The Otley ODD campaign has emailed all the candidates seeking views on the impact of planned housing developments on Otley’s traffic congestion.

ODD points out that unless action is taken to ensure that infrastructure improvements are identified in advance, the planning system will consider each development individually.  This could mean that any infrastructure improvements will be incoherent and inadequate. Below are Nik Rutherford’s responses to the two questions that ODD has put to him.

(1) Do you agree that a comprehensive traffic impact assessment study is necessary to identify the totality of Otley infrastructure improvements that the LDF developments will require?

Nik tie 07-11-2015, 18 18 57” This study is absolutely essential. At present there has only been limited and piecemeal work to understand the impact of specific developments – a larger and more holistic approach is needed to assess the impact of area-wide development on traffic in Otley. Such a study should collect sufficient data to analyse traffic flows in detail and properly understand the sensitive nature of traffic through Otley and the impact of all proposed developments. This study would use sophisticated number plate recognition data rather than the more usual turn counts employed by most traffic assessments. An impact assessment of this nature was being worked-up and part-funded by Otley Town Council last year, but since the change of political administration this study appears to have been abandoned.

If you agree that such a study is needed …

(2) What are your proposals to (try to) ensure that such a study takes place as soon as possible?

” It will take partnership working between Leeds City Council, the relevant developers and Otley Town Council. I propose that these stakeholders are brought together to joint fund and develop a study of this nature. If elected I would push hard for these negotiations and subsequent study to take place before any major development occurs.”