The role of town planning and other legislation in the transport planning process

Holden, G.S. (1976) The role of town planning and other legislation in the transport planning process. Masters thesis, University of Salford.

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In common with all other aspects of Central and Local Government activity, transportation planning is carried out against a background of legislation. Without this the limits of the work would not be defined, nor would the manner in which the conclusions and proposals may be implemented be positively known. One cannot simply deal with present-day legislation because to exntine the implications it is necessary to be clear about the developments that have taken place in social, economic, and all other factors involved in town planning of which transportation is a dominant factor. In addition, many of the constraints that exist on road improvement schemes etc. are as a result of past legislation, or perhaps more correctly, as a result of the influence that transportation was held to have at that time.
Legislation of the type to be discussed is both restrictive and permissive to the authority implementing it.
It is restrictive in the sense that for nearly all major proposals, public opinion must be sought and considered, and permissive in that without it there wbuJ.d not be a legal basis for the planning that presentday conditions and technolo&r require.
The two levels of government have been mentioned, and following the Local Government Act 1972 the division of highway planning and ancillary matters is of considerable importance in the development of strategies, and to some extent has complicated the position. The legislation for planning is extensive, but for a complete picture it is necessary to take into account additional matters such as S the legislation rights and restrictions placed on the transport authorities and public utility services. Land-use has been accepted as an integral part of the transportation planning process, and it is necessary to explain this against the background of the Towti & Country Planning Act 1971, the dev1opment plans prepared under its powers and of which transportation is an important element.
Mention has been made of the importance of public opinion, and the opportunity that must be provided for interested persons to object to proposals of the local authority. There are certain aspects here that are of comparatively recent development, and this will be examined in some depth. It will be seen that whilst the consideration of public opinion can
be said to have always taken place by reason of elected representation, authorities are bound now in certain cases to actively seek direct observations from the public.
The transportation plannet. must be constazty aware of the effect his proposals may have on the environment and the need that may arise to acquire land, or the claims that may arise for harm to the environment as a result of schemes.
The legislation to deal with this latter point is recent, and it will be examined in conjunction with the more traditional laws of acquisition of land and buildings.
Thansportation planning is not only a matter for study on the rand scale of completely new traffic routes and transportation modes. Its most important element is probably the optimisation of existing facilities and equipment, and it is for this reason that the legislation applicable Ito traffic management and public transport operations have been included.
This study has of necessity been confined to the main aspects of the transportation planners work. S It has not been possible, for example, to include the effect of the Motor Vehicle Regulations although it is realised that these and other matters can be important. Whilst it can be argued that the transportation planner may not be directly concerned with the legislation that deals with construction of trans'ortation facilities ) it is not possible to plan in a completely realistic manner, without an understanding of the implications and practical aspects of any proposals.

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