The proposed development has been designed to incorporate and encourage sustainable mode access as a priority, particularly local trips. However, because the SportsHub will serve a wider catchment population than just the local area, people will choose to drive or come by public transport.
We also know from previous consultations that the local community are concerned about increased traffic within the residential area of West Bletchley, particularly on Buckingham Road and Tattenhoe Lane.
The transport and movement elements of our master plan have been designed to address these specific issues, ensuring that any potential impact on the local roads is minimised and sustainable travel is at the core of the proposals for accessing the SportsHub.
Unlike purely residential or commercial development, which generates most traffic during the busiest morning and evening peak hours, the SportsHub proposal will generate vehicular movements throughout the day, primarily off peak, and is therefore expected to have a limited highway impact during the typical Milton Keynes morning and evening peak hours when the highway network will be at its busiest.
The principal vehicular access to the site will therefore be from the A421 Standing Way so as to minimise impact on local roads. To ensure the free flow of traffic, its envisaged that a new Left in-Left out (‘Lilo’) junction is proposed to be located nearby the existing access to Tattenhoe (Rhoscolyn Drive), with u-turning manoeuvres at Windmill Hill Roundabout and Standing Way Roundabout. This form of junction allows existing traffic on the A421 to remain free flowing without queuing or delay and therefore minimises impact for through traffic.
The residential element of the proposal (circa 125 units) would generate in the order of 65 two-way trips in either peak hour, which can be easily accommodated by the left-in left-out junction arrangement proposed.
The first plans for the SportsHub included building a new roundabout on the A421 to provide access at this location. However, we have analysed the expected traffic generation from the new development and this demonstrates that the left-in left out junction now proposed will provide safe access to the site for the number of car movements generated whilst having the least impact on the operation of the A421 and the Rhoscolyn Drive access for Tattenhoe residents, both during construction and afterwards.
There will be no vehicular access to the site from Buckingham Road or Tattenhoe Lane; the new housing proposed will also be accessed solely from the A421 via the new entrance into the core of the development area.
However, in order to meet requirements for a second point of access for emergency vehicles, an emergency access (with control measures to prevent through traffic other than pedestrians/cycles) will be provided at the existing access to the Golf Club or via Sunningdale Drive off Tattenhoe Lane.
There may also be potential, subject to further discussion, to provide some additional parking spaces for use by the MK Preparatory School at school drop off/pick up times, as part of helping to alleviate existing school access issues at this time of day.
Connectivity from the SportsHub to the surrounding area is paramount: given the aims and ambitions of the SportsHub in terms of getting more local people (and a broader range of ages) to participate in sports, we are very keen to make it possible (and easy) for local people, especially those without a car, to be able to get to the SportsHub on a regular basis.
There are existing bus stops in the vicinity of the site on Tattenhoe Lane and direct pedestrian links from Tattenhoe Lane into the site will be provided. Subject to further consultation with local bus operators, there is also the possibility that existing bus services may be able to serve the site more directly once it is operational.
As well as the existing Redways which run around the north and west of the site and along the northern part of Tattenhoe Lane, there are three short sections of existing public rights of way around the margins of the site. These will be incorporated into a proposed wider network of publicly-accessible footpaths around the site, which will make sure that ‘desire lines’ for people wishing to access the site are catered for, and which in turn will connect with the Redway and leisure route network in the surrounding area.
In addition to the trim trail and exercise stations within the site, subject to consultation with those responsible for the open space and leisure routes in the wider area, new signage to improve wayfinding and connectivity with the wider local network of Redways, footpaths and open spaces will be put in place so that people wishing to do longer runs, walks or bike rides can access Tattenhoe Valley Park and onto Emerson Valley Park to the north. Should the development of Salden Chase go ahead, there is also the potential to connect with the open spaces and leisure routes within Salden Chase to the west in due course; see below).
At present the golf course itself is not formally accessible to the local community. Many local residents do access the site on a daily basis, especially for dog-walking, but this is an informal arrangement. Due to health and safety requirements and recent court cases regarding injuries to the public, the Golf Courses and driving range must be fenced. However, other green space and recreation areas will become publicly-accessible open space.
In the longer term, should the development at Salden Chase go ahead, this could potentially involve the creation of a new roundabout on Buckingham Road. Although this is not proposed to be used to access the SportsHub site, it may facilitate improved Redway connections to be made to ensure high quality pedestrian/cycle access between the SportsHub and new development further west.
We will monitor the progression of the Salden Chase application and ensure that any highway, pedestrian and cycle links proposed as part of that scheme align sensibly with what is proposed at SportsHub MK.
Whilst we know that people will continue to wish to access the site by car, accommodating car movements and car parking has been sensitively considered and with respect of the complementary leisure uses proposed.
Within the site, surface car parking areas have been carefully integrated with the uses they are designed to serve, and many of these areas could be surfaced with ‘grasscrete’ or similar so that the areas remain permeable for water.
In order to minimise the amount of the site given over to car parking we have introduced the potential for two decked parking structures. These structures are specifically designed with green walls to prominent frontages to help soften their appearance, as well as introduce further landscape in and around the SportsHub buildings.
In addition, charging points for Electric Vehicles and secure cycle parking will be designed into the parking areas and structures around the Public Square to encourage more sustainable modes of travel.