Shuttle bus plans deliver business park
Proposals for out-of-town business facilities in West Sussex have gained outline planning consent. The Nowhurst Business Park will create up to 300 jobs for the local community. Motion assisted Glenbeigh Developments with transport and travel planning advice for the 27-acre scheme, supporting the application with plans for a dedicated shuttle bus service to connect the site with Horsham town centre and railway station.
Questions about the transport sustainability of the proposed development were addressed to the satisfaction of the highway authority. An assessment successfully demonstrated that the impact of the development on the road network would not be severe. Car parking demand forecasts covered scenarios for both high and low employment-intensive uses. House building on land south of the development was taken into account for the highway impact assessment.
Colin Whelan, Director at Glenbeigh Developments, explains, “Motion was particularly adept at developing innovative proposals to help gain the county council’s support. By analysing the various potential employment uses of the scheme and the likely traffic implications, the team was able to help deliver a positive outcome.”
Due to the business park’s location, travel-to-work trips by private vehicle would be the obvious choice for future employees. In order to minimise the impact on the local highway network, Motion proposed that the developer supply a shuttle bus service in conjunction with implementation of a travel plan.
The service will be subsidised for the first four years of occupancy. Once the site is fully occupied, the bus route can be adapted in order to serve the highest number of employees travelling to the business park. “When people change jobs, it is an ideal time to encourage them to switch to alternative travel modes and reduce their dependence on single-occupancy trips by motor vehicle,” explains Phil Bell, Managing Director of Motion.
Improvements to the existing bus infrastructure were also recommended to further minimise private vehicle use. Two bus stops will be located to the north and south of the site access roundabout. The enhanced bus service will also benefit local residents. The northern arm of the adjacent Guildford Road will be widened to reduce the potential impact of the bus stop on traffic flows.
Formerly a works yard and depot, the site for the new business park is three miles east of Horsham. Outline approval has been granted for 26,942 square metres of B1c and B2 industrial, and B8 storage and distribution use.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of Insight.