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 Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 1 December, 2014

 

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

 

Draft Local Transport Plan 2015

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To approve for consultation purposes a Local Transport Plan (LTP) for the Vale of Glamorgan and to set out the process by which the LTP is submitted to Welsh Government in January 2015.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet approve the contents of the draft Vale of Glamorgan Council Local Transport Plan 2015 for consultation purposes with the groups, individuals and organisations as listed at Appendix 3.

2.         That Cabinet refer this report to Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee on 2nd December 2014 for consideration as part of the Draft Local Transport Plan consultation process.

3.         That the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation be authorised to consider the responses to consultation and make any necessary and appropriate amendments to the Draft Local Transport Plan.

4.         That the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, be authorised to ensure the Local Transport Plan is submitted to the Welsh Government for approval by the closing date of 31st January 2015.

5.         That a report outlining the results of the Draft Local Transport Plan consultation process the feedback of Welsh Government and the final Local Transport Plan be presented to Cabinet, the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee and Council , during February and March 2015.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To enable the Council to consult on a draft Local Transport Plan for the Council.

2.         To seek the views of Scrutiny Committee as part of the Local Transport Plan Consultation process.

3.         To facilitate the amendments to the Draft Local Transport Plan as a result of consultation and ensure the approval of the final document.

4.         To meet the deadline of 31st January 2015 for submission of the Council's final Local Transport Plan to the Welsh Government.

5.         To seek adoption of the Local Transport Plan as submitted to and subsequently considered by the Welsh Government.

Background

2.         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.

3.         The guidance for producing an LTP was released in July 2014 and is attached at Appendix 1.  It sets out how Welsh Government (WG) expect local transport authorities to comply with the requirement. It also describes the process that must be followed to obtain approval for LTPs. 

4.         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 relevant 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. 

5.         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 exist, the WG has amended the Act and Guidelines to place duties on Local Transport Authorities to reflect for this change in working practices.

6.         An LTP for the Vale of Glamorgan is therefore required to meet the Council's statutory duty and WG Guidance requires that a final LTP for the period 2015 to 2020 is submitted to the WG for consideration by 31st January 2015.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         Attached at Appendix 2 is the Draft Local Transport Plan 2015 to 2020 for the Vale of Glamorgan which has been prepared to meet the guidelines as outlined below.

 

8.         Two tiers of transport plans are proposed namely the National Transport Plan (NTP) and LTPs.  The transport planning framework requires an integrated approach between national, regional and local priorities.  It is intended to achieve overall consistency between national and local approaches but at the same time, preserve discretion to reflect local conditions within the overall transport planning framework.

9.         In developing an integrated approach, the WG expect the Councils to work with it to secure an efficient and effective transport system for Wales:  where good connections for national and international markets allow businesses to prosper and where everyone can access the opportunities they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.  It should be noted that the next NTP is expected to run from April 2015.

10.      The WG expects LTPs to focus on targeting investment in transport that will:

Support economic growth and safeguard jobs across Wales, but with a particular focus on the City Regions, Enterprise Zones and local growth zones;

Reduce economic inactivity by delivering safe and affordable access to employment sites across Wales;

Maximise the contribution that effective and affordable transport services can make to tackling poverty and target investment to support improvements in accessibility for the most disadvantaged communities;

Encourage safer, healthier and sustainable travel.

11.      The LTPs are expected to reflect the priority areas detailed above and should also be set within the Transport Planning Framework.  In preparing the LTP, the focus must be on updating and refreshing the analysis of issues and priorities for schemes; rather than needing to undertake significant new work.  As stated above Local authorities can draw on the relevant sections of the current Regional Transport Plans and consider what has changed.  They can also draw on work undertaken for the production of Local Development Plans.

12.      The Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 requires local authorities to have regard to their integrated network maps for active travel when formulating their local transport plans and these maps will be available for consideration from 2017.

13.      The Plan should describe the key transport issues relevant to the local authority and then set out specific priorities for the local authority to deliver in the five year period 2015 to 2020, and medium and longer term aspirations up to 2030.  The list of specific schemes must be limited to those that are within a local transport authority’s remit and should not, for example, include schemes relating to the rail or trunk road network.  The LTP must also demonstrate the linkages with other local government and public sector service areas such as planning, education and health.

14.      The LTP should identify the transport issues and opportunities within the LTP area, the outcomes sought, the high level interventions required to respond to the issues and opportunities to achieve the outcomes, and the specific schemes proposed to deliver those interventions.  The analysis should not be confined to existing issues but also anticipate emerging challenges.

15.      WG's analysis of existing strategies, plans and reports has identified common issues and opportunities that are relevant to Wales or parts of Wales and these are described in Annex 1 of the Guidance (see Appendix 1). The LTP should include a confirmation of whether these issues and opportunities are relevant in the LTP area.  It should also identify any additional issues and opportunities that are relevant to the locality, in the format as set out in Annex 1 of the Guidance, including those that are not within a local transport authority’s remit. Where additional issues / opportunities are identified, these need to be supported by evidence.

16.      The high level Interventions should be set out as per the format in Annex 2 of the Guidance.  The interventions should be ranked in order of priority and indicate whether the intervention requires action in the plan period – to 2020, in the medium term 2020 to 2025 or in the longer term (up to 2030).  For each of the high level interventions identified, where possible, the LTP should set out the specific schemes proposed to deliver them.  These should only include proposals for schemes that are within a local authority’s remit. Schemes identified must be financially sustainable and / or provide good value for money. These schemes should be ranked in order of priority. It is a matter for local authorities to determine their priority schemes.  Where a local transport authority considers an intervention or scheme to have a sub-regional or regional impact, this should be identified in the Plan.

17.      The LTP should set out the consultation process undertaken. This must include consultation with neighbouring local authorities.  For local authorities who are located within a City Region, the view of the City Region Board on the LTP should be sought and reflected in the Plan before it is submitted to Welsh Government for approval.  As a minimum it is therefore recommended that neighbouring local authorities are consulted on the LTP along with the Cardiff Capital City Region Board.  In addition, it is recommended that all Town and Community Councils are consulted as well as specific user groups and transport related organisations.

18.      The LTP should incorporate an effective and comprehensive monitoring framework. Baseline information to monitor and evaluate the benefits of the investment should be identified. 

19.      All transport interventions funded partially or fully through the LTP should be subject to proportionate and appropriate monitoring and evaluation. A monitoring and evaluation plan will be required in the LTP which describes how each intervention and its impacts will be monitored. After the intervention has taken place an evaluation report should be produced which records what was actually delivered and the impact achieved.

20.      Both the monitoring and evaluation plan and the evaluation report should include the following sections:

Need: the identified need that the intervention is intended to address

Project description: a detailed description of the intervention

Objectives: the objectives of the intervention

Context: the general context for the intervention over the evaluation period

Inputs: what resources were used to deliver the intervention

Outputs: details of what was delivered

Outcomes: the intended outcomes from the intervention

Impact: details of the realised impacts of the scheme, whether they can be measured and if so, how?

 

Risks / lessons learnt. In the monitoring report the key risks that might affect the realisation of the proposed benefits, the mitigation of any anticipated adverse impacts and the risks to the recording of the anticipated impacts should be detailed. In the evaluation report this section should contain a reflection on the implementation of the project and present the lessons learnt.

21.      LTPs are local authority plans and the expectation is that the Plans will set out the priority schemes that local authorities intend to invest in.  Local authorities will also need to demonstrate that they can meet the revenue consequences of the capital investment.  As well as using their own resources, local authorities are encouraged to be creative in seeking additional funding to support transport spending. This could include private sector financing, European Union funding or securing funding from beneficiaries.

22.      If Welsh Government funding is made available for local authority schemes in future, WG expect any schemes proposed for support, to be identified and prioritised in the approved LTP.

23.      Annex 2 of the Guidance provides a template to assist local transport authorities to submit their LTPs in a consistent format.  LTPs will be assessed to ensure that they:

Include identification of issues, opportunities and intervention;

Provide an updated programme of schemes for the period 2015 – 2020, and which are within the remit of the local transport authority;

Provide medium and longer term aspirations to 2030, which are within the remit of the local transport authority;

Demonstrate the necessary statutory checks have been undertaken, if required;

Demonstrate that consultation has been undertaken with the relevant City Region board, where applicable;

Include a monitoring and evaluation plan;

Have been submitted in the format required, and by the deadline.

 

24.      The Draft LDP for the Vale of Glamorgan as attached at Appendix 2 covers all of the issues requested by the WG.  It provides a priority list of transport schemes with the priorities for the Council including sustainable transport measures such as the delivery of cycling routes on key corridors, the provision of new road improvements, safe routes in communities as well as improvements to the bus network and infrastructure.

 

25.      The timescale allowed by the WG for preparation, consultation and approval of the LTP is extremely short at around 6 months.  The short timescale for approval of the LTP means that undertaking consultation will need to take place during December and January.  As a result and following the reporting of the draft LTP to Cabinet on 1st December, it is recommended that the report be referred to Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee on 2nd December and Council on the 17th December.  The recommendations attached to this report seek to allow the statutory and non-statutory consultation with the City Region Board and adjoining local authorities to commence immediately following the reporting of the matter to Council on 17th December, with a timescale for the submission of comments of 23rd January.  Whilst it is appreciated that this consultation straddles the Christmas break, the timescales and deadlines involved, means that this is unavoidable.  Given the timescales involved, the report also seeks authority for the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation to consider the responses to consultation and to make appropriate amendments to the Local Transport Plan prior to submission to Welsh Government before 31st January 2015.  A further report will be presented to Cabinet and Council after January, to advise of the responses to consultation, the feedback from Welsh Government and the final LTP with intended subsequent adoption.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

26.      There are no further resource implications in preparing the Local Transport Plan by 31st January 2015 for adoption by 1st April 2015.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

27.      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.

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

29.      When delivering Transport schemes, compliance is required with the relevant Highways, Transport and Education Act measures and guidelines.  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. 

30.      Section 109A, 109B and 109C of the Transport Act 2000, as amended by the Transport (Wales) Act 2006, requires local transport authorities to submit their LTPs to Welsh Government for approval.

Crime and Disorder Implications

31.      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.

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

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

 

Corporate/Service Objectives

35.      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. 

36.      The provision of safe pedestrian and cycling routes, as well as public transport, 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

37.      This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.  The approval of the final LTP for the Vale of Glamorgan is a matter for Council.  Given the timescales involved for submitting the LTP to Welsh Government, the body of this report and the recommendations specifically relate to the process of agreeing and submitting the LTP, which will be reported to Council on 17th December.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

39.      The Plan will be referred to Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee on 2nd December 2014.

40.      The list of people/organisations to be consulted on the Draft LTP is attached at Appendix 3.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

41.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Appendix 1- Guidance to Local Transport Authorities - Local Transport Plan 2015

Appendix 2 - Vale of Glamorgan Council Local Transport Plan 2015

Appendix 3 - Consultation List for Draft LTP 2015-2030

 

Contact Officer

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

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Highways and Engineering

Finance Support Manager

Legal - Committee Reports

Head of Performance and Development

Operational Manager Countryside and Economic Projects

Operational Manager, Development Management Chief Learning Officer

Director of Social Services

 

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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