence which I have prepared and provide for this inquiry has been prepared and is given in accordance with the guidance of my professional institution, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, and I confirm that the opinions expressed are my true and professional opinions. 2

5 2. Scope of Evidence 2.1 In this proof of evidence, I demonstrate that transport has been taken fully into consideration in the development and assessment of the impact of the Scheme with strong benefits accruing from the Scheme. The evidence that I am presenting is covered under the following headings: i. Policy Context and Guidelines; ii. Assessment of the Overall Benefits; iii. Assessment of the Transport Impacts; iv. Consideration of the Objections; and v. Conclusion. 2.2 My evidence describes the benefits identified by the appraisal of the Scheme, considering firstly how the Scheme was represented in the transport model. Further details of the transport modelling process are outlined in Appendix 1 to my evidence. The assessment of the Scheme examines the forecast traffic volumes on the new highway link and the passenger demand levels for the MetroBus service in the two modelled future years of 2016 and The economic appraisal of the Scheme is described and based primarily on the DfT TUBA software, supplemented by additional analysis to provide the full appraisal. Further details of the appraisal process are provided in Appendix 2 to my evidence. 2.4 Section 3 of this proof outlines the background to the Scheme and the development of the transport aspects, including the preparation of the MSBC (CD 3/4) in March 2010, the BAFB (CD 3/5) in September 2011, subsequent updates undertaken during the development of the planning application (CD 4/3) submitted in July 2013 and refinements in the preparation of this evidence. 3

6 2.5 Section 4 describes the transport economic benefits generated by the SBL Scheme while Section 5 examines the transport impacts together with the appropriate mitigation measures that have been put in place. 2.6 Some of the principal transport issues raised in objections that have been received are examined within the main evidence in Sections 4 and 5. Section 6 considers the content of further objections which are not covered in the main body of evidence. 2.7 Section 7 contains overall conclusions to my evidence. 2.8 A summary of my proof is provided (NSC/3/3) and the following appendices are included separately (NSC/3/2): i. Appendix 1 - describes the SBL transport model; ii. Appendix 2 - outlines the economic appraisal process; iii. Appendix 3 - contains figures to which reference is made in my main Proof of Evidence; and iv. Appendix 4 - contains tables to which reference is made in my main Proof of Evidence. 4

7 3. Policy Context and Guidelines 3.1 The Scheme will provide a transport link between the A370 Long Ashton bypass within North Somerset and Hengrove Park within the Hartcliffe area of south BristoL. This will incorporate 4.5km of new and upgraded highway between the A370, the A38 and the Cater Road roundabout, a bus-only link between a new junction at Brookgate and the A VTM scheme, and a continuous shared cycleway and footway along the route corridor. 3.2 The Scheme is one of a package of transport schemes that together will create a MetroBus network across Bristol City linking key employment, housing and leisure areas. It also provides a new highway link in the southwest of Bristol, reducing journey times, easing congestion and increasing the reliability of journey times in the area. 3.3 As identified in the evidence by Karuna Tharmananthar (NSC/1/1), the objectives for the Scheme are: i. to facilitate regeneration and growth in south Bristol; ii. to reduce congestion in south Bristol and adjacent areas of North Somerset; and Hi. to improve accessibility from south Bristol to the City Centre and to strategic transport links, including the trunk road network and Bristol International Airport. Policy Context 3.4 The development of the Scheme has been aligned with national, regional and local transport policies, as is highlighted by the evidence from Karuna Tharmananthar (NSC/1/1) and Janette Shaw (NSC/10/1). 3.5 The national policy has dictated the way in which the suitability of the Scheme for potential funding by central government has been undertaken, determining the content of the business case for the Scheme as indicated in the DfT WebTAG Transport Analysis Guidance. 5

8 3.6 The publication in March 2012 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (CD 2/6) also indicated a change in Government policy in the presumption in favour of sustainable development within the planning system. Although the case for the Scheme was prepared well in advance of the publication of the NPPF, the Scheme accords with the principal messages in the NPPF, as is indicated below. The evidence of Janette Shaw (NSC/1 0/1) considers the implications of the NPPF in further detail. 3.7 At the regional level, in the early development of the Scheme, there was a strong emphasis on the importance of regional decision-making with the draft Regional Spatial Strategy defining the growth in development and the Regional Funding Allocation process determining the availability of funding for the Scheme and its priority within the competing schemes across the South West. With the change in the Government's emphasis towards localism, including the abolition of the Regional Spatial Strategy, the assessment of the Scheme has taken into account changes to the development patterns and therefore new demand forecasts for the Scheme. 3.8 At the local level, the proof of evidence by Karuna Tharmananthar (NSC/1/1) highlights the role of the Scheme within the evolution of the local policies as recorded in the Joint Local Transport Plan (JL TP) (CD 3/1) and (CD 3/2) for the West of England Partnership sub-region and the Core Strategies for Bristol (CD 217) and North Somerset (CD 2/8). 3.9 The content of the JL TP for the period 2006 to 2011 (CD 3/2) took account of the GBSTS (CD 3/3), prepared by a team led by Atkins. In particular, within a multi-modal transport strategy for Greater Bristol through to 2031, GBSTS recommended the introduction of a Rapid Transit Network formed by three cross-bristol corridors. GBSTS also concluded that (para 5.123): "further work is required to identify the type of vehicle used to operate the service but modern, low-floor, articulated buses are likely to be the most 6

9 appropriate, flexible and cost-effective vehicles to satisfy the requirements of the service." 3.10 GBSTS appraised the highway aspect of the overall Scheme within two separate schemes: i. Between A38 and A370 - separate Orange and Red routes were examined, with the Red Route which closely followed the alignment followed by the Scheme being included in the resulting strategy proposed by GBSTS; and ii. Between A38 and A4174 (Hengrove Way/Hartcliffe Way roundabout) - was part of a wider scheme which linked A38 with A4 at Hicks Gate and which was also included in the GBSTS strategy The North Somerset Replacement Local Plan (2007) (CD 2/11) contained safeguards for the Red Route appraised by GBSTS while the Bristol Local Plan (1997) (CD 2/10) safeguarded the route between A38 and A4174 (Hengrove Way/Hartcliffe Way roundabout), with this safeguarding being retained in the 2003 Proposed Alterations to the Local Plan The development continued with the issue JL TP3 (CD 3/2), which was published in March 2011, and set out the transport strategy for the West of England area between 2011 and 2026 with the Scheme included in the proposals for major development. The Scheme is also a proposed development within the local planning documents prepared by the two local authorities in the form of the Bristol City Council Core Strategy (CD 217) and the draft North Somerset Council Core Strategy (CD 2/8), as identified in the evidence by Janette Shaw (NSC/1 0/1) Bristol City Council's Core Strategy (CD 217), adopted in June 2011, identified the proposed MetroBus alignments on its proposals key diagrams including the route for the Scheme. 7

10 3.14 The North Somerset Core Strategy (CD 2/8) published in 2011 also highlights the Scheme which is contained within its schedule of proposed major transport scheme investment. National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 3.15 As noted above, the Scheme has been prepared in line with the relevant current government guidelines at the different stages within the development. The NPPF (CD 2/6) was published by the Government in March The SBL Scheme is aligned with one of the NPPF principles of making "the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling' (para 17). By improving accessibility to Bristol City Centre, the Scheme is also compatible with the NPPF objective of ensuring the vitality of town centres A further NPPF objective is promoting sustainable transport, including balancing the transport system "in favour of sustainable transport modes, giving people a real choice about how they travel" (para 19). The combination of the new segregated alignment with parallel cycle facilities and the additional public transport services provided by the Scheme represent a significant increase in the availability of sustainable transport modes, in line with NPPF Furthermore, the NPPF guidance also indicates that "local authorities should work with neighbouring authorities and transport providers to develop strategies for the provision of viable infrastructure necessary to support sustainable development" (para 31) which represents a clear reflection of the joint development of the Scheme by Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council, as described by Karuna Tharmananthar (NSC/1/1). 8

11 National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) 3.18 The Government's NIP 2013 (CD 2/16) re-emphasises the link between transport improvements and economic growth. It confirms the commitment to: "developing and maintaining a road network that will facilitate people's day-to-day activities, drive economic growth and meet the needs of roadusers now and in the future. In particular it is focused on:. addressing road quality, increasing capacity and tackling congestion, and ensuring the network provides critical connections. securing the network, by fixing the instability and institutional problems that have led to 20 years of underinvestment. adapting to, and taking advantage of, technological change and meeting the government's environmental and climate change targets" (para 3.6) National Policy Statement for National Networks (NPSNN) 3.19 Although the draft policy document (CD 2/9) is directed mainly at infrastructure improvements on the national road and rail networks, its principles have a wider general implication for schemes such as SBL. The draft document highlights that: "Improved and new transport links can create opportunities for growth by improving connectivity and performance, opening up new markets, new job opportunities, and new opportunities for growth. It can help rebalance the economy rather than accentuate existing divisions." (Summary of Need in Chapter 2) 3.20 Furthermore, again relating to the national road network, the document identifies that, in some cases: "it will not be sufficient to simply expand capacity on the existing network. In those circumstances new road alignments and corresponding links... may be needed to support increased capacity and connectivity to meet the needs created by economic and demographic growth." (para 2.23) 9

12 3.21 Although the NPSNN is currently only in draft, the paragraphs above are consistent with the NIP. There is therefore a direct link between the objectives for the Scheme and the national Government policy. Preparation of Funding Bids to the Department for Transport 3.22 Following the GBSTS, the SBL Scheme was progressed further through a series of studies, concentrating on particular aspects of the Scheme, as covered by the evidence of Karuna Tharmananthar (NSC/1/1). The evolution of the Scheme has seen the submission of two main documents to the Department for Transport through which funding for the Scheme has been sought: i. Major Scheme Business Case (MSBC) in March 2010 (CD 3/4); and ii. Best and Final Funding Submission (BAFB) in September 2011 (CD 3/5) The submissions to the DfT involved the preparation of a wide range of supporting documents which considered specific aspects in the development of the Scheme, and demonstrated the stages by which the Scheme had progressed. Within the MSBC submission, the following supporting documents (both in (CD 3/4)) demonstrate the development and progression of the Scheme: i. West of England Rapid Transit - Technology Review (September MSBC Appendix 1.1) - undertook a comparative review of the relevant available technologies including tram-train, ultra-light rail, bus rapid transit, and guided bus with different forms of power supply. The assessment considered the alternatives from the viewpoint of operation, vehicles, infrastructure, and fit with the Scheme objectives and concluded that the guided bus option was the most suitable; and ii. Options Appraisal Report (February MSBC Appendix 2.1) - considered five alternative options against a wide range of criteria including economic impact, safety/security, environmental impact, 10

13 accessibility and integration. The options appraisal identified the preferred option which formed the basis for consultation in Autumn The appraisal of the Scheme in the MSBC was supported by a range of documents (all in (CD 3/4)) which described the Scheme transport model that formed the basis for the demand and revenue forecasts, including: i. Modelling Methodology (December MSBC Appendix 3.1) - outlines the general approach to modelling the Scheme; ii. Data Collection Report (March MSBC Appendix 3.13) - describes the range of data collection approaches to provide up-todate information for the SBL transport model; iii. Highway Assignment Model Validation Report (March MSBC Appendix 3.2) - outlines the development of the highway model and its validation against observed values; iv. Public Transport Assignment Model Development Report (March MSBC Appendix 3.3) - describes the development of the public transport model and its validation against observed values; v. Demand Model Development Report (March MS BC Appendix 3.4) - summarises the specification of the model linking the highway and public transport models with the demand model including the responses of mode choice, frequency choice, time period choice and destination choice; and vi. Forecast Model (March MSBC Appendix 3.5) - describes the application of the population and employment forecasts and land use changes to produce travel demand forecasts for 2016 and However, the progress of the Scheme, and all other major transport schemes being developed by local authorities, was affected by the change of government in May 2010 which resulted in alterations to the funding process for major schemes. This included not only the revision of the appraisal criteria for major transport schemes but also to the overarching planning forecasts as specified in the Regional Spatial Strategy. The outcome was the issue of a new version of the DfT's planning forecasts in 11

14 the form of the National Trip End Model (NTEM) version 6.2 which replaced the earlier version 5.4 on which the MSBC had been based. These were part of a range of changes to the Scheme transport model which are summarised in Appendix 1 with associated adjustments to the economic appraisal process, included in Appendix In parallel to the work to update the business case from the March 2010 submission, there were also revisions to the Scheme design, as a result of the engineering and design review (described in the evidence by Philip Paterson (NSC/211)) Following the submission to the DfT in December 2010 of a Revised Central Case as part of an Expression of Interest in which the West of England authorities confirmed their intention to pursue funding for the SBL Scheme, it gained entry into the Development Pool of major schemes in February This required the production of a Best and Final Funding Bid (BAFB) which was submitted in September 2011 with further supporting evidence including the Value for Money Assessment Report (Appendix D of the BAFB submission) (CD 3/5). This outlined the revised business case for the Scheme in line with the new guidance with updates for the following principal documents in Appendix J of the BAFB submission (all in (CD 3/5)): i. Data Collection Report (August BAFB Appendix J1) - describes collection of data for updating the SBL transport model; ii. Highway Assignment Model Validation Report (August BAFB Appendix J2) - outlines the development of the highway model and its validation; Hi. Demand Model Report (August BAFB Appendix J3) - summarises the specification of the demand model linking the highway and public transport models; iv. Forecasting Report (August BAFB Appendix J4) - describes the use of the revised population and employment forecasts and land use changes to produce travel demand forecasts for 2016 and 2031; 12

15 v. DfT Engagement - Annualisation Factors Review (August BAFB Appendix J5) - in response to the DfT guidance for the BAFB submission, analyses traffic and passenger data to revise the factors to expand the modelled time periods to reflect the full year's operation; vi. DfT Engagement - Proposal for Treatment of Wider Impacts (September BAFB Appendix J6) - outlines the approach to the appraisal of wider economic impacts in the business case for the Scheme; and vii. DfT Engagement - Do Minimum MSB Scheme and Sensitivity Tests (September BAFB Appendix J7) - describes the contents of the Do Minimum network and anticipated sensitivity tests On the basis of the documentation provided for the Scheme, and the subsequent review of the evidence by the DfT, funding for the Scheme was announced by the DfT in November Since submission of the BAFB, the documents summarising the development of the elements of the transport model have been refined and updated as part of the update of the Scheme transport model for inclusion in the assessment of the Scheme for the planning application submitted in July 2013: i. Data Collection Report (April 2013) (CD 3/15); ii. Highway Assignment Model Local Model Validation Report (April 2013) (CD 3/16); iii. Public Transport Assignment Model Validation Report (April 2013) (CD 3/17); iv. Demand Model Report (April 2013) (CD 3/18); and v. Forecasting Report (April 2013) (CD 3/19) The transport model described in these reports forms the basis for the analysis of the Scheme traffic flows and passenger loadings and other impacts of the Scheme outlined in the next section. 13

16 4. Assessment of the Overall Benefits Introduction 4.1 Within this section, I summarise the appraisal of the Scheme from the transport and transport economics perspectives. 4.2 The foundation for the appraisal of the Scheme, and the associated business case, is the Scheme transport model which provides the forecasts of the traffic volumes and passenger levels for the Scheme, the characteristics of the passenger journeys and the associated impacts on the highway network. These then form the basis for the estimation of the Scheme's economic benefits and the impact on the main environmental indicators such as noise and air quality. The noise and air quality assessments are covered by the separate evidence by Adam Lawrence (NSCn/1) and Andy Talbot (NSC/8/1) respectively. 4.3 Appendix 1 outlines the main components of the Scheme transport model, containing details of the transport model's principal elements - the highway assignment model, the public transport assignment model and the demand model. The contents of the three components have been developed for the base year (2012) and then forecast forward to represent the future years of 2016 and The transport model has evolved during the development of the Scheme in response to a number of factors including changes in government guidance, the availability of additional information and the results from ongoing research. Further details are provided in the supporting documents for the MSBC (CD 3/4), BAFB (CD 3/5), planning application (CD 4/3) and subsequent work identified earlier in Section 3. Transport Modelling of the SBL Scheme 4.5 The design of the Scheme as defined in the evidence by Karuna Tharmananthar (NSC/1/1) and Philip Paterson (NSC/211) in terms of the 14

17 choice of alignment, design of junctions, location of stops, and other components, formed the foundation for the transport modelling and appraisal of the Scheme. 4.6 Figure 3.1 in Appendix 3 summarises the alignment of the Scheme and the location of stops as represented in the transport model. The Scheme was added to the 'without scheme' networks for each time period in 2016 and The transport model is based on well-established transport modelling software - SATURN for the highway model and EMME for the public transport and demand models. It represents the average supply and demand across each hour-long period covered by the transport modelthe morning peak, the inter-peak and the evening peak. It is not a microsimulation transport model in which the movement of individual vehicles or passengers is tracked as they travel through the transport network, with the interaction between them influencing their behaviour. Such microsimulation transport models would not be capable of reflecting the traffic behaviour over the wide area of impact of the Scheme and would have limited ability to represent the change in mode as a result of the Scheme. Economic Appraisal of the SBL Scheme 4.8 The economic appraisal of a major transport scheme, such as the SBL Scheme, takes into account the changes in the characteristics of travel as a result of the scheme. These include variations in the number of journeys between the 'without scheme' situation and the 'with scheme' position, together with variables such as journey times and journey distances by each mode. 4.9 Appendix 2 summarises the process followed to calculate the stream of benefits (in monetary terms) for the 60 year appraisal period starting from the year of opening (2016), as required by the DfT appraisal process. This 15

18 takes into account guidance in a number of TAG Units which are listed in Appendix In order to reflect the preference for benefits now, rather than in the future, different weights are applied to individual years. The values are discounted by 3.5% per annum for the first 30 years from the current year and then by 3% p.a. up until the 60th year after the scheme opening. The discounted values are then summed to give the Present Value of the Benefits (PVB) The costs of constructing, operating, maintaining and renewing the Scheme are also discounted using similar principles to derive the Present Value of the Costs (PVC) Taking into account the guidance in TAG Unit, the stream of costs and benefits over the appraisal period are defined in standard 2010 prices and values, with the stream of values being converted to the PVC or PVB. The Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) is calculated from PVB/PVC while the Net Present Value (NPV) is PVB - PVC A number of factors create differences between the economic appraisal contained in the MSBC) (CD 3/4), the corresponding appraisal in the BAFB (CD 3/5) and the current situation. These include: i. revised dates for the start of construction works and scheme opening and revised scheme capital costs; ii. as highlighted in Appendix 1, changes in the underlying DfT NTEMITEMPRO planning and trip end forecasts from NTEMITEMPRO version 5.4 and NTEMITEMPRO version 6.2; and iii. application of the new version of the DfT TUBA (V1.9) software with associated revised assumptions for appraisal parameters Table 4.3 in Appendix 4 summarises the monetised values of costs and benefits, based on the individual elements identified above. The combination of benefits and costs produces PVB of 245.4m, PVC of 16

19 39.4m and the resulting BCR of 6.23 which, in line with the DfT Value for Money assessment (TAG Unit A 1.1), represents Very High Value for Money Table 4.3 highlights the sources of the benefits from the Scheme: i. The high level of economic efficiency savings demonstrate significant journey time savings as a direct result of the Scheme, with further savings in vehicle operating costs, although a small proportion of the total; ii. Improvements in the reliability of journey times for people making a journey; and Hi. Significant level of wider impacts including benefits to business activity In addition to the monetised benefits identified above, the appraisal of the Scheme for the BAFB submission (CD 3/5) also considered the following principal non-monetised benefits. For these aspects, the appraisal applied a seven point scale comprising three beneficial measures (slight, moderate and significant), three adverse measures (slight, moderate and significant), and the central 'Neutral' score. i. Physical fitness/activity - (TAG Unit A4.1) - slight beneficial rating; ii. Journey ambience/quality - (TAG Unit A4.1) - moderate beneficial rating; iii. Security - (TAG Unit A4.1) - moderate beneficial rating; iv. Access to transport system - (TAG Unit A4.1) - moderate beneficial rating; v. Personal affordability - (TAG Unit A4.1) - neutral rating; vi. Severance - (TAG Unit A4.1) - slight beneficial rating; and vii. Option values - (TAG Unit A4.1) - moderate beneficial rating Further analysis examined how the main effects of the Scheme would impact on different groups in society. The Social and Distributional Impact (SDI) assessment was undertaken for the BAFB in accordance with TAG Unit A4.2 and is reported in the BAFB submission (CD 3/5). The SDI 17

20 assessment considered the extent to which there are differences in the way that impacts of the Scheme (positive and negative) affect different groups in society. The SDI assessment looked at the distribution of the main impacts of noise, air quality, accidents, security, severance, accessibility and user benefits across the affected groups, rather than the overall assessment outlined in the previous paragraph. The SDI assessment found that, in general, there would be slight beneficial/positive social and distributional impacts from the Scheme As set out in the evidence of Karuna Tharmananthar (NSC/1/1) and Janette Shaw (NSC/1 0/1), and summarised in Section 3 of my evidence, the content and aspirations of the Scheme are integrated with the policies of central and local government at the local, regional and national level Section 5 contains a detailed description of the main transport impacts of the Scheme. 18

21 5. Assessment of the Transport Impacts Introduction 5.1 As identified in para 3.3, the objectives for the Scheme are: i. to facilitate regeneration and growth in south Bristol; ii. to reduce congestion in south Bristol and adjacent areas of North Somerset; and iii. to improve accessibility from south Bristol to the City Centre and to strategic transport links, including the trunk road network and Bristol International Airport. 5.2 Within this section, I describe how the transport benefits contribute to achieving the objectives of the Scheme. The regeneration and growth aspects are considered in the evidence of liias Drivylas (NSC/4/1). 5.3 The operation and construction of the Scheme will have an impact, either directly or indirectly, on the travel characteristics of people using a range of modes across North Somerset and south and central BristoL. The impacts were assessed for each of the modes in turn - firstly the road network, followed by public transport and then walking and cycling. These are considered firstly within the operation of the Scheme and then during its construction. 5.4 Where development proposals could potentially have significant transport implications, a Transport Assessment (TA) is required for submission as part of the planning application. A TA sets out the transport issues relating to a proposed development (including a transport measure such as the Scheme), and identifies the measures required to address the anticipated impacts. The TA is used by the Highway Authority to determine the acceptability of the proposals. 5.5 The TA for the Scheme forms part of the Environmental Statement and was undertaken in accordance with the DfT's 'Guidance on Transport 19

22 Assessments' (March 2007) (CD 3/6). The TA provides traffic and transport information and an objective technical assessment (including capacity analysis) to demonstrate the traffic impact of the Scheme. 5.6 The TA concluded that the Scheme positively influences travel patterns along the route corridor of the Scheme by attracting patronage from other transport modes. Overall, the proposed Scheme is forecast to improve operational conditions along the surrounding highway network in future years. Impact of the Scheme on the Operation of the Road Network 5.7 The existing highway network in wider south-west Bristol experiences extensive congestion on both sub-regional and local roads, highlighting the limited capacity for orbital journeys across this quadrant of the city. The congestion not only creates extended journey times for travel across south-west Bristol but the journey times are also unpredictable producing irregular times and unreliable journeys. The unreliability causes drivers to, on the one hand, miss appointments or, on the other hand, to waste time by allowing too long for the journey. Examples of the location and scale of the congestion are shown in a series of photos in Appendix 3; the locations of the photos are shown in the viewpoint plan in Figure 3.2 and highlight the following: i. B3130 Barrow Street at Barrow Gurney (Figure 3.3) and Yanley Lane carry significant levels of traffic between A370 and A38 corridors with limited capacity through the small community of Barrow Gurney where the restricted road width limits two-way traffic; ii. The Parson Street gyratory is a major focus for traffic in south-west Bristol with the confluence of the A38, A3029, A4174 and B3122 routes resulting on significant congestion on all approaches and around the gyratory itself (for example Figure 3.4 and Figure 3.5); iii. A3029 Winterstoke Road (Figure 3.6) carries significant private cars and commercial vehicles accessing the retail parks, business parks 20

23 and commercial properties along the corridor as well as through traffic for the A370 and Cumberland Basin; iv. v. Local roads also experience considerable congestion, for example the junction of Church Road, Whitchurch Road and Roman Road (Figure 3.7 and Figure 3.8); and With the heavy volumes of traffic on the major radial routes, local traffic often experiences delays in accessing the radial network, for example the junction of Kings Head Lane with A38 Bridgwater Road (Figure 3.9) as well as other routes. 5.8 The Scheme will provide a new strategic highway link between the A370, A38 and Hartcliffe/Hengrove for general traffic which will improve accessibility to south Bristol and the Airport from the City Centre and surrounding areas to provide better connectivity for business and private journeys and reduce the congestion on key interchanges linking to these areas. At the same time, the additional capacity will improve the reliability of travel and reduce the unpredictability of journey times. Hence, in this way, the Scheme will have a direct positive impact on accessibility in line with the third objective in para The SBL Scheme provides an alternative connection between south Bristol (including the residential areas of Bishopsworth, Hartcliffe, Withywood and Highridge), the A38 and the A370. At present, the most direct alternative route is along the congested A3029 Winterstoke Road via the Parson Street gyratory and then along either the A38 Bridgwater Road or the A4174 Hartcliffe Way The improvements to accessibility created by the Scheme are demonstrated in Figure 3.10 to Figure 3.12 which show the change in journey times from across Bristol to three points located at different positions along the Scheme. In each case, the output from the transport model presents the change in travel times following the introduction of the Scheme (in one minute bands) on the highway network in the 2031 morning peak hour for: 21

24 i. ii. iii. Highridge Common (Figure 3.10); Imperial Retail Park on Hengrove Way/Hartcliffe Way (Figure 3.11); and Long Ashton P&R site (Figure 3.12) The impact of the Scheme on accessibility highlights: i. For Highridge Common, there are significant improvements to the west of the area but also noticeable journey time reductions to the north, across the Cumberland Basin and to parts of central Bristol; ii. For the Imperial Retail Park, the main accessibility improvements are to the west, as well as to the north as far as the Harbourside area of Bristol City Centre; and Hi. The accessibility to the P&R site shows widespread improvements across south Bristol, either directly from the scheme itself or from the relief that it provides on parallel corridors such as Winterstoke Road The forecast impact on average journey times is shown in Table 4.4 which highlights the significant reductions in travel times as a direct result of the introduction of the Scheme. The residential areas to the south of the Scheme see an average decrease of approaching 3 minutes when making a journey to the City Centre in the morning and evening peak hours in Access to Bristol Airport is also improved by the Scheme, with average journey times from Bristol Airport to the City Centre reducing by approximately two minutes in For circumferential journeys, such as between the Cater Road Business Park and the M5 near Avonmouth, via the A4, journey times are forecast to be between 2Y:2 and 5Y:2 minutes quicker in 2031 with the Scheme in place. This highlights the current difficulties in completing circumferential journeys across south-west Bristol due to the limitations in the highway network. 22

25 5.15 The values in Table 4.4 represent average travel times across the morning peak period and hence there will be significantly greater savings at peak times. Furthermore, together with the time savings for the average journey, there will be more predictable journey times and less unreliability The impact of the reductions in journey times is to change the distribution of traffic within the wider corridor. Table 4.1 and Table 4.2 in Appendix 4 and Figure 3.13 to Figure 3.18 in Appendix 3 summarise the forecast change in traffic flows on the road network, in the vicinity of the Scheme, in the Opening Year (2016) and Design Year (2031). The analysis demonstrates the function of the Scheme in reducing traffic levels on surrounding residential streets, along congested routes and on unsuitable roads. This is achieved as traffic uses the Scheme rather than adjacent routes Analysis has been applied to traffic flows forecast by SATU RN modelling (the highway element of the Scheme modelling system outlined in Appendix 1) in the following peak periods: i. AM Peak hour ; ii. Average Inter-Peak hour ; and Hi. PM Peak hour Figure 3.13 and Figure 3.14 indicate the forecast change in traffic flows in the AM Peak hour in 2016 and 2031 respectively. Where roads are marked green, flows on that highway link are forecast to increase as a result of implementing the Scheme. Where roads are marked blue, traffic flows are forecast to decrease. The width of the line indicates the volume of change in the flow of passenger carrying units (pcu - a measure of converting all vehicles to a single unit of size: 1 car = 1 pcu, 1 HGV = 2.3pcu and 1 bus/coach = 3.0pcu) As traffic reassigns to the SBL Scheme in south Bristol (in both 2016 and 2031), there will be decreases in traffic flows on roads which currently link 23

26 the residential areas of south Bristol (in the vicinity of the SBL route) to Winterstoke Road and to the City Centre via Bedminster, most notably along: i. Whitchurch Road, ii. Bishopsworth Road, iii. Kings Head Lane; and iv. Highridge Green Due to the residential nature of these streets and their proximity to local schools, the Scheme will generally provide important environmental and safety benefits associated with reduced traffic flows. The Scheme will be designed to a higher standard than existing roads, providing a more appropriate alternative route, particularly for journeys to/from the west. For example, the Bedminster Down School close to Kings Head Lane would benefit from the reduction in traffic along that road. Similarly, the Cheddar Grove Primary School on Bishopsworth Road and St Peter's Church of England Primary School near to Church Road would also benefit from traffic reductions Flow reductions are also forecast on Whitchurch Lane in the vicinity of the staggered junction with Hareclive Road and the Lidl supermarket, where an existing accident grouping exists. Six collisions were reported at this location during the five year period from 1 st April 2007 to 31 st March Five of these collisions resulted in slight and one in serious injuries. One collision per year occurred between 2007 and 2010, whilst two collisions occurred in With the Scheme in place, a new signalised crossroad will connect the SBL to Hareclive Road. Apart from the left turn movement from Hareclive Road (south) to SBL, all other turns at the junction will be prohibited. Whitchurch Lane will connect to the SBL (to the east of the Hareclive Road junction) via a new 3 arm signalised junction with the right turn from Whitchurch Lane to south-westbound SBL and the left turn from the northeastbound SBL to Whitchurch Lane being prohibited. The proposed 24

27 alterations significantly reduce the potential for vehicular (and pedestrian) conflict at these junctions. When combined with the forecast traffic flow reduction on existing roads and the proposed improvements to pedestrian provision, the Scheme presents an opportunity to resolve the existing safety issues and hence reduce accident risks A reduction in traffic flows is also forecast along the A38 Bridgwater Road / West Street corridor (especially between the proposed A38/SBL junction and the Parson Street Gyratory) With the Scheme in place, traffic flows are forecast to increase between the proposed SBUA370 roundabout and the A3029 Brunei Way (towards the Cumberland Basin). However, the forecast change in traffic flows crossing the Cumberland Basin itself is negligible, because: i. The SBL section connecting the A370 with the A38 has the function of formalising the point at which traffic travels between these two 'Primary Routes' and A3029 Winterstoke Road with traffic flows being reassigned to the Scheme from both Yanley Lane and Barrow Street. ii. The Scheme also attracts traffic currently using the congested A3029 Winterstoke Road for travel between south Bristol and the A370 / A4. Some traffic from other routes reassigns to Winterstoke Road due to the spare capacity created by traffic switching to the SBL Scheme Figure 3.15 and Figure 3.16 present the forecast change in traffic flows in the PM Peak hour which follows a similar pattern to the AM Peak hour As traffic reassigns to the SBL Scheme in south Bristol, a reduction in traffic flows is forecast along surrounding streets, most notably: i. Whitchurch Road, ii. Bishopsworth Road, Hi. Kings Head Lane; and iv. Highridge Green. 25

28 5.27 Figure 3.15 and Figure 3.16 show that traffic that now uses the SBL Scheme between the A38 and A370 used to take other routes to travel between the A38 and A370, notably Barrow Street, Yanley Lane and Winterstoke Road The eastern end of the Scheme on King Georges Road provides a means of accessing the local areas within south Bristol, and reducing traffic flow through the reserved corridor (between Queens Road and Hareclive Road). From Figure 3.15 and Figure 3.16, eastbound traffic would previously have used Kings Head Lane and Whitchurch Road to head towards Hengrove and Highridge Green en route to Hartcliffe and Whitchurch Park Figure 3.17 and Figure 3.18 indicate the forecast change in traffic flows in the Inter-Peak average hour in 2016 and 2031 respectively. The plots show similar changes in traffic flow to the AM and PM Peak periods. Impact of the SBL Scheme on Traffic at Individual Junctions 5.30 The evidence of Philip Paterson (NSC/211) considers the design aspects of the Scheme which took into account the detailed performance of key individual junctions. The performance of the following six junctions along the Scheme were also assessed for the Transport Assessment: i. A370 roundabout; ii. Brookgate; Hi. A38 Bridgwater Road; iv. Highridge Road; v. Queens Road; and vi. Hareclive Road and Whitchurch Lane Industry-standard software 'Junctions' and 'LinSig' were used for the Opening Year (2016) and Design Year (2031) assessments of the above junctions. 26

29 5.32 'Junctions' is a package of programmes which includes Transport Research Laboratory's ARCADY software for assessing operating conditions at roundabout junctions. Where ARCADY reports a 'Ratio of Flow to Capacity' (RFC) value greater than 0.85 (Le. 85% of theoretical capacity) along one or more of the junction approach arms, a roundabout is forecast to exceed the design capacity. Where ARCADY reports an RFC greater than 1.0 a roundabout is forecast to exceed the theoretical capacity LinSig is a software tool developed by JCT Consultancy for assessing operating conditions at signal-controlled junctions. Where LinSig reports a 'Degree of Saturation' (DoS) value greater than 90% (Le. 90% of theoretical capacity) along one or more of the junction approach arms, the junction is forecast to exceed design capacity. Where LinSig reports a DoS value greater than 100% along one or more junction approach arms, the junction is forecast to exceed the theoretical capacity. LinSig processes this information to provide an overall 'Practical Reserve Capacity' (PRC) value for the junction as a whole; a positive PRC indicates that all of the junction arms are forecast to operate within the theoretical capacity. A370 Roundabout 5.34 The ARCADY results in Table 4.6 (2016) and Table 4.7 (2031) for the A370 roundabout, operating under normal 'give way' control with no signalisation, indicate that the junction is forecast to operate within the capacity during both peak periods in 2016 and during the PM peak in During the AM peak in 2031, the SBL approach to the junction is forecast to exceed design capacity but is still shown to be within theoretical capacity. Whilst an RFC of 0.96 is forecast, this represents a total queue of only 17 vehicles across the two SBL approach lanes and hence is not a problem. 27

30 5.35 The results from the ARCADY assessments indicate that the signalisation of the roundabout will be required beyond the design year (Le. after 2031) and consequently the layout has been designed to accommodate this, primarily through the inclusion of an extended two lane approach along the northbound SBL arm. LinSig results for the signalised roundabout show that satisfactory operating conditions would be maintained in both weekday peak hours in Brookgate 5.36 The LinSig modelling in Table 4.8 (2016) and Table 4.9 (2031) shows that the proposed junction will operate satisfactorily in both peak hours in the Opening Year (2016) even with the bus link to/from the Ashton Vale Park and Ride running in every cycle. The predicted PRC was +28.5% during the AM Peak Period and +35.8% during the PM Peak Period. With the signals having a 90 second cycle, this represents a situation where 40 buses an hour run in each direction on the bus-only link if only one bus passes through the junction in each cycle. The services running along the bus-only link would include the SBL MetroBus service, the Airport Flyer and any other services which private bus operators seek to operate along the corridor. Hence, there would be ample capacity at the junction for the expected combined level of services on the bus-only link in the opening year The LinSig results for the Design Year (2031) show that the proposed junction would operate satisfactorily in both peak hours, albeit with the bus link to/from the Ashton Vale Park and Ride running in every other cycle. The predicted PRC was % during the AM Peak Period and +40.9% during the PM Peak Period. With alternate cycles, the reduction in the volume of buses able to run through the junction to 20 buses per hour in each direction still represents a situation higher than the current plans and hence would not represent a significant limitation to the service on the busonly link. The level of 20 buses per hour is based on an assumption of just 28

31 one bus per cycle and therefore the initial limit of 20 buses per hour could be exceeded if more than one bus per cycle passes through the junction In the event that the SBL bus link would need to operate in every cycle by 2031, road marking alterations would be needed to ensure the junction continues to operate satisfactorily. The road marking alterations would allow 'straight-ahead' use of both lanes on the southbound approach on the Scheme from the A370. A38 Bridgwater Road 5.39 The LinSig modelling of the preferred signalised roundabout design in Table 4.10 (2016) and Table 4.11 (2031) shows that the layout would operate within capacity during both peak periods in 2016 and during the AM peak in The predicted PRC for the roundabout in 2016 was +27% during the AM Peak period and +16.7% during the PM Peak period. During the AM Peak in 2031, the predicted PRC for the roundabout was +2.6% 5.40 During the PM peak in 2031, the northbound SBL approach to the junction is forecast to exceed the design capacity (DoS;::. 90%) but to be within the theoretical capacity (DoS -c:: 100%). In this situation, a total queue of only 16 vehicles is forecast across the three SBL northbound approach lanes and hence this would not represent a significant restriction. SBL Junctions with Highridge Road and Queens Road (connected by King Georges Road) 5.41 The SBL junctions with Highridge Road and Queens Road will operate as a linked set of traffic signals and have been modelled accordingly in LinSig. The junction will operate in this manner to ensure that any significant queuing, that may arise in the 2031 Design Year, will occur beyond King Georges Road which has residential frontages along both sides. 29

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