Developing an Integrated Transport Strategy to Meet the Challenges of Sustainable Redevelopment for an Iconic Central London Regeneration Area
M Tibby, W McDougall, Sinclair Knight Merz, UK; C Porter, Transport for London, UK
How can we develop an integrated transport strategy that promotes sustainable development, whilst maximising the economic potential for an iconic inner London ?Opportunity Area??
Major redevelopment opportunities in city centres are rare. After the development of London?s Docklands and the redevelopment opportunities brought about by the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea area in London, with the iconic Battersea Power Station as a focal point presents one of the most significant city centre redevelopment opportunities in Europe. Redevelopment of this scale requires the cooperation of the private and public sectors and the development of an integrated transport and land use strategy for the area. It presents unique challenges in balancing diverse interests and managing stakeholders in order to promote sustainable development, whilst maximising the economic potential of the area.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) has defined the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea area as an ?Opportunity Area? (OA) where it wishes to facilitate a step change in the type of urban re-development. It is located on the south bank of the River Thames, on the fringes of central London and the West End. It includes significant areas of derelict land, including the Power Station site and industrial sites, and has been identified in the London Plan as an area that can accommodate significant new employment and housing. However much of it is relatively poorly-served by transport, and although a number of major developers have assembled portfolios of land for potential development, the existing transport infrastructure cannot support the density of development which they seek. As a result, one developer has already put forward proposals for a privately funded extension of the London Underground network to serve their site at Battersea Power Station.
The need to integrate transport and land use was recognised early on. The GLA developed an Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for this area and Transport for London (TfL) provided the transport input for the OAPF. Funding for transport schemes in London is under pressure, and the value of private sector finance is becoming increasingly important, however a balance is required between the specific commercial interests of landowners and the wider benefits which can be gained through well planned transport interventions.
This paper describes the Transport Study which was undertaken to test the impact of the different development scenarios on the existing transport infrastructure, and to appraise potential transport interventions required to support the extent of proposed development. The results of this study have been incorporated into the OAPF document.
The VNEB OA was the first in London to be the subject of an integrated land use and Transport Study, which involved working with a consortium of land owners and public sector bodies with interests in the OA.
Public Transport and Highway models were developed for the transport study based on existing TfL models. The models were refined and improved for the OA and surrounding area and updated to a 2008 base. They were then used to test five OA development scenarios, with the largest proposing 16,750 new homes and 27,000 new jobs. Planning issues such as increased household sizes, public transport accessibility and car parking restrictions were incorporated into the modelling process.
Through extensive stakeholder consultation, a wide range of transport initiatives was refined and grouped into integrated packages appropriate to each development scenario. These included potential extensions to the London Underground, light rail and bus options, as well as improved pedestrian and cycle links, including a possible new pedestrian bridge across the River Thames.
Much of the existing transport infrastructure is already close to capacity at peak hours, thus the potential of proposed transport solutions to reduce pressure on these in future years became a significant part of the formulation and assessment of the transport packages.
With the benefit of the transport modelling tests, the transport packages were appraised using both the UK Department of Transport WebTAG methodology, and TfL guidance to inform the OAPF. This appraisal included assessments with relation to sustainability, accessibility, integration, safety, environment and emissions.
The Transport Study recommended the appropriate level of transport packages that would be required to achieve integration between each proposed land use and associated travel demand. It has set the scene for a number of subsequent studies, both within the VNEB OA and at other Opportunity Areas across London.
A planning application has now been made for redevelopment of the Battersea Power Station Site, and it is hoped that the conference presentation can include an update on the development and the associated Transport Assessment.
Association for European Transport