10 Pedestrians, Cyclists, Equestrians and Community Effects
10.0.1 This Chapter reports the findings of the assessment of potential impacts on journeys made by pedestrians (including ramblers), equestrians and cyclists. Consideration has also been given to local vehicle movements in relation to their use and access to community facilities.
10.0.2 In this context pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists as an overall group are referred to as non-motorised users (NMUs)
10.1 Scope of the Assessment
10.1.1 Based on the scoping of potentially significant impacts described in Section 5.1 the implications of the Proposed Scheme primarily relate to changes in established severance by virtue of the segregation of strategic and local traffic and the opportunity for improved NMU use of local roads and tracks within the area as a result of the proposed segregation.
10.2 Statutory and Planning Context
10.2.1 In Scotland, there is no statutorily based record of rights of way. A national Catalogue of Rights of Way is however, compiled by the Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society (Scotways), in partnership with SNH and with the cooperation of local authorities.
10.2.2 The Catalogue of Rights of Way schedules three categories of rights of way:
- vindicated (1% of total) – routes declared to be rights of way by the courts or other legal process;
- asserted (15% of total) – routes that have been accepted as rights of way by the landowner or where local authorities have indicated they would take legal action to protect them if necessary; and
- claimed (84% of total) – routes that appear to meet the common law conditions necessary to be regarded as rights of way, but have not been formally vindicated or asserted.
10.3 Assessment Methodology
10.3.1 The assessment has been undertaken in accordance with the guidelines detailed in Volume 11 Section 3 Part 8 of the DMRB (1993 and amendments).
10.3.2 This has involved the following tasks;
- Establishment of the extent, nature and use of the existing NMU network within the proposed study area (baseline environment);
- Identification of existing community facilities within the study area and the means of community access to the identified facilities (baseline environment);
- Evaluation of the extent to which the Proposed Scheme would impact on use of the NMU network and access to community facilities;
- Identification of appropriate mitigation, where potentially significant impacts are predicted; and
- Description of the residual effects on NMUs and access to community facilities taking proposed mitigation into account.
10.3.3 The baseline environment has been defined through a combination of document review, consultation and site validation to determine the location, use and nature of the NMU network and local community facilities.
10.3.4 Information relating to rights of way and other community routes has been sourced from the Dumfries and Galloway Council database and through review of structure and local plans. The Byways and Bridleways Trust, Cyclists’ Touring Club Scotland and Scottish Cyclists Union have also been consulted23.
10.3.5 Information relating to the location and nature of existing community facilities has been gained through reference to Ordnance Survey Explorer Series (1:25,000) Map 322 for Annandale, consultation with officers of Dumfries and Galloway Council and site survey.
10.3.6 Formal user surveys have not been undertaken, it having been identified during preliminary assessments that the existing A75 is viewed as a considerable barrier to NMU use and that existing levels of use are understood to be low. Records of NMU activity have, however been recorded by site survey teams evaluating other environmental and engineering issues over the three-year planning and design programme for the project. A walkover survey was undertaken during 2006; the objective being to evaluate the amenity value for the small number of users accessing identified community facilities. Amenity value was principally based on considerations of the change people’s exposure to traffic in terms of fear/safety, noise, dust/dirt and air quality along with the road’s visual intrusion.
10.3.7 The evaluation of potential impacts has involved consideration of changes in journey length and time along with user safety for NMU routes where existing opportunity or use would be modified or new opportunity would be established. The assessment includes a judgement relating to user amenity as well as accessibility.
10.3.8 Where ‘new severance’ is created it has been described as slight, moderate or severe in accordance with the recommendations of the DMRB Volume 11, Section 3, Part 8, Chapter 6. Where ‘relief from severance’ has been identified it has been described as slight, moderate or substantial again in accordance with the recommendations of the DMRB Volume 11, Section 3, Part 8, Chapter 7.
10.3.9 Severance is determined on the following using a three point scale viz, Slight, Moderate or Severe severance.
- Slight: This is where pedestrians using at-grade crossing are subject to a new road carrying below 8,000 vehicles per day (AADT), or a new bridge will need to be climbed or a subway traversed, or journeys will be increased by up to 250 m.
- Moderate: This is where pedestrians using at-grade crossing are subject to a new road carrying between 8,000 – 16,000 vehicles per day (AADT) in the opening year, or two or more of the hindrances set out under ’Slight' applying to single trips, or journeys will be increased by 250-500 m.
- Severe: This is where pedestrians using at-grade crossing are subject to a new road carrying over 16,000 vehicles per day (AADT) in the opening year, or three or more of the hindrances set out under ’slight' or two or more set out under `moderate', or an increase in length of journeys of over 500 m.
10.4 Baseline Environment
Rights of Way and the Local Road Network
10.4.1 There are no vindicated, asserted or claimed public rights of way associated with the Proposed Scheme corridor.
10.4.2 The network of roads associated with the Proposed Scheme corridor comprises the existing section of the A75, the B725, U81a, and U82a. There are also a number of private driveways and tracks that provide access to individual farmsteads and houses. These roads, driveways and tracks are shown in Figure 9.1.
10.4.3 Fostermeadow Farm and Whitecroft Gate stable horses. There is, however, no evidence of hacking along the local road network, drives or tracks. Pedestrian and cyclist use of the existing network, driveways and/or tracks within the Proposed Scheme corridor is of a very low order. Fewer than 10 NMUs have been observed over the planning, design and assessment period for the Proposed Scheme.
10.4.4 There are no dedicated NMU crossing points along the existing A75 within the study area.
10.4.5 Table 10.1 schedules the existing community facilities identified within the study area. The location of the facilities is shown in Figure 10.1.
Table 10.1 – Community Facilities
Address / Location
Distance to Proposed Scheme
Carrutherstown Primary School
Dumfries – DG1 4LD
Community Services and Institution
Carrutherstown Village Hall
Carrutherstown - DG1 4LA
10.4.6 All three facilities identified are located to the north of the existing A75. Carrutherstown primary school, the post office and village hall are both located within the village.
10.4.7 There are between 35-40 pupils registered at the school with a catchment taking in Carrutherstown, the village of Dalton (some 2.5 km north east of Carrutherstown) and farmsteads and households in the countryside surrounding the villages.
10.4.8 The village hall is administered by the Carrutherstown Community Council. The Council holds weekly meetings at the hall. Other events include parish meetings. The number of people using the facility varies depending on the event in question.
10.4.9 Access to the village hall and school for residents within Carrutherstown and for other members of the community living north of the A75 and north and west of the village is available via the B725 and local lanes without a requirement to use or cross the existing A75. Access for individual properties located within the countryside north of the trunk road and east of the village is available via the U81a, U82a and local lanes/tracks, and subsequently the existing A75 as far as the existing Carrutherstown junction on the trunk road. Access for individual properties located within the countryside south of the trunk road is available via the B725 and U82a or private driveways and track onto and across the A75 to access the village at the existing A75 junction.
10.4.10 The potential members of the local community involved in journeys to the school, post office or village hall is small. There are some six properties north of the A75 and east of the village and ten south of the trunk road. How many have children of primary school age or are active members of the community council has not been established.
10.4.11 It can be reasonably concluded that the facility most affected by the need to use the current A75 as a means of access is the village school. Throughout term time, and thus over most of the year, users gaining access from the east or south of the village encounter daily difficulty accessing and crossing the busy A75 . Similar difficulties are experienced by users of the village hall, though the frequency of these movements cannot be as readily identified.
10.5 Impacts of the Proposed Scheme
10.5.1 The key aspects of the Proposed Scheme with implications for local journeys undertaken by NMUs or local traffic seeking access to community facilities are:
- the re-routing of U81a underneath the proposed A75 by means of an underpass;
- the closure of the existing access for Fostermeadow Farm off the A75 and the upgrading of an existing westbound track from the farm onto the B 725; and
- the retention of the existing section of the A75 as a local road.
10.5.2 The modification of the alignment of the U81a beneath the proposed section of the A75 would not involve any increase in journey length for local traffic seeking access to the community facilities nearing and around Carrutherstown from the south of the proposed trunk road corridor. There would however, be a potential for time savings and, an improvement in amenity and safety given the removed need to gain access to the A75 to cross it. This could benefit the small number of properties using the local road to access the identified community facilities.
10.5.3 The closure of direct access from Fostermeadow Farm onto the A75 and the creation of a new access via the B725 would involve an increase in journey length (of some 0.5 km24) for the farm’s residents wishing to use the identified community facilities. The existing requirement for two turning movements onto and off the trunk road would remain. Volumes of traffic for the Do-Minimum and Do-Something scenarios would be of a similar order (see Appendix C). There would be a negligible difference in the amenity value of the journey under either scenario. Overall, there would be a slight increase in severance for residents at the farm seeking to gain access to the community facilities.
10.5.4 For other properties with access onto the B725 south of the existing and proposed section of trunk road there would be no material change in journey length or any provision for crossing the new trunk road to gain access to the village and its associated facilities. There would accordingly be no difference in travel time, perception of safety or amenity value. The impact for this small number of properties would be neutral.
10.5.5 The retention of the existing section of the trunk road as a local road and construction of a short length of connecting carriageway to provide access directly to Carrutherstown would not result in any material increase in journey length for properties to the north and east of the village. There would be potential time savings and an improvement in amenity and safety given the removed need for drivers to gain access onto the busy trunk road and cross over the trunk road at the existing junction serving the village. The number of affected properties and journeys would be small. The benefit to amenity and safety would be marked though. This would result in a substantial reduction in severance for a small number of properties.
10.5.6 The retention of the existing section of trunk road as a local road would also serve to provide an informal recreational route or a means of gaining access to the local community facilities. There would be a marked improvement in amenity value for such users and provide an increased opportunity for NMU uptake. Current NMU activity has been established as being very low. The number of local properties for which the new opportunity would become available is also small. There is also no significant local network of rights of way that would be reinforced or linked by the retained section of road. The assessment has accordingly concluded that the impact of this element of the Proposed Scheme for NMUs generally would be slight and beneficial.
Do Minimum Scenario
10.5.7 Should the Proposed Scheme not proceed, issues of severance related to access from properties on both sides of the existing trunk road and east of Carrutherstown would be likely to deteriorate as traffic volumes on the trunk road increase and conflicts between strategic and local traffic increase. Similarly, the A75 would remain as an unattractive proposition for NMUs and discourage the use of the wider network of local connecting roads.
10.6.1 No additional mitigation is proposed.
10.7 Residual Effects
10.7.1 The identified reduction in severance as a result of the proposals to grade-separate the crossing of the proposed section of the A75 and the U81a and the retention of the existing section of the trunk road for use by local traffic would be significant in the context of the local community. There would also be a slight benefit for NMUs as a result of the increased opportunity for safer use and improved amenity associated with the retention of the existing A75 as a local road.