Client: Butlins (Bourne Leisure Limited)
Preparation of a Transport Assessment, Travel Plan and the outline of a temporary construction access.
Planning permission was secured at the end of May 2013 for the replacement of 169 outdated chalets with 117 new holiday accommodation units. Butlins is a huge employer in Minehead and at peak times of the year there are approximately 6,000 holiday makers on site and almost 1,000 staff, which adds 1/3 to the resident population of Minehead! The resort also has over 2,000 parking spaces and as such the Butlins resort generates high volumes of traffic, particularly on new holiday intake days, which often leads to congestion on approach to the main entrance as guests arrive to start their holiday. Understanding the existing operation at peak times of the year was therefore crucial in establishing the baseline traffic situation, from which the operation of the proposed accommodation could be determined.
Baseline traffic surveys were undertaken during the summer peak of August 2012, the extent of which was agreed with Somerset County Council during scoping discussions. Extensive analysis of the results was required in order to make sense of the data and apply this to the resort’s potential operation (assuming all chalets were occupied) and the proposed replacement holiday units. The results of RGP’s analysis culminated in the preparation of a Transport Assessment and Travel Plan to accompany the planning application for which a positive recommendation was secured with the highway authority.
In addition, the outline design of a temporary construction access was prepared and agreed with Somerset County Council, including the associated support of a Road Safety Audit required as part a Section 278 Agreement to implement the works. The proposed construction access involves the relocation of an existing bus stop and careful positioning to minimise the cost of utility diversions. The agreement by the highway authority for a separate construction access was crucial for Butlins in order to ensure resort safety and minimise the impact of the guest experience whilst on holiday.