Memorandum by Redditch Borough Council
1. WHAT WAS
Redditch was designated a New Town in 1964 to
help relieve overcrowding in the West Midlands Conurbation. The
population of Redditch at that time was approximately 32,000 and
the target population was 70,000 by 1980. After that it was anticipated
that the town would be likely to continue to grow by natural increase,
though at a much slower pace, and would reach 90,000 by about
the year 2010.
The following principles applied to the planning
of Redditch New Town:
The plan must allow for flexibility
in the use and extent of land for development, allowing for local
and regional changes.
All forms of transport must be integrated,
allowing for as much free movement of cars as is possible, while
at the same time providing for a shift in emphasis from private
towards public transport as the town grows.
Pedestrians must be segregated from
fast moving vehicles.
Development must be based on environmental
areas from which all extraneous traffic is excluded.
Houses must be built within short
distances of social facilities to encourage people to walk rather
Industries with high traffic generation
must be dispersed to avoid road congestion.
Old and new development must be integrated,
together with the simultaneous creation of an identifiable urban
character for each area.
The town should fit in to the regional
landscape and the limits of building development should be clearly
defined to ensure that a firmly held green belt between the New
Town and the Birmingham Conurbation is maintained thereby avoiding
A balanced population and employment
structure must be created to provide a sound basis for the development
of the town.
As the town grows the provision of
social facilities must keep pace with the population growth.
The New Town Masterplan was based on the concept
that although cars will be given access to all parts of the town,
the pedestrian routes and public transport will be designed as
the most direct and possibly the speediest method of moving about
The future importance of the public transport
system and the need to design the town so that it could become
a public transport rather than a car orientated town has resulted
in the main public transport stops being located at the centres
for their surrounding areas, with the town designed as a series
of districts based on walking distance from the centres. These
districts would contain residential, industrial and recreational
development and can be connected by footpaths and roads. The residential
areas would be environmental units having all through and non-residential
traffic excluded from them.
2. WHICH OF
The plan must allow for flexibility
in the use and extent of land for development, allowing for local
and regional changes.
On the whole, the Masterplan has
achieved its objectives with regard to the integration of all
forms of transport and the town is comparatively well served by
bus services. The bus station is currently being redeveloped and
linkages with rail services and taxis will be improved to provide
a transport interchange. Although bus and rail services to Birmingham
are generally good, the links with south Worcestershire are currently
inadequate and need to be improved.
With regard to the highway network,
the Redditch Development Corporation was unable to complete one
scheme that had been included in its road construction programme.
This was the two lane Alcester Highway extension to connect with
the proposed Studley bypass. Other road schemes that had been
identified in the Masterplan which have not yet been implemented
The realignment and improvement of
the A435, Gorcott Hill to Washford (Studley bypass).
The construction of the Bordesley
The dualling of Warwick Highway.
The widening of Battens Drive.
The main principle of the road system
to create areas of high environmental quality and high safety
within which there will be no vehicular traffic which is not servicing
destinations within that area has been adhered to. Roads in the
urban area are divided into four classes: Primary Distributors,
District Distributors, Local Distributors and Access Roads. As
traffic volumes and speeds rise, so the traffic is kept further
away from the places in which pedestrians will need or wish to
Housing access roads only service
frontage residential developments and consequently all extraneous
traffic is excluded from the residential areas.
Throughout most of the town, facilities
such as play areas, allotments, schools, shops, and churches have
been provided within residential districts and are within walking
The newer industrial areas are well
related to the primary distributor roads and although there may
be some congestion within the estate roads, this is not a major
The integration of old and new development
has not always been successfully achieved particularly in respect
of the town centre.
The green belt boundary to the north
west of the town has successfully prevented urban sprawl and the
coalescence of Redditch with Birmingham.
The development of Redditch as a
New Town has strongly influenced the age structure of Redditch's
population. High inward migration of large numbers of young people
in the 1970s and a corresponding high level of natural increase
in the early 1980s has meant that the population has an unusually
high proportion in the younger age groups.
With regard to the provision of social
facilities these have not always kept pace with the population
growth. For example, some of the existing leisure facilities,
such as the swimming pools at Hewell Road and the dual use pool
at the Kingsley school are wholly inadequate to serve a town of
this size. The masterplan indicated that there was a need for
a multi-purpose sports centre including swimming facilities and
covered space for sports such as tennis, netball, squash, etc.
However, although some of these facilities exist in the Borough,
a modern indoor swimming pool was not provided.
3. WHAT DO
In the future, Redditch will not continue to
accommodate the overspill requirements of the West Midlands Conurbation.
Future growth of the town will be limited to that required to
meet its own natural population increase. This reflects policy
in Draft Regional Planning Guidance for the West Midlands which
seeks to achieve urban renaissance in the Major Urban Areas in
the Region ie Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry and North
The potential for further expansion of the urban
area within the Borough is, in any case, severely restricted.
On the northern side is the boundary of Bromsgrove District Council
and to the east is the boundary of Stratford upon Avon Council
in Warwickshire. The only direction in which any major growth
could occur in the future within the boundaries of the Borough
is to the south west which is designated as Green Belt.
Regional Planning Guidance identifies Redditch
as a Strategic Town Centre. One of the stated objectives of Regional
Planning Guidance is to promote the development of a network of
strategic centres across the Region to act as a driver for economic
growth and regeneration, to provide a focus for the provision
of services, including public transport, and cultural development,
to provide opportunities for town and city living, and to support
an enhancement of local and regional identity. Thus Redditch is
identified as having sub-regional significance and with other
strategic centres will provide the focus for major new retail
developments and other uses that attract large numbers of people.
Redditch is also identified as a Local Regeneration
Area in Regional Planning Guidance because it contains at least
one of the most deprived 20 per cent of wards nationally. The
main priority will be to increase opportunities in areas of need,
although it will be necessary to address the employment requirements
of the whole town including the need to reduce commuting.
The aim is to build on the platform that the
£60 million investment in the shopping centre to be a sub-regional
centre for retail. The Abbey Stadium development will have elements
of regional significance, swimming pool complex, indoor tennis
centre, indoor ski slope, whilst others are local facilities such
as sports hall, cinema etc. The Council is also developing a sports
academy in partnership with the governing bodies of Football,
Cricket, Rugby and Hockey which will provide facilities for these
sports for North Worcestershire and south Birmingham. Advantage
West Midlands (AWM) are considering locating a regional centre
for Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure in the town on the Abbey
Stadium development site.
4. TO WHAT
Since the completion of the area covered by
the master plan, the development of the largest sites has primarily
taken place on the edge of the urban area. In considering the
layout and design of new developments account has been taken of
the form of existing development nearby. However, estate layouts
and the design of housing built in the 1980s and 1990s are significantly
different from those built as part of the New Town. There is a
greater awareness of the need to incorporate safety and security
aspects into the design of housing layouts. Affordable housing
is now integrated into private housing schemes.
There are certain principles that are still
being followed such as the protection of open space from development,
ensuring that new developments are adequately served by public
transport, community and other facilities are provided as part
of large new housing schemes, integration of new development with
existing, and the prevention of urban sprawl through the application
of Green Belt policy.
5. HOW WELL
The extent to which the old and new parts of
the town have been successfully integrated varies from area to
An example of poor integration of new development
within the historic street pattern is the Kingfisher Shopping
Centre. Although the Kingfisher Centre has adopted the historic
street pattern internally, it is designed as a single entity where
connections to the general street network are limited. There are
only two direct street entrances, three additional subway entry
points and three direct car park entry points. The multi-level
bus station access provides the principal point of entry for those
using public transport. There is no vehicle access to the centre
other than at service deck level.
Evesham Walk provides the remnants of a street
environment although once the centre is closed (in the evenings)
this is effectively a cul de sac. Similarly George Walk remains
open to public access once the centre is closed, but provide no
through linkage to the town centre. There is therefore specific
contrast in accessibility linkage and permeability between the
daytime and the nighttime environment.
For the most part the Kingfisher Centre is perceived
as a series of external walls housing internalised commercial
space. Given the internalised nature of the Centre, the physical/visible
interface with the town centre is extremely limited. The lack
of presence of the Kingfisher Centre within the "old town"
is a consequence of the original concept, which anticipated key
user movements being from the peripheral car parks directly into
the Centre. There was no awareness in this concept of the aesthetic
importance of gateways. Nor was there any value placed on the
importance of the new centre having a closer relationship with
the traditional shopping street.
With regard to housing built in the 1960s and
1970s, a range of designs, layouts and materials have been used
which are not in keeping with traditional street patterns and
housing styles. In some areas, this has resulted in poor integration
at the interface between modern and older housing. There is now
a greater awareness of the need to respect the existing character
of an area in designing new housing schemes and the Council has
adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance on Encouraging Good Design
in an attempt to improve the quality of new development and the
integration of the new with the old.
The "target" population for Redditch
was originally 90,000. The resident population estimate for mid
2000 is 77,134. The continuing decrease in household size is the
primary reason why Redditch has not reached its original target
population. This projection was based on a very high assumed household
size ranging from 3.0 to 3.5 persons, making it impossible to
achieve the target on the land allocated, despite Redditch's higher
than average household size.
7. HOW DOES
A comparison of the age profile of Redditch
with the national average based on mid 2000 resident population
estimates reveals the following:
There is a higher proportion of children aged
0-4 in Redditch (6.7 per cent) than nationally (6.0 per cent).
The proportion of persons aged 5-34 is similar
to the national average at 40.4 per cent for Redditch and 40 per
cent nationally, although the proportion of persons aged 5-14
is slightly higher than nationally. Redditch13.4 per cent,
nationally13 per cent.
The proportion of persons aged 35-59 is higher
in Redditch (36.1 per cent) than nationally (33.6 per cent).
The proportion of persons aged 60-90+ is lower
in Redditch (16.9 per cent) than nationally (20.4 per cent).
The bulge in the persons aged 35-59 and the
lower than average proportion of persons aged 60-90 is a result
of Redditch's history as a New Town. Many of those in the 35-59
age group would have moved to Redditch in the 1960s, 1970s and
early 80s. This will result in a higher proportion of elderly
persons in the Borough over the next 10 to 20 years.
A fall in the number of school age children
in recent years has resulted in a review of schools in the Borough
and the closure and amalgamation of some schools.
8. HOW STRONG
There is evidence that there is a strong demand
for commercial premises in the town. On average, properties in
Redditch spend the shortest time on the market than any properties
in North Worcestershire. High demand is also indicated by the
number of enquirers who are willing to wait long periods of time
for properties to become available rather than locate elsewhere.
The problems we experience satisfying demand for certain properties,
eg small parcels of freehold land, small freehold industrial units,
indicates a mismatch between demand and supply.
The mismatch between demand and supply and the
continuing requests for properties indicate a need for further
commercial developments. New developments in the town seem to
be limited to large industrial units (25,000 sq ft plus) and smaller
freestanding office units (c2,500 sq ft). Whilst the office accommodation
is frequently let before the development is completed, the industrial
units do not experience such high demand. Whilst need exists for
smaller units, developers are not satisfying this demand rather
all chasing the same small market.
New developments in the town do not seem to
affect other towns in the sub-regional area. Enquirers searching
for commercial premises tend to look in very specific areas. In
our experience, companies looking to locate in Redditch will only
consider Redditch and possibly Bromsgrove. Also, other towns have
similar developments to those taking place in Redditch which are
also enjoying similar take-up.
9. CAN YOU
The Worcestershire Structure Plan which was
adopted in June 2001, identifies Redditch as a sustainable location
for future development. However, it is recognised that limited
scope exists to accommodate future growth. Consequently, the targets
set by the County Council for housing and employment are to meet
growth arising from natural increase of the indigenous population,
and not to accommodate in-migration.
The major issue for the Borough beyond 2011
is how and where future development needs will be met. Land has
already been allocated to meet the employment targets set in the
Hereford and Worcester Structure Plan (1986-2001) within the adjoining
Bromsgrove District at Ravensbank.
Further expansion to the north west is unlikely
to be acceptable because it would involve an incursion into the
Green Belt between Redditch and Birmingham. Areas of Development
Restraint which were identified for future development are likely
to have been developed in the period up to 2011. All major sites
in the urban area which are capable of development in the period
up to 2011 have been identified in an Urban Capacity Study.
The main issue for Redditch post 2011 will be
how to meet its own natural growth. There appear to be two main
optionseither rolling back the Green Belt which lies to
the south west of the urban area, or meeting expansion needs in
adjoining districts. This will be a matter to be determined in
the next review of the Worcestershire Structure Plan or possibly
Regional Planning Guidance if it is considered appropriate that
future growth should be met in Stratford upon Avon District in
Although this concern was raised at the Structure
Plan EiP, it has not been addressed in the current Structure Plan
nor in Draft Regional Planning Guidance.
10. WHAT IS
Redditch town centre is well located to serve
the southern West Midlands and is very well located for ease of
road access. However, it is of limited size (ranking nine in the
sub-region) and is not central to a large urban population. The
town is subordinate to Birmingham and its southern districts and
is "surrounded" by larger towns and facilities to which
access is also goodStratford, Worcester, Merry Hill. Over
the last 10 to 15 years, Redditch has been losing trade to these
other shopping areas which have been improving in scale and quality.
Redditch ranks 16 in the sub-region in terms of town centre comparison
floor space. The town centre does not therefore have a regional
role and is unlikely to be able to exert a strong sub-regional
role without significant change of scale or attraction.
The Kingfisher Centre, an indoor shopping mall,
dominates the town centre and is a product of the New Town Programme
of the 1970s. It has suffered from a lack of investment and proactive
management over the past 10 years or so resulting in declining
performance and attractiveness to retailers, investors and customers.
The design, although providing a large covered shopping centre,
does not provide satisfactory linkages to the town centre as a
whole nor a strong sense of placewith quality and character.
Thornfield Redditch Ltd Partnership, the owners
of the Kingfisher Centre, identified the centre as under performing
but with significant potential for improvement. To achieve this
the centre will have to reposition itself in the sub-region to
compete effectively. Thornfield is seeking to maximise the potential
of the Kingfisher Centre by improving the range of shops, ensuring
a better mix of uses including leisure, restaurants, fast food,
improvements to the environment, strengthening the linkages with
the rest of the town centre and improved management and promotion.
Thornfield is investing about £60 million in the town centre
and has started an ambitious programme of development which will
see the completion in September 2002 of a new Bus Station, leisure
facilities and an indoor food hall. The second phase, the redevelopment
of the site of the outdoor market to provide a Debenhams Department
Store together with a number of small shop units, restaurants
and cafes is underway and is due for completion in October 2002.
Thornfield is aiming to capture an additional
£50 million over and above the existing town centre turnover.
However, the future success of the town centre and the achievement
of this additional spend will depend not only on future investment
in the town, but also by the relative strengthening of the position
of nearby town centres and the Merry Hill shopping centre. Redditch
town centre is now playing catch up, having fallen behind and
lost trade to other centres where investment has taken place over
the last ten years. Although the prospects for Redditch are better
than they have been, much depends on the ability to recapture
spend lost to other centres.
The investment in the shopping centre takes
the Kingfisher Shopping Centre to just over one million sq ft.
The town centre is also undergoing considerable change, with new
uses for empty buildings, the re-development of North East Worcestershire
(NEW) College. Completion of these projects will leave only one
area of some seven acres for re-development and there is already
significant interest in the site.
The next challenge is to change people's perception
of Redditch, as a place to visit and shop and to create more opportunities
for specialised and niche traders. The current provision of leisure
facilities coupled with the closure of the local cinema has compounded
the view that, particularly from young people, that Redditch is
a town with no prospects and nothing to do.
The town centre is undergoing a major programme
of investment and promotion aimed at placing it within the top
10 retail destinations in the country. In order to sustain this
programme of regeneration, it is important that the issues of
leisure and entertainment facilities are also addressed, hence
the redevelopment of the Abbey Stadium site.
The project will raise the profile of the town
contributing to the promotion of the area as a location for inward
investment. The town continues to have an over reliance on the
automotive industry as highlighted by the Rover situation, and
we also have a high proportion of employment based in manufacturing
(Manufacturing accounts for 36 per cent of employment
in the town compared to 26 per cent in the West Midlands region
and 18 per cent for the country as a whole 1998 Annual Employment
Survey.) The two major leisure schemes will provide a substantial
boost for employment in the town. It is important to note that
such employment will provide a greater diversity of opportunity
within the town thus a more sustainable economy.
The town suffers from current low education
and training attainment levels which in turn contributes to the
relatively low earnings, the partnership with AWM seeks to overcome
this problem, by providing far more opportunities and gateways
for education and training and subsequently jobs for young people.
11. CAN YOU
Typically English Partnerships are entitled
to clawback 100 per cent of the value of land on disposal. This
decreases by 2 per cent every year. Therefore land transferred
in the early/mid 1980s will currently have a 60-70 per cent clawback.
12. THE COMMITTEE
This has not been an issue for RBC.
13. CAN YOU
The outstanding liabilities resulting from the
package of assets transferred from the New Town are:
Asbestos related material;
Liabilities as a result of design:
Lack of car parking provision;
Non-traditional construction, ie
The authority has a number of liabilities arising
from the transfer of assets etc. These include the scale and nature
of the landscaping, the number of community centres, the number
and nature of local shopping centres, the physical separation
of the community by the road infrastructure, and the density of
the housing. The scale of construction within a relatively short
build time means that the landscaping all matures at around the
same time and major components in dwellings etc fail at the same
time. The town also has issues relating to the age make up of
the population. A significant proportion of people moving into
the newly created town were of a similar age and they continue
to age together.
The authority still has outstanding issues regarding
staff on different terms and conditions of employment dependent
upon whether there was previous service with the Development Corporation.
14. HOW DOES
Redditch has highlighted some £60 million
of catch-up works needed to its housing stock in its Business
Plan, based on information collected from the recent stock condition
survey. In addition the Council is investing £1.5 million
of capital money over the next three years to deal with the ongoing
landscaping issues throughout the estates.
15. TO WHAT
Unaware of any involvement in housing regeneration
16. MANY OF
SSA TO REFLECT
SSA COULD BE
17. HAS THE
English Partnerships have been identified as
having an interest in a number of sites in the district that the
Council would potentially wish to see developed for affordable
housing. Whilst this has not created any major difficulties, it
has created a level of uncertainty in terms of the resources for
delivering affordable housing and therefore in developing a housing
Negative implications include the reduced level
of capital receipts to be generated from the sale of land (the
authority is debt free and is therefore able to use 100 per cent
of receipts for capital purposes). Potentially this means that
there is less incentive to dispose of the site and it also causes
uncertainty over the amount of LASHG available (the Council would
generally wish to recycle all of the receipts from the sale of
land to RSLs as LASHG). Other complications include the necessity
to gain approval from the Board of English Partnerships for the
disposal of sites at less than market valuethis is required
to make affordable housing schemes financially viable. However,
the Council's good relationship with English Partnerships has
minimised the scale of these difficulties.
18. WHAT IS
The balance has been anticipated in the region
of 75/25 (design/resource). The lack of resources, both in revenue
and capital, over the years has exacerbated the problem and has
lead to the need to prioritise and target all the repair and maintenance
issues of the housing stock.
It may be of interest that RBC is one of a number
of local authorities/RSLs who are participating in a national
Assitive Technology project, which is looking at the design of
typical properties for social housing and assessing what might
be required in terms of assitive technology to enable older people
and people with disabilities to remain in their own homes with
appropriate assistance. The researchers have surveyed five typical
properties in Redditch in some detail, and also interviewed tenants
who have been provided with equipment and adaptations by the Council.
We are awaiting the results of these surveys, but I do not think
the researchers will be able to feedback results until the summer.
If helpfulI can provide a contact name for the researchers.
19. HAS YOUR
Redditch new town estates have varying degrees
of problems associated with crime. During the early 90s Estate
Action funding was accessible for improvements to these type of
areas. Redditch was successful with its bid for Woodrow where
the estate undertook major changes to access routes, removal of
bridge-link flats, conversion of some flats to houses and door
One new town estate in Redditch, Woodrow, had
a terrible reputation as a consequence of Anti-Social behaviour,
varied crime (with dwelling house burglary as the most socially
damaging), low level damage and nuisance all around an area known
as the Spine. As the name suggests, this ran right through the
estate and has small alleys running off it. Some years ago the
Police and the RBC did a full survey of the problems and project
managed the changes that have since been put into place. The changes
were fairly simple and included blocking some alleys off, re-routing
the footpaths and creating defensible space to tenants. Blocks
of flats had security doors fitted and footpaths running under
bedrooms were blocked off. "Bryant Place" was also given
the youth facility in order to try and divert the youngsters.
All of this was undertaken with community involvement.
CCTVFunded by the Home Office with a
funding bid put together by RBC and the Police. The second phase
was to go out to district centre, but that bid failed. Running
with the CCTV bid has been the refurbishment of the Town Centre
as a whole and the linking of the Kingfisher CCTV system to the
RBC system. The Quadrant has been a major piece of work with input
at all stages from ourselves. RBC and the Police have also played
an active part in the planning process for the ambition to get
Secure by Design Car Parks. The new Town Centre pubs have all
got their own CCTV systems, something the Police pushed for at
the early planning stage.
Clearly the work around another estate, Batchley,
involving the funding provided by Community Works (Single Regeneration
Budget Project), gave the opportunity to place a Police Officer
on secondment and to project manage the clearing up of the pool,
sorting out car parking and giving defensible spaces to property,
as well as improving security with the provision of new/better
locks. Again, the community has played a big part in this.
Winyates Centre (District Shopping Centre).
The Police and RBC have worked together to identify problems around
the centre and have undertaken crime surveys and landscape surveys
in order to improve the environment. The issue of providing living
accommodation over a centre like that is exacerbated by the provision
of licensed premises. The work is date includes:
Landscaping, ie chopping trees and
Buildings, ie blocking alleyways
Environment, ie taking walls down,
moving furniture and generally making it less attractive to "hang
Police presence, ie allowing Police
to share an office with RBC.
Community involvement, ie shopkeepers
and residents groups.
Enforcement, ie Alcohol Ban and Anti
Social Behaviour Orders.
Play Area Review. Town wide with input from
RBC and the Police with a view to reducing the large number of
play areas (400 to less than 50). The idea is to have provision
across age ranges in the right places and with a balance. The
consultation on this has been mammoth and has been funded by RBC
with police input.
New Development Plans. The Police get to see
the plans and have the opportunity to speak out about the design.
A particular example of this is the Headless Cross triangle where
Police criticised the style of the housing as it allowed easier
access to non residents and had defensible parking areas that
were not overlooked. Use regard was given to this and the planning
refused, with Police's views forming part of the decision making.
RBC, Fire Brigade and the Police have been working
together for some time in relation to abandon vehicles. A blitz
is in the pipeline for July to reduce the number of abandoned
vehicles that are a danger to the community. Their presence is
made easier by the open/unallocated bay system that exists on
A2 planning (hot food takeaway). RBC, Police
and Fire Brigade also consider planning for the above. Examples
re opposing the plans are:
(i) Priestfield Road whereby A2 permission
was opposed (but granted) in a row of shops likely to attract
youngsters and therefore Anti-Social Behaviour.
(ii) the new Brockhill development where
Police addressed the issues around an A2 site with the developers
and RBC. Consequently no food outlet is planned.
The development of a pub on the new Brockhill
site is ongoing, with RBC and the Police looking to get a broader
leisure facility, not just a pub.
Police's early input to the Brockhill plans
has given them the chance to work with the developers and RBC
regarding changes to the layout and design of specific site areas
on a regular basis in order to design crime out.
The Alcad site has shown Police's involvement
in the creation of a consultation group involving RBC, community
members, commerce, elected members and other interested parties.
This is managing the project well.
The design of the New Town has made it easier
for vehicular use but not necessarily for foot passengers. "Safer
routes to schools" has linked with the Play Area review and
the RBC capital landscape programme in order to improve the safety
of people, particularly the young, in a co-ordinated, local way.
Funding from the Worcestershire County Council and RBC.
It is the Police's vision to improve communities
through Intelligence Led Policing (ILP) with the Police taking
greater consideration of PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social,
Environmental and Legal) issues: this is in its early days.
Funding may be coming on line for ventures such
as the "Safer Homes" project, but other initiatives
can/have attracted micro and macro funding.
The Borough Council supports the Secured by
Design Scheme and the principles of natural surveillance and defensable
space, and expects all applicants to meet those standards where
The Council's Supplementary Planning Guidance
on Encouraging Good Design provides useful guidance to developers
on design features that will reduce the likelihood of crimes being
committed. In addition, the Guide draws attention to the need
to highlight the difference between public space and private space
and suggests incorporating features into new housing schemes such
as front boundary walls, the use of secure gates to alleyways
providing access to the rear of properties and designing layouts
so backs face backs (private space to private space).
20. WHAT ARE
One of the overall objectives of the Worcestershire
Local Transport Plan is to reduce dependency on the private car.
Specific objectives have been devised for each of the following:
Integrated Public Transport, Walking Strategy, Freight Strategy
and School Travel Plans.
Various initiatives are included in the Local
Transport Plan. These include:
Improvements to rail links between Redditch
and the south of Worcestershire by increasing the number of main
line services stopping at Barnt Green. However, this is low priority
in the LTP.
Safer Routes to Schools is an initiative which
is being pursued County wide. In relation to Redditch, the Transport
Section worked with Education in analysing the effects of school
closure, as part of the analysis of options and has subsequently
carried out a Safer Routes to School study of those schools remaining.
As a first stage in assessing necessary works, which will be in
greater demand where pupil transfer occurs, funding for these
proposals is included in the LTP bid.
The redevelopment of the bus station in Redditch
town centre is being linked with a Bus Quality Partnership for
Redditch which covers the whole of Redditch but will pursue a
corridor approach to upgrading existing bus service provision
over the next five years. Funding for the County Council's contributions
to the Bus Quality Partnership is included in the LTP bid.
An interurban, high quality, easy access bus
service (the "Easilink") has been developed linking
Kidderminster, Bromsgrove and Redditch. The service has been tailored
to meet the needs of a range of users, including workers, shoppers,
hospital visitors and students.
The Local Transport Plan does not deal specifically
with issues of design and layout where that promotes car dependence.
This is the subject of a separate study which is currently being
undertaken by the County Council is connection with a review of
car parking standards.
We, as RBC, do hot have a local transport plan
as it is a County Council function to produce the local transport
plan. However, we have been working jointly with the County and
other partners to delivery the Transport Plan in Redditch.
A Bus Quality Partnership exists and a recent
study has been undertaken by consultants to identify local needs
and problems and help develop a strategy for improving bus services.
The consultant could draw out any key points
that he thinks are related to being a new town, which we could
forward later when they have finished their analysis. Please let
me know if you would like this information.
We are partners in the Wychavon and Redditch
Rural Transport Partnership
21. HAVE YOU
The Shopmobility Servicewhich is funded
in Partnership with the owners of the Kingfisher Centreit
provides for over 20,000 uses a year. It is being included in
Liz Lynne MEP's web site as Rapporteur for the European Year of
Dial a Ride Servicewhich provides over
19,000 trips a year for people with disabilities and mobility
problems. It includes a Rural Rides service to enable mobility
for people in the rural areas of Redditch, funded through the
Wychavon and Redditch Rural Transport Partnership.
Concessionary Faresgenerous scheme for
pensioners and disabled people offering free travel within the
Borough boundary and routes to Birmingham, and half fare outside
the Borough boundary. This includes travel on hospital bus services
funded by the health transport partnership. (I understand these
hospital buses are seen as good practice).
These services are part of a package of services
to meet the needs of elderly and disabled people, which also includes
an extensive community warden service, very sheltered housing
providing integrated support and care, in partnership with Social
Services, a very well funded equipment and adaptations service
and a Care and Repair Agency. I think this priority that has been
given to meeting the needs of older and disabled is very interesting,
given the usual view of the new towns like Redditch as having
a young population.