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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 18th April, 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation

 

Regional Transport Consortia Grant (RTCG), Local Road Safety Grant (LRSG) and Safe Routes in Communities (SRIC) Grant Award 2012 / 2013

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To advise Members of the funding awarded by the Welsh Government (WG) to the Council from RTCG, LRSG and SRIC.

Recommendations

1.             That Members note the information in this report.

2.             That Cabinet approve the acceptance of the Regional Transport Consortia Grant, the Local Road Safety Grant and the Safe Routes in Communities Grant.

3.             That the Regional Transport Consortia Grant, the Local Road Safety Grant and the Safe Routes in Communities Grant be included in the Council's Capital Programme for 2012/13.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To advise Members of the procedures, terms and conditions of the Local Road Safety Grant, Regional Transport Consortia Grant and Safe Routes in Communities Grant.

2.             To approve the acceptance of the grants within the WG deadline.

3.             To enable the Council's Capital Programme for 2012/13 to reflect the grants awarded to the Council via Sewta by the WAG.

Background

2.             Road Safety Grant was first introduced in 2000/2001, funding numerous engineering projects (aimed at improving road safety in the Vale, particularly outside or near schools), as well as providing road safety education, training and publicity.  These have assisted in reducing the number of road safety related accidents year on year.

3.             Road Safety Capital funding is now bid for via the Regional Consortia (Sewta) and all schemes are assessed and prioritised on a regional rather than local basis. A criteria for assessment has been agreed and approved by the WG to enable the bids to be prioritised and submitted.

4.             Road Safety Revenue Grant is also now submitted via the regional consortia and education programmes will in the future be agreed regionally.

5.             In 2011/12, funding has also been granted through the Regional Transport Consortia to provide for Capital Transport Infrastructure.  This funding mechanism has replaced the Transport Grant application process for major projects. This funding is assisting Councils to provide sustainable transport infrastructure, and in the Vale in the last year, has funded the Park & Ride facility at Barry Docks and various walking & cycling infrastructure schemes.  It has also funded preparatory works for future years' schemes that benefit our public transport infrastructure and sustainable travel schemes to improve our roads, reduce congestion and reduce the risk of accidents.

6.             Safe Routes in Communities funding is still submitted to the WG by individual Local Authorities and funding is paid direct to each.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.             The Regional Transport Plan (RTP) was adopted in 2009 by the WG and funding was sought through the bidding process for Regional Transport Consortia Grant (RTCG) for 2010/11 and 2011/12 as part of a 5 year delivery programme of the RTP. The WG requires the Regional Consortia to bid for funding annually and this year the funding for the South East WalesTransport Alliance (Sewta) Region has been awarded in excess of £8m.

8.             Following last year's announcement by WG that they would not be offering Local Road Safety Grant (LRSG) direct to local authorities and that it would be some 30% less than in previous years, for 2012/13 funding the grant has again reduced by approximately 7%. Therefore, the bid for 2012/13 included all education elements currently delivered, with the exception of Pass Plus Cymru (PPC) and Road Safety Publicity which were bid for, and will be delivered on a regional basis to offer economies of scale (PPC is costing approximately £50k less, being offered to the same number of candidates, by delivering regionally through Rhondda Cynon Taf Council). The only engineering scheme bid for was the Barry Docks Link Road priority road safety engineering scheme as it was significantly more cost than the schemes submitted normally and scored highly within the region having been assessed by the Road Safety Capital Working Group using the criteria agreed by WG and informed by accident data. 

9.             The terms and conditions of the Grant were revised by the WG in 2011/12 which state that the funding is awarded for the specific schemes that have been applied for and no virement of funding is permissible without agreement from Sewta and the WG.  As with the RTCG, any funding unspent may be re-allocated back to the Sewta funding pot and with prior agreement from the WG, may be spent on any scheme within the Sewta region.  Therefore if funding is not spent in one authority, it may be transferred to another.  The decision of re-allocating the funding is with Sewta and not with the holding Authority.

10.        The total amount of grant available to the Council for 2012/13 is £1,200,000. Of this, £600,000 has been allocated to the Council by LRSG Capital for the Barry Docks Link Road, £107,000 for LRSG Revenue for Education and Training, £185,000 for cycling schemes under the RTCG and £308,000 for element 7 of the Barry Comprehensive SRIC Scheme.  

11.        The LRSG Revenue Schemes which have been funded are as follows:

·               Continued funding for one full time and one part time Road Safety Officer Posts to deliver educational road safety schemes e.g. tufty, Junior Road Safety Officer, cycle training and management of cycle training, promotional and road safety launches;

·               Continued funding for a further 12 months of the Kerbcraft (Child Pedestrian Training) scheme;

·               Continuation of the Children’s Traffic Club Scheme;

·               Funding for Cycle training school pupils to National Standards Levels 1 and 2;

·               Additional funding to supplement materials/resources for road safety initiatives; and

·               Continuation of the advanced Bike Safe programme for motorcyclists.

12.        The £185,000 Regional Transport Grant will be used for:

·               National Cycle Network (NCN 88) - £50,000 has been awarded to match fund the £425,000 awarded from the Creative Rural Communities European Grant fund (the £50,000 is part of a three year match fund programme totalling £150,000). Works will include providing cycle infrastructure in various rural locations within the Vale of Glamorgan.

·               Pont-Y-Werin connections - £135,000 to continue providing the cycle infrastructure within the Penarth area to improve cycle routes to Pont-Y-Werin.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)           

13.        The measures contained within this report are fully funded from the LRSG, Regional Transport Consortia and SRIC allocations from the WG for the Financial Year 2012/2013.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.        If local authorities do not provide a road safety service as statutorily required under Section 39 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 action could be taken for a breach of statutory duty.  Providing a road safety service involves (amongst other things) education, training and publicity which benefits road safety and enables the upholding of laws in relation to the safe use of the highway.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.        It is anticipated that the number of road traffic accidents in the Vale, particularly those involving children and young people, will be reduced as a consequence of these initiatives.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.        The concept of equal opportunities is a fundamental principle that underlies all of this Council's policies.  Improvements to the way road safety is delivered in the Vale will benefit all members of the community including some of the most vulnerable road user groups. 

17.        There are no particular Welsh Language issues associated with this grant and all promotional material produced in association with the supported schemes will be bilingual in accordance with Council Policy.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.        The proposals recommended would improve the quality of life and enhance the safety of residents and visitors in the Vale.  The Schemes will also assist the Council achieve the U.K. Government and the Welsh Assembly Governments accident reduction, environmental and healthy living targets.

Policy Framework and Budget

19.        This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.        No specific Ward Member consultation has been undertaken as the report affects all Wards.  However, some of the engineering measures may necessitate the need for statutory consultation in due course.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Clare Cameron - Principal Transport and Road Safety Officer - Tel: 01446 704768.

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Highways and Engineering

Operational Manager - Strategy and Support

Finance, ICT and Property - Senior Accountant

Legal and Regulatory Services - Committee Reports

Principal Rural Regeneration Officer - Phil Chappell

Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration.

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