Core Strategy - Adopted December 2007

Section 5 - Transport and Accessibility

5.1 National planning policy in relation to transport issues is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 (PPG 13, March 2001) and the Government's overall transport strategy 'The Future of Transport' (July 2004). The latter takes forward the strategy originally set out in the Government's 'Ten Year Plan for Transport' published in 2000. These policy documents seek to ensure that society can benefit from greater mobility and access, whilst minimising the impact on other people and the environment, now and in the future.

5.2 National policy identifies that key to delivering improvements in transport are the integration of transport and land use planning. Regard must therefore be had to the emerging Regional Transport Strategy (RTS), which forms part of the East of England Plan. It is also vital that land use planning is complementary to and delivers key aspects of the Southend Local Transport Plan (LTP). The Second LTP (March 2006) has been prepared as an integral part of the development of this Core Strategy DPD to ensure an integrated approach.

5.3 The London to Southend Movement Study (LOTS)[7], Southend Local Transport Plan and local traffic data[8], clearly illustrate that Southend already suffers from severe traffic congestion and related transport and accessibility problems, caused by a legacy of under investment resulting in an infrastructure deficit. It is therefore essential that effective improvements to all the town's transportation networks, including infrastructure and facilities, are achieved. This will be of paramount importance if the housing allocations and jobs growth sought by Government are to be successfully met in a balanced and sustainable way to achieve the regeneration of Southend and wider Thames Gateway as a national and regional priority.

5.4 Without such improvements the economic potential of the area cannot be realised and the development of sustainable communities achieved. Improving the transport infrastructure will be particularly crucial to unlocking the full development potential of a number of key identified regeneration sites and to realising new jobs and housing targets to meet the objectives of the Government's Sustainable Communities Plan.

5.5 The transportation problems facing Southend and wider Essex Thames Gateway identified in the LOTS Study can be summarised as follows:

  1. significant parts of the existing road network and rail infrastructure are already at capacity;
  2. if current travel patterns continue, the existing road and public transport networks have insufficient capacity to cater for any substantial growth; and
  3. to retain the existing infrastructure and cater for substantial growth, a significant modal shift would be required from the car to public transport of up to 50%.

5.6 Having regard to these findings the LOTS Study identifies the need for:

  1. a 'step change' in transportation provision;
  2. a combination of highway and public transport infrastructure improvements;
  3. complementary land use planning and transport policies; and
  4. a programme of investment to 2021 in the region of £1.6billion (this programme does not include potential improvements required for a fully developed container port at Shell Haven or a Lower Thames Crossing).

5.7 Although the scale of this investment is large, LOTS identifies that the consequences of not providing for these changes will be:

  1. the likelihood of regeneration or new development occurring in Essex Thames Gateway will be small; and
  2. the objectives of the Government's Sustainable Communities Plan will not be realised.

5.8 These transportation problems are recognised in the draft East of England Plan. The Regional Transport Strategy sets out in Policy T15 the investment priorities for the region, including Essex Thames Gateway. It will be critical that these are implemented within the Plan period to ensure effective planning and the achievement of sustainable communities. Policy KP1 of this Core Strategy emphasises that substantial improvements in transport infrastructure and accessibility will be required if successful regeneration and growth are to be achieved.

5.9 The Regional Transport Strategy also identifies the following additional policy objectives that are of most significance to Southend:

  1. Policy T5 identifies Southend as a Regional Transport Node (RTN) where significantly enhanced levels of public transport provision will be sought;
  2. Policy T12 seeks to improve access to the region's airports, and that airport surface access facilities reinforce the shift to more sustainable travel; and
  3. Policy T6 identifies the strategic and regional road network where investment in improvements and public transport services (Policy T13) together with the management of the road network (Policy T8) will be focussed. This includes both the A127/A1159 and A13.

5.10 Key to the future delivery of transport and infrastructure improvements is the establishment of the TGSE Transportation Delivery Board. This has brought together the three Highway Authorities in Essex Thames Gateway (Essex, Thurrock and Southend) with the shared objective of delivering transport improvements in partnership with a wide range of organisations, including Thurrock Urban Development Corporation, the Urban Renaissance Partnerships for Basildon and Southend's Urban Regeneration Company, Renaissance Southend Ltd.

5.11 To guide its future work and priorities the Board has produced the 'Thames Gateway South Essex Business Plan for Transport' (November 2005) which sets out an agreed transportation strategy for Essex Thames Gateway based on the findings of LOTS and RTS provisions. This seeks to secure major improvements to the sub-regional road and rail transport network to achieve improved accessibility and quality linkages with the regional and national networks. A key objective is to achieve the development of a state of the art rapid transport system based on the main transport hubs - 'South Essex Rapid Transport System' (SERT). Feasibility studies are already being progressed on the potential for such a system.

5.12 The Essex Thames Gateway transport strategy provides the framework for the Southend LTP strategy and forms an integral part of this Core Strategy DPD Key Diagram.

5.13 Of crucial importance in the Business Plan is the identification of the infrastructure funding deficit between LTP funding provisions and the need for significant investment in transport to achieve the 'step change' in provision required to secure the sustainable regeneration of Southend and Essex Thames Gateway. One of the major challenges facing the TGSE Transport Delivery Board will be to make the best use of existing resources and to seek additional funding sources to improve transport infrastructure within Southend and the Essex Thames Gateway, in particular by means of:

  1. European funding;
  2. the Transport Innovation Fund;
  3. Demand Management; and
  4. Planning Obligations.

5.14 Whilst demand management is a crucial tool in providing for effective and efficient transport planning, the scale of the transportation problems in Essex Thames Gateway is such that demand management alone will not realistically solve the problems. As such there is no escaping the need for significant investment in transport infrastructure and services.

5.15 It is therefore vitally important that development makes an appropriate contribution to the funding of related transport infrastructure and services as identified in this Core Strategy DPD and the Southend Local Transport Plan and its subsequent reviews, where this relates to the development proposed. This will be achieved by means of Planning Obligations. These provisions will be detailed in DPD2 'Planning Obligations and Vehicle Parking Standards', to be prepared as the second DPD priority in the Local Development Framework.

5.16 Policy CP3 reflects the above considerations by seeking a 'step change' in transport provision and improvements necessary to unlock the development and economic potential of the town and so deliver national and regional objectives for the sustainable regeneration and growth of Southend. Improvements to accessibility, transport corridors, interchanges, and sustainable transport modes are particularly key. Transport corridors also have the potential to contribute to the development of the 'Green Grid' across Essex Thames Gateway (see Section 6). Due to Southend's geographical location, accessibility improvements will also be dependent on actions taken outside the Borough. The Council will therefore continue to play an active role in the work of the TGSE Partnership and Transportation Delivery Board and working in partnership with other key agencies and bodies to achieve real transport changes.

5.17 The Policy replaces the following development plan policies in the adopted Southend on Sea Borough Local Plan:

Policy T4 - B1013 Link and Eastwoodbury Lane

Policy T5 - Sutton Road

Policy T9 – Town Centre Parking (off street)

5.18 Borough Local Plan policies T1 (Priorities); T2 (A127); T3 (A13 and related routes); T6 (A1159 Priory Crescent); T7 (Seafront Access); T8 (Traffic Management and Highway Safety); T10 (Town Centre Parking - On Street); T11 (Parking Standards);T12 (Servicing Facilities); T13 (Cycling and Walking); T14 (Public Transport); T15 (Interchange Facilities); T16 (Commuter Car Parking); and T17 (Southend Airport) will remain part of the Development Plan for the Borough, pending their review as part of the preparation of Development Plan Documents (DPD2 - 'Planning Obligations and Vehicle Parking Standards'; DPD3 - 'Town Centre Area Action Plan'; DPD4 - 'Seafront Area Action Plan'; DPD5 - 'Criteria Based Policies and Site Allocations', as programmed in the Council's Local Development Scheme.

Policy CP3: Transport and Accessibility

Improvements to transport infrastructure and services will be sought in partnership to secure a 'step change' in provision to achieve a modern integrated transport system necessary to unlock key development sites and to secure the sustainable jobs led regeneration and growth of Southend. This will be achieved by:

  1. improving the road and rail network to deliver improvements to accessibility, traffic flows, travel choice and freight distribution. In particular by:
    1. improving the A127/A1159 east-west strategic transport and freight corridor including junction improvements at Progress Road, Kent Elms, The Bell, Cuckoo Corner, Sutton Road, Fairfax Drive, East/West Street and Victoria Circus;
    2. improving accessibility to key development opportunity sites, including improved access to Shoeburyness and London Southend Airport to support the potential of the Airport to function as a catalyst for economic growth;
    3. providing for the development of high quality transport interchanges at Southend (Southend Regional Transport Node*) and the key urban interchanges at Leigh Railway Station, Shoeburyness Railway Station, Southend Hospital and London Southend Airport;
  1. widening travel choice, particularly by car share, rail, bus, including social transport, taxi, cycling and walking, including the development of 'showcase' bus priority corridors and completion of the national and regional Sustrans cycle routes;
  2. making provision and safeguarding appropriate corridors/land for new modes of passenger transport, such as the 'South Essex Rapid Transit' (SERT) system and potential for 'park and ride' schemes;
  3. realising the potential of the River Thames to function as a sustainable transport corridor, including improved access to Leigh Port, subject to environmental considerations;
  4. providing for state of the art communications, signing and intelligent transport management systems, including maximising the opportunities of the pan – European fibre optic network;
  5. safeguarding and enhancing the environment of 'Environmental Rooms', as defined in the Southend Local Transport Plan; and
  6. improving road safety, quality of life and equality of access for all.

Development proposals will be required to contribute to the implementation of the above transport improvements and the provisions of the Southend on Sea Local Transport Plan and its subsequent reviews where such contributions would be related to the development proposed and necessary for the development to proceed.

Higher density development and/or proposals which would generate large traffic movements or which are of sub-regional importance, will be directed to those areas well served by a range of transport modes and in particular to areas close to the Southend Regional Transport Node. All development will need to reduce sole reliance on the car for accessibility having regard to the Council's Local Development Documents relating to:

  1. Planning Obligations and Vehicle Parking Standards' (DPD2); and
  2. Sustainable Transport' (SPD2).

The Council will monitor and assess the delivery of the transport infrastructure priorities set out in both the RTS (Regional Transport Strategy) and Southend LTP (Local Transport Plan). Failure to achieve clear improvements to transport infrastructure and accessibility to and within the town may trigger a review of the Core Strategy to assess whether further new housing and perhaps other development should be delayed until towards the end of the plan period.

Core Policy CP3: Transport and Accessibility - Monitoring and Implementation Framework

Core Indicator

Policy Indicator


Strategic Objective

SA/SEA Objective

Delivery Body(ies)

Percentage of new non- residential development (minimum floorspace 1,000 sq. metres) on sites complying with parking standards

Total number of commercial/industrial units built

Target to be set in DPD 2 (Planning Obligations and Vehicle Parking Standards)


  • Effective protection of the environment
  • Prudent use of natural resources

SBC, Development industry

Number of key transport infrastructure schemes completed which improve accessibility and sustainable transport provision

Total number of key transport infrastructure schemes completed within the plan period as described in Policy CP3 and Draft East of England Plan Policy TG/SE3 and Policy T17 (Table 8.3)

Year on year improvement in transport infrastructure provision

SO4, SO8, SO9, SO10, SO11, SO12, SO18, SO19

  • Social progress which recognises the needs of everyone
  • Effective protection of the environment
  • Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment

SBC, RSLtd, transport operators, development industry.

Essex County Council (adjoining Southend as part of Thames Gateway South Essex initiatives), Central Government / Highways Agency

New residential development to be within 30 minutes public transport time of key community facilities

Total number and location of residential units built

All new residential development to be located within 30 minutes public transport time of a GP, a hospital, a primary school, a secondary school, areas of employment, and a major retail centre(s) 1

SO4;SO7;SO13, SO19

  • Social progress which recognises the needs of everyone
  • Prudent use of natural resources

SBC (development control), development industry

Reduce congestion on strategic road network

Traffic counts on defined traffic cordons in Borough

Reduction in average vehicle delay (seconds lost per vah-km) on strategic roads (A127, A1159, A13) during a typical AM peak hour, by 9% in 2010/11

SO4, SO8, S09, SO10, SO11,

  • Effective protection of the environment
  • Prudent use of natural resources
  • Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment

SBC, transport operators , Essex County Council (adjoining Southend as part of Thames Gateway South Essex initiatives) ,Central Government / Highways Agency

[7] London to Southend Movement Study (LOTS, May 2004) - Hyder Consulting Limited on behalf of Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership. Study commissioned following identification of need for transport study between London and Southend in approved Regional Planning Guidance for South-East England (RPG 9, March 2001 - paragraph 9.36).

[8] Traffic Flow Monitoring Report and Highways Network Capacity Study - Essex County Council (2005)

 Southend Regional Transport Node comprises Southend Victoria Railway Station, Southend Central Railway Station and Southend Travel Centre .

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