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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

 

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

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Members of the funding awarded by the Welsh Government (WG) to the Council from the Safe Routes in Communities (SRIC) Grant for 2014/15.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet note the information in this report.

2.         That Cabinet endorse the acceptance of the grants by the Director of Development Services and Head of Finance.

3.         That the SRIC Grant be included in the Council's Capital Programme for 2014/15.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To advise Members of the procedures, terms and conditions of the SRIC grant funding.

2.         To endorse the acceptance of the Grant by the Director of Development Services and Head of Finance to meet the WG's deadline.

3.         To enable the Council's Capital Programme for 2014/15 to reflect the Grant awarded to the Council from the WG.

Background

2.         Welsh Government invited local authorities to submit bids for Safe Routes in Communities (formerly Safe Routes to Schools) funding in December 2013 (my report of 27th January 2014 minute C2179 refers) 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 was changed back to schemes around schools again.

3.         The criteria for the Safe Routes in Communities bids included the following:

(1) Effectiveness in improving safety and reducing casualties

(2)  The potential impact on improved routes to and from school

(3) Evidence of school involvement including scheme's effectiveness in changing pupils' behaviour/attitude to active travel

(4)  The contribution of the project in tackling poverty

(5)  Value for money and deliverability  

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 left little time to demonstrate support from the schools/public which is a requirement within the assessment criteria.

5.         WG restricted the number of schemes to be submitted by each local authority to four schemes. However, this is an improvement on 2013/14 when it was restricted to two schemes per authority.

6.         There were four schemes submitted as agreed by Cabinet in January 2014 (minute C2179 refers), two of which were submitted in 2013/14 but were unsuccessful, and two new further schemes as follows:

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

A Zebra to Puffin crossing at 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 the Council has been very successful in securing funding through this grant, in 2013/14, the Council received no award at all. However, after taking on board WG's feedback regarding evidencing public support for the schemes, this year, and following consultation through local Pact Groups and schools, I am pleased to advise that the Council has been offered funding to the value of £444,599 2014/15. This funding is to deliver the following schemes:

 

Extension of the cycle/footway from Barry Comprehensive to Waycock Cross roundabout (element 1)

Zebra to Puffin crossing - Ysgol Sant Curig and 20mph zone; and

Upgrade Zebra crossing to Puffin Crossing on Barry Road (near Hannah Street).

 

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

9.         A copy of the award letter and the terms and conditions of the grant are attached at Appendix A.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      The measures contained within this report are fully funded from the Safe Routes in Communities Grant from the WG.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.      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)

12.      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

13.      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)

14.      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. 

15.      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

16.      The schemes to be delivered will 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 Government's accident reduction, environmental and healthy living targets.

17.      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

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.      The Ward Members for the successful schemes have been consulted

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      Economy & Environment

Background Papers

Appendix A - Grant Award

 

Contact Officer

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

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Highways & Engineering

 

Finance Support Manager

Legal - Committee Reports

 

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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