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 Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 28th April 2014

 

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

 

Local Transport Plan Consultation Guidance

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Cabinet that the Council has received a consultation document from the Welsh Government (WG) presenting draft proposals to amend the current Regional Transport Planning (Wales) 2006 Act and Guidance to Local Transport Authorities - Local Transport Plan 2015 (see http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/transport/local-transport-plan/?status=open&lang=en). The report also provides a response to the Welsh Assembly Government’s Consultation questions as detailed in the Appendix 1 to this report.

Recommendations

1.         That Members note the contents of the proposed amendments to the current Regional Transport Planning (Wales) 2006 Act and Guidance to Local Transport Authorities - Local Transport Plan 2015.

2.         That Cabinet approve the Council's response to the Consultation Questions as outlined at Appendix 1 and that these are sent to the Welsh Government by the closing date of 30th April 2014.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To advise Members of the Consultation.

2.         To allow the Council to issue a Consultation response and to ensure the responses are received by the closing date of 30th April 2014.

Background

2.         This consultation document seeks Local Authority views on amending the Regional Transport Planning (Wales) Order 2006 and on the guidance used to assist local transport authorities to prepare their Local Transport Plan.

3.         The Transport Act 2000, as amended by the Transport (Wales) Act 2006, made it statutory for local transport authorities to produce a Local Transport Plan (LTP) every five years. 

4.         This guidance sets out how WG expect local transport authorities to comply with this requirement. It also describes the process that must be followed to obtain approval for LTPs. 

5.         The process local transport authorities must follow in developing their LTPs has been streamlined. Local transport authorities are allowed to update schemes or priorities identified in their Regional Transport Plans (RTPs) to adapt to changes since their publication, and can address the findings and contents of studies and plans developed since this period. 

6.         Currently South East Wales operates under a Regional Transport Plan which will cease being operative on 31st March 2015. As the Regional Consortia (Sewta in the case of S. E. Wales) no longer exists, the WG intend to amend the Act and Guidelines to place duties on Local Transport Authorities to compensate for this change in working practices.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         The responses to this consultation are required to be received by the Welsh Government no later than 30th April 2014 and responses should take the form of the completion of questionnaires on the Regional Transport Planning (Wales) 2006 Act and Guidance to Local Transport Authorities - Local Transport Plan 2015. This questionnaire has been completed and is offered as a suggested Council response to the consultation at Appendix 1

8.         The Regional Transport Planning (Wales) Order 2006 permits local transport authorities to prepare local transport plans jointly. The schedule to the Order defines these groupings which mirror the current Regional Transport Consortia arrangements.

9.          WG propose increasing the flexibility with which local authorities can work jointly to fulfil their statutory duty in relation to transport planning. They want to amend the transport planning arrangements for Wales, to remove the provision that if local authorities want to prepare transport plans jointly, then they must group together along Regional Transport Consortia lines. Instead, they would like local authorities to be able to choose the collective area for joint working, and prepare transport plans jointly for that area.

10.      The proposed amended Order would still permit local authorities to make individual local transport plans, if they so wish.

11.       The WG believes that this Order is part of a range of activities that would strengthen and co-ordinate transport planning arrangements for Wales. It forms part of the work stream to re-define the National Transport Plan to include regional priorities and set the framework for Wales as a whole.

11.

12.      In addition, the Welsh Government has provided some additional guidance on what they want to see within the local transport plans.

13.      Appendix 1 shows that I have a number of queries within this guidance. In particular, the exemption from the LTP of aspirations the Council may have with regards public transport operations that sit outside of its control to be considered within the LTPs. This would include aspirations such as doubling the frequency of the VOG Line and any improvements to Trunk Roads which may border the Authority's area.

14.      The Guidance also requires the LTP consultation to include the CRB. What happens if the Local Authority and the City Region's Board have different priorities?

15.      The Guidance also refers to the National Transport Plan and the Wales Transport Strategy. The WG have stated that they intend to update the National Transport Plan and the timing of this work will have an impact on the LTP. The Wales Transport Strategy may also require updating, though the WG have not stated that this work will be carried out.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

16.      The work to prepare a Local Transport Plan by 31st December 2014 for adoption by 1st April 2015 will be a resource burden on the Council, and additional assistance may be required to deliver this Plan.

 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

17.      The local transport network and its services aids sustainable accessibility and the reduction of single occupancy car movements, therefore having a positive impact on sustainability and climate change.

18.      There is a legal duty on Welsh Ministers within the Measure to promote sustainable measures of travel.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

19.      When delivering Transport schemes, the relevant Highways, Transport and Education Act measures and guidelines need to be complied with.  There is a duty on local authorities to comply with the current Regional Transport Planning (Wales) 2006 Act and Guidance to Local Transport Authorities legislation. 

Crime and Disorder Implications

20.      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 delivering the initiatives within a Local Transport Plan.

21.      A safe and accessible transport network will have a positive impact on crime and disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

22.      The concept of equal opportunities is a fundamental principle that underlies all of this Council's policies. 

23.      The Guidance deals with Welsh Language and English Language matters equally.

 

Corporate/Service Objectives

24.      The schemes that will be identified within the Local Transport Plan, once delivered, will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors in the Vale. 

25.      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

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

27.      Ward Members have not been consulted as this report affects all Wards.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

28.      Economy & Environment

Background Papers

Appendix 1- Consultation Questionnaire responses

 

Contact Officer

Clare Cameron - Principal Transport & Road Safety Officer 01446 704768

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Highways & Engineering

Finance Support Manager - Laura Davies

Legal - Committee Reports

Head of Performance & Development - Huw Isaac

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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