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Vectos supports Draft Planning Policy Wales prioritising active travel

As the UK’s leading consultancy in the promotion of development-related active travel design, we are pleased that the Draft Planning Policy Wales has a greater emphasis on the transport hierarchy which prioritises walking and cycling.

Vectos Wales Director Matt Thomas said that Vectos has been promoting active travel and mobility since the company’s inception.

“We design for the relationship between active travel and economic growth. We are the most prolific UK consultancy on EU research and demonstration programmes into the psychology of movement and breaking the link between economic growth and traffic growth,” he said.

“Our work focuses on mobility and the accessibility of day-to-day facilities by choice of means of transport, particularly emphasising sustainable mobility, so we’re also pleased that internalisation of trips has also been identified as critical. Placemaking, including inclusive living, well-designed public spaces and roads and access to facilities, is key to this.”

We do, however, believe that the transport hierarchy is too simplistic.

“Shared transport spans more than outdated traditional public transport such as buses. We need to consider Mobility-as-a-Service and demand-responsible autonomous vehicles amongst many other platforms and services,” he said.

“Milton Park, our project with MEPC which employs 9,500 staff, has received funding to trial the first autonomous vehicles on UK roads, which will be operational early next year. This should reduce private vehicle journeys in the business park by 50%.”

Vectos brings schemes into fruition in new and developing communities by using masterplanning and design as the central principles of good transport planning – combining modern travel choices, behavioural education and network management, to make sure the travel patterns for new strategic development are far removed from the unsustainable travel patterns of the past.

“We use these principles of "design, choice, behaviour, management on projects" across the UK. One example is our work for four strategic sites in Cardiff set to deliver 40,000 new homes and 40,000 new jobs. The Council accepted our mobility approach and included it in the LDP. The strategy expects that by the end of the Plan period, the average mode split across Cardiff will be less than 50% by car,” he said.

“These strategic sites have been gaining planning consents, based largely on sustainable mobility initiatives such as cycle super routes, community concierges, school travel planning and bus rapid transit.”