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 Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 11 August, 2014

 

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

 

Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 Consultation on Design Guidance and Delivery Guidance

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Cabinet that the Council has received a consultation document from the Welsh Government (WG) setting out the design guidance for the provision of routes designed for walking and cycling, as well as Statutory Guidance for Delivering the Active Travel (Wales) Act which set out the processes and procedures to follow to deliver the requirements of the Act (see http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/transport/active-travel-design-guidance/?lang=en and http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/transport/active-travel-delivery-guidance/?lang=en ). The report also seeks endorsement of the response issued 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 both the proposed Design Guidance and Statutory Guidance for Delivery of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013.

2.         That Cabinet endorses the response to the Consultation Questions as outlined at Appendix 1, which response was issued to the Welsh Government prior to the closing date of 4th August 2014.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To advise Members of the Consultation.

2.         To endorse the Consultation response.

Background

2.         This consultation document sought Local Authority views on the Guidance to be issued on both the design of walking and cycling schemes attributed to Active Travel routes and also sought Local Authority views on the processes and procedures to deliver the requirements of the Act.

3.         Both sets of Guidance set out how WG expect local transport authorities to comply with this requirement.  They also set out the prescribed settlements that the WG have considered for Active Travel routes. 

 

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         The responses to this consultation were required to be received by the Welsh Government no later than 4th August 2014 with the responses taking the form of the completion of questionnaires on both the Design Guidance consultation and the Statutory Guidance for Delivery of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013.  These questionnaires have been completed and are included within Appendix 1 as the Council response to the consultation, issued in time for the 4th August deadline.

5.         The Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 will have implications on all future planning applications and all new developments. It places a responsibility on Local Authorities to ensure that walking and cycling routes are embedded into any new planned developments, as well as implementing upgraded measures on the existing highway networks. It should be noted that this is already an approach taken by this Council when preparing new schemes and negotiating S106 Agreements.

6.         The Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013, also places a duty on the Local Authorities to provide, and keep updated, copies of their current cycling networks, with high levels of detail of what each route contains, for example, shared off-road, street lighting, width of route etc. The current routes will need to be audited and copies of the routes will have to be made available in various locations throughout the County.

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.         Elements of the work to comply with the actions that are being proposed to deliver the requirements of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 within the timescales prescribed over a three year plan period, will require additional resource investment by the Council, and additional assistance may be required to deliver. In the past, such resources have been sought from a combination of Grant and developer contributions.

8.         Funding has been awarded from Welsh Government to the sum of £14,000 to assist with delivering the cycle route plans for 2014/15. However, it is now understood that this funding will not now be required to be spent within the financial year 2014/15 and may also be utilised in 2015/16.

 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.         Walking and cycling routes are key to sustainable accessibility and the reduction of single occupancy car movements, therefore having a positive impact on sustainability and climate change.

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.      When delivering walking and cycling schemes, compliance is needed with the relevant Highways, Transport and Education Act measures.  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

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 delivering the initiatives within the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013.

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

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. 

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

 

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.      The schemes that will be identified within the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013, once delivered, will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors in the Vale. 

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.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      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 Davis

Legal - Committee Reports

Head of Performance & Development - Huw Isaac

Public Rights Of Way Officer

Operational Manager - Development and Building Control

Group Engineer - Highway Development

Principal Planner - Planning and Transportation Policy

 

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services