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 Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 27 January, 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

 

Safe Routes in Communities (SRIC) Grant Bid 2014/15

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Members of the invitation by the Welsh Government (WG) to bid for funding through the SRIC grant process. The bid invitation can be found at Appendix A.

2.         To advise Members on the schemes being proposed to be submitted for this funding for 2014/15.

Recommendations

1.         That Members note the information in this report.

2.         That Cabinet approve the schemes that are being proposed to be submitted for SRIC funding.

3.         That Cabinet authorise the Director of Development Services and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning & Transportation to use delegated powers to finalise the details of the bids in time for submission to comply with the WG deadline of Monday 3rd February 2014.

4.         That the urgent decision procedure as set out in article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution be used in view of the need to submit bids to Welsh Government by Monday, 3rd February.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To advise Members of the procedures, terms and conditions of the SRIC grant funding guidance, assessment criteria and application process.

2.         To endorse the acceptance of the schemes being proposed.

3.         To allow the bids to be submitted within the timescale required.

4.         To allow bids to be submitted within the timescale of 3rd February 2014.

Background

3.         Welsh Government invites local authorities to submit bids for Safe Routes in Communities (formally Safe Routes to Schools) annual funding to enable the delivery of local road safety projects that encourage sustainable travel to various key locations. Whilst there was a change of emphasis from schools to communities a number of years ago, this year, the priority has been re-focused on schemes based around schools.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         The invitation to bid for funding was received on 13th December 2013 with a submission date of 3rd February 2014. This leaves little time to demonstrate support from the schools/public which is a requirement within the assessment criteria.

5.         WG have restricted the number of schemes to be submitted by each local authority to 4 schemes per authority. However, this is an increase on last year as it was restricted to 2 schemes per authority for 2013/14.

6.         There are 4 schemes being proposed, 2 of which were submitted in 2013/14 but were unsuccessful, and 2 new further schemes as follows:

Improvements in access to Barry Comprehensive, namely:

Extension of the cycle/footway from Barry Comprehensive to Waycock Cross roundabout and the extension of the existing 20mph zone along Treharne Road;

Zebra to Puffin crossing - Ysgol Sant Curig;

Improvements to existing Zebra, or conversion to Puffin crossing along Barry Road (near Buttrills Road); and Improvements to existing Zebra, or conversion to Puffin crossing along Barry Road (near Hannah Street).

 

7.         Although in previous years this authority has been very successful in securing funding through this grant, in 2013/14, this authority did not receive an award. Feedback from WG indicated that there was not sufficient evidence of public support for the schemes, despite these being school travel plans and requests from the public to consider the works. To avoid similar feedback in future officers have engaged PACT groups for the areas concerned, to gain further support.  School travel plans have also been used where available.

8.         The terms and conditions of the Grant will mean that the works will need to be completed by 31st March 2015.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9.         Should any of the bids be successful, the measures contained within this report would be fully funded from the Safe Routes in Communities Grant from the WG.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10.      Measures to improve walking and cycling will all aid sustainable accessibility and the reduction of single occupancy car movements, therefore having a positive impact on sustainability and climate change.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.      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

12.      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)

13.      The concept of equal opportunities is a fundamental principle that underlies all of this Council's policies.  Improvements to pedestrian and cycling routes in the Vale will benefit all members of the community including some of the most vulnerable road user groups. 

14.      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

15.      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 Government's accident reduction, environmental and healthy living targets.

16.      The provision of safe pedestrian and cycling routes provides alternative means of travel, and ensures good accessibility for those without access to private transport. This links with the Council's objectives for social wellbeing and tackling disadvantages.

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.      Ward Members have been consulted where there are specific schemes being promoted for their areas although SRIC bids could affect all Wards. However, due to the criteria of the grant, it is unlikely that many other areas would qualify for assistance hence the reason these specific areas have been targeted.  Councillor I. Johnson has responded stating that he supports the inclusion of a scheme for improvements on Buttrills Road at Ysgol Sant Curig.  He states that this is a substantial main road and there is a concern over road safety at this location.  Councillor Bertin has advised that he is supportive of the bid and pleased to see the bids made for Treharne Road and Barry Road.    

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19.      Economy & Environment

Background Papers

Appendix A - Bid invitation

 

Contact Officer

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

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Highways & Engineering

Operational Manager - Strategy & Support

Finance - Senior Accountant

Legal - Committee Reports

Operational Manager - Planning & Transportation

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Tomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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