Government recommends managed and limited car access in ten planned towns

Only a quarter of all journeys in the government’s ten planned eco-towns should be by car, according to official guidance published this week.

Nissan Qashqai

The guidance written by the Town and Country Planning Association recommends that there should be “managed and limited” car access to all the new developments, with speed limits kept “very low” to give pedestrians greater priority.

The guidance, endorsed by Communities secretary Hazel Blears this week, says the towns should be designed to give pedestrians priority, followed by cyclists, then users of public transport, and finally private car owners.

It says: “In exemplar towns no more than a maximum of 25% of all journeys should be by private car.”

It cites the Swiss city of Basle as a place where this has been achieved.

In addition it brings the example of Freiburg in Germany as a model, where residents have to pay £12,500 and a monthly management fee on top of the cost of their home for a space to park their car, and no on street parking is allowed.

The document says: “Conventional approaches will need to be turned on their head in order to create lifetime places that prioritise people over vehicles.”

In addition the TCPA guidance says all eco-towns must make use of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, which are designed to ensure that developments do not contribute to the risk of flash flooding in high rainfall.

Also, eco-towns should “aspire” to moving toward a position of “water neutrality” – where the town does not have any net demand for water above the existing use of the land.

The TCPA’s guidance covers transport planning, community infrastructure and water conservation. In future they will publish further guidance on green infrastructure, housing and inclusive design, waste and recycling, energy and the economy & ‘green collar’ jobs.

Gideon Amos, TCPA director, said: “The primary opportunity presented by the development of an eco-town is in putting in new infrastructure at the outset, rather than relying on old. These Worksheets therefore aim to highlight the ways in which eco-towns can achieve higher levels of sustainability than other development carried out within existing towns.”