Land use and transport planning

Transport for NSW formulates, develops and coordinates strategic transport policy, administers funding for public transport services and works collaboratively with other agencies in developing and implementing future directions for transport policy, planning and infrastructure development.

Transport for NSW also provides support to the Minister for Transport through critical analysis of the activities undertaken and proposed by transport delivery agencies, such as rail, ports, bus and maritime. It also deals with a wide range of inquiries and working parties within state and federal government and industry.

NSW has a large and complex transport system. One of the key challenges for Transport for NSW is to integrate the different modes of transport to create a seamless transport system able to focus on delivering safe, reliable and efficient transport services that meet customer needs and expectations and that ensures an effective contract and regulatory regime.

NSW 2021

In September 2011, the Government launched NSW 2021, a 10 year plan to rebuild the economy, return quality services, renovate infrastructure, strengthen our local environment and communities and restore accountability to government.

The plan has priority targets that promote and have implications for the integration of land use and transport. These targets include a return to quality service through reduced travel times on the transport system; growing patronage on public transport by making it a more attractive choice; improving the customer experience with transport services; and improving road safety to make our roads the safest in the country.

More information about NSW 2021 and transport priorities is available on the NSW 2021 Link to external site page of the NSW Government website. Work to deliver the plan has now begun and this website will allow you to track Government performance towards NSW 2021 goals.

Metropolitan Plan

On 16 December 2010 the NSW Government launched the Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036 Link to external site to shape the future growth of Australia’s major global city.

A focus of the Metropolitan Plan is to integrate land use and transport planning to reduce the growing number of trips by individual motor vehicles and improve air quality. The plan also recognises the need to manage the impact of transport emissions at the local level by separating sensitive land uses from significant emission sources, such as industry and arterial roads.

Many of the objectives of the Metropolitan Plan's long-term planning have been translated into 10 draft subregional strategies which cover the entire Sydney metropolitan area. Subregional strategies remain a key planning tool for Sydney councils to help implement the Metropolitan Plan.

The draft subregional strategies are being updated now that the Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036 has been released.

The 10 subregions of Sydney are:

  • Sydney City (City of Sydney LGA)
  • East  (Botany Bay, Randwick, Waverly, Woollahra LGAs)
  • South  (Kogarah, Hurstville, Canterbury, Rockdale, Sutherland, Marrickville LGAs)
  • Inner West  (Ashfield, Burwood, Canada Bay, Leichhardt, Strathfield LGAs)
  • Inner North  (Lane Cove, North Sydney, Ryde, Willoughby, Hunters Hill, Mosman LGAs)
  • North (Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai LGAs)
  • North East  (Pittwater, Warringah, Manly LGAs)
  • West Central (Auburn, Bankstown, Fairfield, Holroyd, Parramatta LGAs)
  • North West (Baulkham Hills, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Penrith LGAs)
  • South West (Wollondilly, Camden, Campbelltown, Liverpool LGAs)

Each draft subregional strategy contains key directions and actions which set the broad planning framework for their respective areas. Once finalised, the draft subregional strategies will be subject to to regular monitoring and review to ensure their success in delivering important outcomes.

Integrating land use and transport

The Integrating Land Use and Transport Policy package provides a framework for NSW Government agencies, councils and developers to integrate land use and transport planning at regional and local levels. Although the package applies to the Greater Metropolitan Region, many common issues between metropolitan and regional and rural centres are addressed in the policy package. The notion of a liveable community, planning for accessibility, pedestrian and public safety, effective and sustainable management of adjoining land uses, and street and road design standards are all applicable to rural and regional areas.

The package contains valuable information relating to:

  • The right place for business and services - by locating trip-generating activities near one another and by supporting a network of mixed-use centres to accommodate these activities, people can avoid unnecessary travel.
  • Parking as a travel demand management tool - by setting maximum parking requirements for developments and by limiting the amount of long-stay parking in destinations which have good alternative access by public transport, walking and cycling.
  • Designing new residential areas - the location, design and development maximise access to public transport and encourage walking and cycling.
  • Improving transport choice - by applying the 10 principles of access development.

Note: The major centres mentioned in the package are now superseded by the strategic centres identified in the Government's Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036 Link to external site.

The package is given statutory force in the planning system under Section 117 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). Section 117 of the EP&A Act allows the Minister for Planning to give directions to councils regarding the principles, aims, objectives or policies to be achieved in the preparation of local environmental plans. The package is represented by Ministerial Direction 3.4 - Integrating Land Use and Transport.

The five objectives of Direction 3.4 are:

  1. Improving access to housing, jobs and services by walking, cycling and public transport
  2. Increasing the choice of available transport and reducing dependence on cars
  3. Reducing travel demand including the number of trips generated by development and the distances travelled, especially by car
  4. Supporting the efficient and viable operation of public transport services
  5. Providing for the efficient movement of freight.

Walking and cycling

The NSW Government is keen to support NSW councils, communities and the development industry to improve planning for walking and cycling. It recognises that while there may be broad support for this aim, the challenge is how it can be integrated into the day-to-day work of urban planners and related professionals.

The Planning Guidelines for Walking and Cycling Link to external site include information, concepts, case studies and illustrations designed to assist planners in meeting this challenge.The guidelines include information, concepts, case studies and illustrations, and add a walking and cycling component to the ILUT package.

Roads and Maritime Services' NSW Bicycle Guidelines Link to external site (RTA 2003) for planning and designing bicycle facilities and How to Prepare a Bike Plan Link to external site document provide practical solutions to planners seeking more information on designing for cycling and walking. Roads and Maritime Services further supports the provision of cycling infrastructure in NSW by providing detailed cycling maps and through joint funding programs with NSW Council's for the development and integration of cycleway networks.

Sydney's Walking Future

The NSW Government’s goal is to get people in Sydney walking more through actions that make it a more convenient, better connected and safer mode of transport. The more people walk, the more socially engaged the community becomes and the safer people feel when walking for transport.

The actions set out in Sydney’s Walking Future will make walking the transport choice for quick trips under two kilometres and will help people access public transport. Increasing the number of people walking will help to reduce the burden of congestion on our roads and free up capacity on key public transport corridors.

Sydney's Cycling Future

Sydney’s Cycling Future presents a new direction in the way we plan, prioritise and provide for cycling in Sydney. This supports the change in culture we are seeing in Sydney with more people choosing to ride a bike for transport.

Our focus is on the 70 per cent of NSW residents who tell us that they would like to ride a bike more for everyday transport – and would do so if cycling was made a safer and more convenient option for them.

Healthy planning

There is an increasing awareness of the important role the natural and built environment plays in facilitating active living. The promotion of active living in NSW is championed by the Premier's Council for Active Living Link to external site. It aims to build and strengthen the physical and social environment to encourage communities to engage in active living.

The Premier’s Council for Active Living website provides a collection of resources to support healthy planning including research and literature reviews, cost benefit analysis data, case studies and planning and design guidelines.

Transport management and accessibility plans

Before starting to develop a local transport plan or strategy, it is important to understand the existing provision of all types of transport services and the demand for transport in the area.

Once this information is found, a regional transport strategy or local transport plan can be developed to express a vision of where the community wants to be in the future and how transport will contribute to it.

To complement the Integrating Land Use and Transport Planning package at a more site specific level, Draft Interim Guidelines for Transport Management and Accessibility Plans (TMAPs) have been developed which provide a framework for councils, developers and their consultants to manage the transport impacts of major developments.

The guidelines set out the basic steps of assessing likely impacts, seeking a higher mode split to public transport and agreeing on a package of measures which can be widely applied to medium and large scale developments.

A TMAP could be prepared in conjunction with a regional environmental plan, local environmental plan, development control plan, masterplan or precinct plan or a development application, depending on the circumstances.

Other resources

The Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport Link to external site and accompanying guidelines, under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, set out formal requirements for accessibility to public transport in Australia. They will help to promote greater independence and a better quality of life for people with a disability, the elderly and parents with young children.

The standards set out specific requirements for the accessibility of public transport and provide transport operators with detailed information about disability access issues, including such things as access paths, manoeuvring areas, ramps and boarding devices. This information will help transport operators to eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination on the grounds of a person's disability.

The Disability Action Plan 2012-2017 sets out the practical application of the disability standards for NSW Government transport agencies. The plan outlines:

  • Legal responsibilities of transport agencies
  • Guiding principles for integrated accessible transport services
  • Progress to date and future strategies for the provision of accessible transport services.

Responsibility for development of disability action plans for private operators of public transport services will rest with individual operators. However, to ensure a consistent and integrated approach to service provision, Transport for NSW can assist private operators to develop complementary disability action plans.

Roads and Maritime Services has produced three useful guides for councils and other community organisations relating to planning for the needs of cyclists and for pedestrians:

TravelSmart Link to external site is a program aimed at reducing reliance on cars and making smart choices about other forms of transport. TravelSmart Australia has compiled a range of useful information, including preparation of employer-based access plans and schools materials.

Further information

For more information please phone Transport for NSW on (02) 8202 2200 or use the feedback form Link to external site.

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