4.1 Given the geographic area that is covered by
the District, a good transport system is fundamental to its
efficient functioning. Eden is characterised by small, scattered
settlements. Effective transport links are therefore important to
the local economy, to residents and to visitors. However, the small
size of many of the settlements means that they are unable to
support a viable public transport system. Only Penrith is served by
public transport links within the town and to Carlisle which meet
journey to work needs, apart from those settlements with early
morning services along the Settle-Carlisle Railway line. Elsewhere
people are dependent upon the private car for such trips, although
there are public long distance services both by road and rail. As
has been indicated elsewhere, the Local Plan has responded to
Government guidance on reducing the need to travel by allocating
land both for housing and employment in rural centres. It is
necessary to recognise that there will be continued dependence upon
the private car, without which life in rural Eden would be
impossible. A consequence of this circumstance is that it continues
to be necessary to make parking provision at a level which
recognises the reality of planning for the needs of a small,
scattered rural population.
4.2 The control of traffic flows, access
and parking contributes to the creation of a pleasant and safe
environment for living and working, as well as ensuring the
efficient movement of traffic. Reference is made in the Shopping
chapter of the Local Plan to the need for sensitive improvements in
the main shopping streets of some of the District's principal
settlements in order that they offer attractive environments, as
well as improve pedestrian safety. A major objective of this
section is to work towards the achievement of a balance between the
requirements of vehicles, for access, servicing and parking; and
the needs of pedestrians for a safe and appealing environment.
4.3 A secondary, but nevertheless important
issue, is that of public transport. Recent years have seen a
decline in the frequency and number of bus services operating in
Eden, and the future of the Settle-Carlisle Railway has also been
in question. Whilst some 80% of households in the District have
access to a private vehicle, public transport is particularly
important to the remainder, providing access to services and
employment opportunities. In order to allow these residents
continued access, it is important that the present level of
services is at least maintained.
4.4 Improvements in accessibility to services
and facilities are also of vital importance to people with
disabilities. In the interest of improving access for this part of
the population, access issues must receive special attention.
4.5 Finally, the District draws considerable
benefit from its access to the regional and national rail network.
These links are important to business users, residents and visitors
alike and their loss would result in significant disadvantage.
4.6 Having regard to the preceding issues, and
to plan principles 5 and 6 set out at the beginning of this
document, the following objectives have been identified for that
part of the Local Plan dealing with access, parking and
Objective 26 to promote
improvements in accessibility for all people with disabilities.
Objective 27 to support the
maintenance and enhancement of an adequate public transport network
including access to and use of the rail services.
Objective 28 to support
justified proposals for the improvement of the regional and local
road network, especially where this will resolve safety problems or
facilitate environmental enhancement and planned development.
Objective 29 to support
proposals for improved traffic management.
Objective 30 to promote
adequate parking provision throughout the Local Plan area.
Objective 31 to encourage
sustainable forms of transport, including cycling.