Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 21st September, 2011
Report of the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building
Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme Update
Purpose of the Report
To advise Members of progress on the Five Mile Lane Highway
That Members note the progress made on the Five Mile Lane Highway
Improvement Scheme to date.
That this report be forwarded to the Corporate Resources Scrutiny
Reasons for the Recommendations
To comply with a request from this Committee for a progress report
on this project.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has previously undertaken studies in
this area in respect of the Welsh Assembly Government’s (WAG)
proposal to trunk the route Culverhouse Cross – Sycamore Cross –
Five Mile Lane – Waycock Cross - Airport. This work has
formed the basis for the Vale of Glamorgan’s proposed Five Mile
Lane Highway Improvement Scheme.
Relevant Issues and Options
Set out below is an account of expenditure and activities on the
project to date.
Financial Year 2007/08
In 2007/08 the Vale of Glamorgan Council submitted a bid for
funding in the sum of £325k and subsequently received up to 250k as
a Principal Road Grant from WAG to advance the Five Mile Lane
Highway Improvement Scheme. This funding allowed the
following to be progressed:
Review of drainage requirements;
Review of accident data;
Review of existing alignment;
Initial consideration of on-line improvements.
£160k of the funding was utilised to undertake
these activities. It should be noted that the funding
arrangements for this project are such that only funds actually
spent are claimed and therefore no funds had to be returned to
WAG. This scheme is not time limited and the funding
arrangements are determined by WAG on an annual rolling basis.
Financial Year 2008/09
In 2008/09 £890k of funding was bid and provided by WAG. Only
£49k was eventually spent. It was originally intended to use
the funding for the following:-
Traffic model information on the wider
transportation issues for the area (from WAG consultant Arup);
ARUP consultants who were appointed by WAG to
undertake a wider traffic study were commissioned by the Council to
include the 5 Mile Lane Traffic Study as part of their
investigations. The traffic data was anticipated to be
delivered at the end of October 2008, however this was not
completed until the following financial year in July 2009;
Subsequently the main design works were delayed and
the anticipated spend in this financial year was therefore severely
curtailed. However, in order to maintain momentum,
environmental studies were progressed including the following:
Great Crested Newt Survey;
Targeted Ecology Survey;
Phase 1 Extended Habitat Survey;
Site Features Survey;
Base Map Preparation.
These commissions were undertaken to gather
ecological and environmental data, which would then inform the main
Stage 2 Environmental Assessment. It was important not to
miss any ecological study windows hence environmental studies
continued as far as practicable in a broad sense even though an
alignment had yet to be decided. Under the circumstances,
only £49k of the available budget was utilised.
Financial Year 2009/10
A bid for £765k was made for financial year 2009/10. WAG
however, only allocated funding of £235k to continue with
ecological studies, environmental investigations and options
appraisal for the proposed improvements at Five Mile Lane.
The funding was utilised to progress ecological
studies within the Five Mile Lane corridor with full advantage
being made of the ecological survey windows.
The in-house design team also developed a number of
potential highway alignment options with side road accesses.
Following discussions with Soltys Brewster
Consulting (Ecological and Environmental Consultant); it was agreed
that an Interim Scheme Assessment Report (ISAR) be prepared.
This report would then offer the following benefits:
It would collate all known information into a
single summary document.
It would adhere to the main Stage 2 Environmental
Assessment Methodology as required by Welsh Transport Planning and
Appraisal Guidance (WelTAG);
The report would be informed by the continued
ecological data collection;
The ISAR would be tabled to the Statutory
Environmental Bodies (SEB) for their early comments on the proposed
SEB comments would be valuable in that they would
inform the Stage 2 Environmental Assessment Studies and detailed
design thus reducing any abortive work;
WAG funding would be utilised in the most effective
The ISAR commission was subject to the competitive
procurement process in line with Council's Financial Regulations
and Standing Orders. SoltysBrewster Consulting successful
both on quality and cost and were appointed in October 2009.
Their main tasks were to prepare the ISAR; consult with SEBs;
finalise the ISAR and prepare the Brief for the Stage 2
Environmental Assessment studies.
The draft ISAR was completed and a Workshop was
arranged in March 2009 for the SEBs (Environment Agency,
Countryside Council for Wales, Glamorgan Gwent Archaelogical Trust,
CADW and VoG). The SEBs commented positively on the depth and
breadth of the studies undertaken to date and were very
appreciative of the opportunity for early involvement to make
observations, comments and to assist in the development of the
scheme. Early SEB involvement would reduce the risk of any
unknown issue materialising at later stages of the scheme. A
number of minor additional studies were identified which would be
valuable if they were completed prior to the ISAR being finalised
and Stage 2 Environmental Assessment Brief being prepared.
These additional studies were completed.
The total expenditure for 2009/10 was almost
Financial Year 2010/11
The bid for 2010/11 was £495k of which £400k was subsequently
approved by WAG. The grant approval contained the additional
condition that the scheme development should follow the
requirements of the WelTAG process. To comply with this, a
number of additional activities had to be programmed and
commissioned during the year. The following activities have
Stage 1 Environmental
Work on completing the Interim Scheme Assessment
Report (ISAR) had been delayed while comments were awaited from one
of the SEBs. This has now been completed.
Stage 2 Environmental
The finalisation of the Stage 2 Environmental
Assessment Brief had been delayed as the comments from the SEBs
needed to be incorporated in the brief. This has now been
completed. The Stage 2 Environmental Assessment will be
subject to a separate procurement process in due course.
Further Alignment and Junction
Further route option development has been deferred
into 2011/12, as requested by WAG, until approval of the WelTAG1
Analysis of the public participation process has
Collision Study Report
The Collision Study Report has been completed by
Flood Consequences Assessment
Waycock River FCA brief has been completed.
No further progress, as requested by WAG, until approval of the
Investigations into the possible form of structure
have progressed well and will continue to the end of the financial
Investigations into the possible form of structures
along the various routes have progressed well and will continue to
the end of the financial year.
WelTAG Stage 1 Report
A draft WelTAG Stage 1 Report has been completed by
Arup and the report issued to WAG for further discussion.
Consequently of the original available funding of
£400,000 has not been fully utilised, with expenditure totalling
Financial Year 2011/12
Despite numerous contact no indication has been received from the
WG as to future funding for this scheme and no further meeting has
yet been arranged. This includes requests for further
clarification as recently as June 2011.
At its meeting of 15th February, 2011, the
Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee expressed concern with
progress on this project and the potential loss of WG grant, Minute
906 of the report refers. It is therefore proposed that this
report be referred to this particular Committee for
In September 2010 the Corporate Management Team approved a
Corporate Project Management Methodology. This methodology
will ensure that schemes are project managed to a standardised
format allowing for an Authority wide approach to Project
Management. As the scheme commenced in 2007/08 it was not
subject to this methodology. However, the Highways
Engineering Division followed their own ISO accredited Project
Methodology, and the grant conditions set by WAG for this
scheme. It should be noted that the issues surrounding
progress of this scheme are not related to inadequacies in either
Project Management methodology.
10. A draft WelTAG1
Report was presented to WAG before Christmas 2010 with a view to
discussing future progress and the likelihood of funding in the
next financial year. WAG requested sight of the Collision
Study Report prepared by Mott MacDonald, which forms part of the
WelTAG1 report. Comments were subsequently received from WAG
and amendments made to the Collision Study Report (by Mott
MacDonald). Any agreed changes will need to be incorporated
in the WelTAG1 report by Arup in due course. No further
communication is this respect has been received from WG.
11. All procurement in
relation to this project has been in accordance with the Councils
Contract Standing Orders and Financial Regulation. This has
been confirmed following a review by the Audit department.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
12. The funding made
available by WG on a year-by-year basis, is often significantly
less than the amount bid for by the Council. As a result the
schedule of work to be undertaken has to be amended to reflect the
available budget. This coupled with significant delays in
receiving the critical traffic data report, compiled by Arup on
behalf of WG has meant that the scheme did not progress during the
2007/08 to 2010/11 financial years as originally planned.
Subsequently the amount of potential funding awarded, but not
utilised is £1,158,000. Details of funds provided and actual
expenditure achieved together with the reasons for the variances
for each financial year are contained in this report.
The £574,000 that has been currently spent and
funded to the Council by WG will not be required to be repaid even
if the scheme does not ultimately proceed.
The project is managed by the Council's Highways
and Engineering staff.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
13. There are no Legal or
Human Rights Implications with respect to this report.
Crime and Disorder Implications
14. There are no Crime
and disorder Implications with respect to this report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language
15. There are no Equal
Opportunities Implications or Welsh Language issues with respect to
16. To maintain and
manage a safe highway infrastructure.
Policy Framework and Budget
17. The details contained
within this report are within the policy framework and budget.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
Environmental Bodies including the Environment Agency, Countryside
Council for Wales, Cadw, Glamorgan and Gwent Archaeological Trust,
Vale of Glamorgan Council (Ecology) have been consulted as and when
Cabinet and Ward Member consultation took place
prior to the public consultation exercise.
A presentation for Informal Cabinet was made on 1st
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
19. Economy and
Paul Gay - Group Engineer Highway Projects and
Traffic Management Tel. No: 02920 673086
Head of Accountancy and Resource
Operational Manager Legal Services
Accountant, Building and Visible Services
Rob Quick, Director of Environmental and