Outcomes and targets
When considering how to best invest in transport it is important to consider what outcomes are actually sought. This is because choices about transport investment affect a wide range of issues from health through to climate change, as noted in the previous section.
If transport projects are not tested against these wide ranging and cross-cutting outcomes consideration may only be given to narrower transport and business case focussed issues. The effect of this in the past has, in many urban areas, been to harm liveability and townscape. The effect of highway design in particular has often been harmful to both townscape quality, walkability and ease of movement and access for cyclists.
It is also important that progress is monitored to ensure investment is having the desired impact. Targets are important to enable monitoring but it is important that the individual and cumulative effects of investment are considered against the wider outcomes, not all of which are able to be quantified.
Cheltenham has a clear Place Vision and it is important that all investment including transport contributes positively to this. The proposed transport outcomes which this strategy seeks to deliver are set out below. These build on the Place Vision and also respond to the ‘Drivers for Change’ which are discussed in the previous section.
These outcomes were discussed and refined at the first and second stakeholder workshops.
The proposed targets for journeys to work were discussed in workshop 2. They are based on the current mode share within the Cheltenham and the analysis that has been done to look at current and future journey patterns. A review of precedent places with high levels of sustainable transport use was also carrried out to help inform the proposed targets.
One of the key challenges which came out of workshop 2 was that there should be ‘stretch’ targets or ‘aspirational’ to reflect the strategies high ambitions.
The proposed targets for mode share were increased as a result and aspirational ‘vision zero’ targets included.
A suggested reduction in car share on the basis that the levels of car use were targeted to fall was not well supported and the target for car share is therefore to retain it at similar levels to the census 2011 mode share.
The current mode share for walking to work is already high at 32 per cent. It is proposed that this level should be broadly retained rather than targeted to be increased. This is the context of a decline in national levels of walking.
The proposed outcomes and targets are set out in the following sections.
Outcome: the design of street and transport infrastructure enhances the character and distinctiveness of Cheltenham
The design of all new transport investment should enhance the character and distinctiveness of Cheltenham. This is not about providing high cost design solutions everywhere, it is about designing transport infrastructure sensitively and carefully in relation to the best of the local context.
Outcome: the way people move around Cheltenham enhances and does not harm health and wellbeing
At the moment, in some locations the speed, volume, noise and air quality issues caused as a result of the way people move around Cheltenham in vehicles harms living conditions and discourages playing out, walking and cycling.
Reducing the speed and volume of vehicles and encouraging the switch to electric vehicles will work to lessen the impacts of transport on living conditions and the important parts of the built and natural environments.
Improving the safety of people travelling and reducing injury accidents also needs to continue to be effectively done. This needs to include perceived and actual safety in relation to verbal and physical abuse.
Outcome: Cheltenham has a strong cycling and walking culture and people of all ages and abilities enjoy moving slowly, walking and cycling for all types of journey
This outcome reflects the need to encourage cycling and walking for all trips and not just journeys to work. It seeks to ensure that people of all ages and abilities are encouraged and enabled to walk and cycle.
This includes ensuring that people with mobility, sight or mental challenges can travel independently moving slowly, walking or cycling.
Outcome: public transport is high quality and convenient and people of all ages and abilities can use it and choose to use it
The outcome reflects the need for the bus services to be so attractive that people choose to use buses instead of the car.
This outcome also reflects the need to ensure that access to buses is inclusive and accessible to people with mobility, sight, or mental challenges.
Outcome: the environmental impact of transport in Cheltenham is continually reduced
Transport choices have a range of environmental impacts. These include a significant contribution to climate change and air-quality impacts. Climate change concerns are now critical and Cheltenham wishes to ensure that the impact of travel within Cheltenham on climate change is significantly reduced.
The health impacts of air quality are also of concern and legal requirements to improve air quality require action.
Outcome: new development is fully integrated in to the town and the growth in travel demand is accommodated without increases in congestion
The urban area is being extended to the west of the town between its current edge and the motorway. To ensure new neighbourhoods form an effective part of the town, they must be well connected to it by all modes, but particularly walking, cycling and public transport.
The increases in travel demand cannot also be physically accommodated without a shift to more efficient and active modes of transport.
Target: mode share
- To double cycle trips including mode share to work
- To increase bus trips by 30 per cent including mode share to work
- To increase car sharing
- To retain levels of walking
To meet wider aspirations relating in particular to health and wellbeing, placemaking, and economic growth, a shift towards efficient and sustainable modes of transport is necessary. In Cheltenham there is a significant opportunity to increase cycling and bus use, and this is reflected in the proposed targets here.
Target: air quality
Vision Zero - A long term aspiration that there are no air pollutants that are harmful to health present in the air in Cheltenham and that year on year there is progress towards this.
This reflects the aspiration that the air in Cheltenham should be free from pollutants which harm health.
Cheltenham is currently covered by an air quality management area. This reflects the fact that there are localised areas of low air quality along key highways. The issues with air quality in Cheltenham are predominantly caused by traffic.
Vision Zero - A long term aspiration that no one is killed or seriously injured on the borough's roads and that year on year there is progress towards this.
This reflects the aspiration that no one should be harmed using the boroughs streets.
Reduce total delays due to congestion within the Borough year on year.
Reducing congestion is also as aspirational target. It would assist in the delivery of improved air quality and bus reliability and attractiveness in particular.