IMPROVING ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL
NDPs are required to support sustainable development. An important aspect of sustainability includes reducing reliance on the private car by ensuring new development is accessible to public transport and supports more walking and cycling, particularly for short journeys. Such initiatives not only assist with reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality but also support healthy lifestyles by promoting exercise.
Improving accessibility so that local residents in Stainforth can access employment and training opportunities, as well as shops, community facilities and open spaces is a priority for the Town Council. Although many local facilities within the town could be considered to be fairly accessible to local residents, several man-made and natural barriers including the rail line, motorway, river and canal impact on accessibility to surrounding areas, towns and cities. Even where local facilities are located close to residential areas, residents with cars may prefer to drive where walking and cycling routes are considered unsafe or unattractive.
Stainforth is fortunate to have a rail station (Hatfield and Stainforth Station) which has direct and frequent services to Doncaster and from there via the East Coast Main Line to London and via Trans-Pennine express to Manchester. Other destinations from Hatfield and Stainforth Station include Hull, Sheffield and Scunthorpe.
Local Bus services from Church Road and Thorne Road include:
84 - Doncaster – Thorne,
84a - Doncaster – Lindholme,
84b - Doncaster – Sykehouse,
87 - Doncaster – Moorends,
87a - Doncaster – Moorends,
457 - Stainforth - Hatfield Woodhouse,
AM1 - Amazon – Doncaster.
There are several existing footpaths and public rights of way linking the built-up area to the wider countryside and a canal towpath runs alongside the Stainforth and Keadby Canal. The line of a dismantled railway lies north south linking the spoil heaps to Stainforth East Ings Drain, close to the area identified for a new marina.
A significant issue for the town is the need to make the rail station more accessible and user friendly. At the current time problems include poor lighting, lack of natural surveillance, poorly maintained pavement, unsafe car park and lack of a ticket office. Lack of access from Stainforth side results in a very long walk over the railway bridge and down a poorly lit lane. The junction itself is extremely hazardous due to a blind summit and bend over the bridge. All these issues contribute to the station being underused. The NDP provides a significant opportunity to highlight these problems and to promote possible solutions and improvements to support the station and help ensure it is protected and enhanced as a local asset for residents in the future.
The responses to the questionnaire demonstrated that 95.8% of respondents supported the idea of a new footbridge to Hatfield and Stainforth Station from Waggons Way. At the Issues and Options Stakeholder workshop, the stakeholders suggested that a new pedestrian bridge should be located as near to Waggons Way junction with East Lane as possible, and should be well lit. Station improvements should include parking and bus stops (similar to Thorne / Adwick).
The wider Issues and Options consultation showed that the local public would like to see a new bus interchange, larger car park and a pedestrian bridge crossing to the Stainforth side of the railway at the existing train station.
Health Comments: Good transport planning should encourage and promote accessibility for everyone. It should enable people to have a choice of different transport modes and should make local facilities easily accessible to people walking, cycling and using public transport. It is imperative that new developments provide a wide choice of travel modes including infrastructure that supports walking and cycling and that this is reflected in policy. Reliance on cars as a mode of transport results in congestion, poor air quality, increased noise pollution and reduction in the perception of safety for pedestrians and cyclists. This has a negative effect on health contributing to increased incidences of lung and heart disease, asthma in children and a reduction in physical activity levels. Public Health is working towards a modal shift encouraging people to travel by more sustainable modes.
From the footbridge there are opportunities to create a new network of walking and cycling routes linking to the shops and proposed country park and mining related heritage assets (see Section 5) as well as the proposed new housing site to the north east. The NDP could identify these proposed routes and support proposals which encourage higher levels of walking and cycling and use of the station and rail services.