What do new housing promises mean for local traffic surveys and planning?

In his budget statement last week, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, said that the government intended to build 300,000 homes per year in England. This refers to new building, rather than refurbishing existing buildings for domestic use, so there will inevitably be a knock-on effect in terms of transport planning. So what does this mean for developers, planners and local communities?

Many housing experts agree that, in order to make a difference to the housing market by reducing house prices and providing more housing for those who really need it, much of this promised housing needs to be truly affordable. However, affordable housing is still mostly bought by people who drive – and often have two cars per household. This increases the potential traffic in a development area and has an impact on the local environment.

State-of-play traffic surveys

Before designing a development, there are many factors for property companies to consider. One is the existing state of things, and that includes current traffic conditions. New developments tend to be built, where possible, on brown field sites, and these are usually in urban areas and are either previous industrial sites, or sites that have been previously developed for other use. The location of these sites means they are often adjacent to areas that are already well-developed, alongside major roads and close to existing retail or office developments. So the impact on local traffic is an essential part of the design and planning process.

An initial traffic survey will allow developers to see how things currently stand, and will provide clear data with which to plan the next steps. This can be run alongside pedestrian surveys and parking surveys, to ensure that all aspects of road use are considered, and local communities are consulted about the things that matter to them.

Data can be used to support potential changes to the road system, to justify the addition of crossing points, bike lanes and speed management initiatives, and to demonstrate how the new development will manage traffic positively and safely for the good of the whole community.

Traffic surveys from RDS

At Road Data Services we work with all parties involved in new housing, retail or commercial developments to understand existing traffic conditions and prepare plans for how those conditions might change. We use the latest technology and expert surveyors to provide our clients with clear, reliable data that informs good decision making. To find out more about how we can help, contact us today.

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