Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038


Policy PPT1: Inclusive Active Travel


5.34 Maximising active and carbon zero travel within Portishead will make a significant contribution to delivery of the North Somerset Climate Emergency Strategic Action Plan (2019). Whilst cars remain a popular way of getting around in Portishead, we would like to see more opportunities to get around the town without the use of a private vehicle. Accessible, inclusive and safe infrastructure that promotes and enables walking, wheeling (using a wheelchair or mobility aid), cycling and public transport for local journeys to key facilities such as schools, medical centres and open green spaces are important.

5.35 Throughout all of this, the needs of disabled people, children, those with pushchairs and the elderly should be considered and provided for. The active travel network should reflect the core principles of:

  • Coherence
  • Safety
  • Directness
  • Comfort
  • Attractiveness
  • Integration

5.36 The Joint Local Transport Plan 4 sets the scene for Policy PPT1, setting out how the West of England Combined Authority (North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire) will have carbon neutral transport by 2036. Related to this document is the West of England Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, which sets out priorities for improvements to the active travel network in Portishead.

5.37 Portishead has a higher than average percentage of car ownership which exacerbates our shared challenge of reducing car use by 40% by 2030 in line with local carbon targets. In seeking to meet the needs of a balanced and diverse community, our local transport network must address the needs of people who cannot drive, children, some older and disabled people, or those who choose not to drive.

5.38 North Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority recently secured ‘Bus Service Improvement Plan’ funding which should contribute positively towards this.

5.39 Congestion is a key issue for local residents. Whilst switching to electric vehicles may assist in reducing harmful vehicle emissions, it will not reduce congestion. Only using our cars less will achieve that. Improvements to public transport network have the potential to alleviate this if they can be delivered.

5.40 During the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan, local people identified particular priorities for improvement within the existing active travel network: • Creation of direct walking or cycling access from the Lake Ground to High Street • Dedicated cycle routes for schools • Dedicated cycle route between the ‘top’ of the town and the town centre.

5.41 Whilst local topography presents a challenge to make walking and cycling attractive to everyone, Portishead is a compact town with a well-connected network of local walking and cycling routes. This enables many trips to local facilities and the town centre to be convenient on foot or bike within 20 minutes. Together with its high quality of environment, it provides a distinct opportunity to facilitate change in how people choose to make local trips. Increased use of e-bikes will also help to address the topographical challenges to active travel.

5.42 Emerging North Somerset Policy DP14 sets district wide active travel objectives and expectations of development. The Neighbourhood Plan supports this approach and will support development proposals that conform with and make proportionate contribution to delivering its aims in Portishead, through the connections to and enhancement of its active travel network illustrated on the North Somerset Public Rights of Way Map and in Figure 15.

Relevant Objectives

O10 To ensure all residents have easy access to local green, blue and open spaces, and to promote environments and transport networks that offer all individuals and communities the greatest potential to lead active and healthy lifestyles.

O13 To deliver an integrated, sustainable, accessible and inclusive transport network that encourages active travel and reduces congestion within Portishead.

Local Policy Context

  • CS1: Addressing climate change and carbon reduction
  • CS10: Transportation and Movement
  • DM25: Public rights of way, pedestrian and cycle access


Development proposals will only be supported where they contribute proportionately and positively towards the protection of, connection to and enhancement of Portishead’s active and sustainable transport network as illustrated on Figure 15 and the Definitive Public Rights of Way Map.

Proposals will be supported where they:

  • optimise inclusive measures to encourage walking, cycling and connections to public transport in conformity with North Somerset Policy CS10 (Transportation and Movement)
  • integrate with public transport services and achieve accessible and safe pedestrian connections of no more than 400m or 5 minutes safe and convenient walking distance to an active bus stop.

FIG 15: Walking and Cycling Routes and Prioritise (excluding PROW):

Figure 15 Walking and cycling routes and priorities (exclusing PROWs)