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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 7 September, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration

Metro Corridor Schemes

Purpose of the Report

1.    To update Cabinet on the current position following feasibility and design of the Metro Corridor Schemes for Culverhouse Cross to St Athan (via Cardiff Airport) and Dinas Powys to Cardiff, and to consider a way forward for their delivery within the timescales set by Welsh Government.

Recommendations

1.    That Cabinet endorses the proposed Metro bus solutions for the Culverhouse Cross to St Athan and the Dinas Powys to Cardiff Corridor schemes.

 

2.    That Cabinet notes the progress made in relation to the availability of funding to deliver the Culverhouse Cross to St Athan Corridor bus schemes and endorses the works currently being delivered.

 

3.    That Cabinet requests that the Director of Environment and Housing Services continues discussions with WG over the terms of any funding award, having particular regard to the level and timing of scheme delivery and ensuring that all expenditure incurred by the Council will be reimbursed by WG grant funding and / or utilising S106 Planning Obligation funding.

 

4.    That pursuant to recommendations 2 and 3, delegated authority be given to the Director of Environment and Housing Services in consultation with the Leader, the Head of Finance and Managing Director, to consider the terms of any Grant funding offer and if appropriate, accept any Grant offer related to the Metro Corridor Schemes.

 

5.    That Cabinet agrees that any funding awarded by WG, and any S106 monies utilised, be added to the Capital programme.

 

6.    That Cabinet approve the purchase of land at Quarry Road Roundabout required in connection with the scheme and that the Section 151 Officer be given delegated authority to negotiate and agree Heads of Terms with the landowner in respect of the acquisition and that the Head of Legal Services be authorised to prepare and enter in to the appropriate legal documentation to carry into effect the terms of the transaction.

 

7.    That Cabinet agrees the use of S106 funding from the HTV site to deliver the footway / cycleway from Walston Castle to Brooklands Terrace to ensure economies of scale are made when implementing the scheme.

 

8.    That Cabinet agrees a further Study is carried out to establish the effect of the Metro proposals on traffic through the Dinas Powys to Cardiff Corridor prior to implementation of any scheme on this Corridor, with the results of that Study being reported back to Cabinet in due course, and that any funding agreed for this study is accepted with the same delegated authority as 4 above, including the necessary addition to the Capital programme.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.    To enable Cabinet to consider the recommendations from the two Metro reports as contained in attached links  entitled Culverhouse Cross to St Athan Bus Priority Measures and Dinas Powys to Cardiff Corridor Bus Priority Measures.  To allow the proposals to progress within the timescales required to use the Grant funding.

 

2,3,4 To ensure that the funding can be obtained, released and schemes delivered within the proposed timescales of the report. To tie in with other schemes that are being implemented to allow for economies of scale.

 

5.    To amend the Capital Programme.

 

6.    To acquire the necessary land to deliver the Quarry Road Roundabout improvement works.

 

7.    To ensure best use of the funds available.

 

8.     To ensure that the proposals are traffic modelled in order that they offer the best solutions prior to agreeing their delivery.  To consider the affect on traffic whilst implementing any schemes and to agree acceptance of the relevant funding.

Background

2.    Welsh Government (WG) previously accepted two proposals from Sewta (South East Wales Transport Alliance) for bus priority schemes within the Vale of Glamorgan that were identified as a result of Sewta's Bus Strategy.  Measures relating to bus priority considered the entire journey along these corridors and included bus stop upgrades, junction improvements and bus lanes amongst the proposals.

 

3.    Two priority corridors within the Vale of Glamorgan were identified as part of a study undertaken by Steer Davies Gleave Consultants in 2008 and were two of the top ten corridors in South East Wales that warranted bus priority measures.  This Study was updated by Sewta in 2014 which still identified the need for these works.

 

4.    WG set aside £1m for works on the Culverhouse Cross to St Athan corridor and £1.5m for the Dinas Powys to Cardiff corridor.  These were indicative financial allocations to fund works which needed to be delivered by 31st March 2016.

 

5.    Officers and Consultants carried out feasibility and design works on the Culverhouse Cross to St Athan Corridor and engaged Bellway Homes as an adjoining developer to assist with the Culverhouse Cross Scheme.  This enabled a scheme to be designed that considered buses as part of the highway works that were being progressed for the new housing development at the former HTV site.  A report to consider this corridor has been prepared by the Council's Highways and Engineering section and this can be found as a link to this report as follows:- http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2015/15-09-07/Metro-Corridor-Schemes-CULVERHOUSE-CROSS-TO-ST-ATHAN.pdf

 

6.    Capita Consultants were engaged in February 2015 to carry out feasibility works on the Dinas Powys to Cardiff corridor.  Their final report was completed in May 2015 and is attached as a link as follows:- http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2015/15-09-07/Metro-Corridor-Schemes-Dinas-Powys-to-Cardiff-Corridor.pdf.  The two reports have also been placed in the Members room.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.    The Culverhouse Cross to St Athan Corridor Report recommends works that can be broken down into the following six scheme elements as shown on the Map at Appendix 1:

 

Brooklands Terrace Junction Improvement Works £500,000 (This represents the bus priority measures that are being delivered over and above other highway layout elements required as a result of the development of the HTV site and paid for by the developer);

 

Barry Docks Link Road Junction Improvement Works £352,300;

 

Quarry Road Roundabout Improvement Works £285,000;

 

Wenvoe to Brooklands Terrace Bus Lane £310,000 (A small piece of land is required to enable this scheme to be delivered. The Land Owner has indicated that he is willing to sell the land and the Council's Legal Department is currently negotiating with the Land Owner's Agent);

 

Improvements to Core Bus Stops to Gold Standard which includes an Adshel type shelter to DDA specifications £116,000;

 

Improvements to Remaining Bus Stops to allow disability access £112,000.

 

8.    The total cost of these schemes exceeded the £1m indicative allocation by £675,800. With previous feasibility and design funding, as well as supervision and project management fees, the current projected outturn for these schemes is £1,960,686. As a result of discussions with WG, confirmation was recently received in writing that the total value of these Schemes had been provisionally allocated by WG to undertake the works during this financial year (2015/16).

 

9.    All of the Schemes have been traffic modelled, to ensure there is no detrimental effect on moving traffic, and that they have positive bus journey benefits.  

 

10.    Whilst the current criteria of the grant offered is to complete all schemes by 31st March 2016, the works along this Corridor may continue into the 2016/17 financial year due to the complexity of the highway works being delivered on this corridor. The works at Brooklands Terrace, which is a 26 week programme, needs to be carefully traffic managed in conjunction with any works on the Quarry Road Junction and bus lane.  The programme will need to be agreed with WG as well as with the Council's Highways and Engineering section.  This could have consequences to funding as any works delivered after the deadline of 31st March 2016 may have to be funded outside of the Grant.  Therefore, it is important to note that if the work plan does not permit conclusion of all works by 31st March 2016 the Scheme will not be started unless the relevant, additional funding for any works can be carried forward into 2016/17.  It is feasible that any outstanding works could also be funded via Section 106 contributions.  Should this latter option prove viable, appropriate Member consultation (in line with the S106 protocol) would be undertaken in advance of any works being delivered with this money.

 

11.    The Brooklands Terrace Junction Improvement Works should be delivered by the developer of the former HTV site by the end of the 2015/16 financial year.

 

12.    The bid for funding the Barry Docks Link Road Improvements has already been submitted to WG and the works are due to commence as soon as the funding is formally awarded. These works are required to be delivered at the same time as the pedestrian / cycleway improvements that are currently being implemented as part of the 2015/2016 Safe Routes in Communities programme from Wenvoe to the Barry Docks Link Road, which commenced in August 2015.

 

13.    The bid for funding the bus stop improvement works has also formally been submitted to WG and are also due to start imminently.

 

14.    There are economies of scale to be made by implementing a proposed footway / cycleway from Walston Castle to Brooklands Terrace at the same time as works to deliver a bus lane. The cost of the works to introduce a footway / cycleway is estimated to be approximately £120k and can be funded from the S106 funding for the HTV development.

 

15.    The Dinas Powys to Cardiff Corridor Report recommends significant works and can be broken down into four scheme elements as shown by the Map at Appendix 2:

 

Merrier Harrier Junction Improvement Works £1,120,363.56;

 

Cogan Roundabout Junction Improvement Works (within the present footprint of the Network Rail Bridge) £965,609.65;

 

Merrier Harrier to Barons Court Link Highway Improvement Works £1,352,574.44; and

 

Bus Stop Improvement Works - Dinas Powys to Cardiff Corridor £459,905.54.

 

16.    Like most major schemes, many assumptions have been made in respect of the risks associated with delivery of the four schemes. 30% of the total cost estimate has been included as contingency, totalling some £1.06m.

 

17.    The Merrie Harrier Junction Improvement Works have included the recommendations of previously identified studies that were carried out as part of the Local Development Plan (LDP).  Cogan Roundabout Junction Improvements recommend a shift in pedestrian space to enable an additional dedicated left hand lane to access Penarth Marina. This will be considered following clarification from Network Rail on the electrification of the Railway Line.  There is no timeframe for this as yet as information is awaited from Network Rail.  It is therefore likely that any grant application for this work will be submitted as part of a future phase of the Metro Project.

 

18.    The Merrie Harrier to Barons Court Improvements show additional bus space on part of the route. Further feasibility money has been secured, from S106 Planning Gain, to consider an off-road shared footway/cycleway on the whole length of Barry Road. Site surveys have identified the need for this shared facility.

 

19.    Bus stop Improvements are identified where stops do not meet the current standards.  These are detailed in the LDP.

 

20.    Whilst the total cost of the scheme outweighs the indicative allocation identified by WG, WG has advised that the Metro fund up to 31st March 2016 is approximately £15m and WG has indicated that it will re-direct the funds to the schemes that can show best value within Wales.   This may be of advantage to the schemes within this report as WG has also advised that some of the schemes within the initial indicative allocations and within the £15m have already been delivered using other resources, while some schemes will not come to fruition as they will not be ready for delivery in time.

 

21.    The funding mentioned within this report is from Phase 1 of the Metro project with Phase 2 planned to commence at a later unspecified date.

 

22.    The Capita Report (mentioned in Para 6) has been made available to WG to enable them to consider funding the next stage of the process which is to traffic model the suggestions at the Merrie Harrier Junction to ensure that it does not cause a negative impact on traffic congestion.  

 

23.    The VisSim traffic model (mentioned in Recommendation 8) will take ten weeks to develop and analyse.  Subject to the modelling proving the schemes will not cause a detrimental effect on congestion, works could potentially start in late 2015 (although this will be challenging) on the Merrie Harrier to Cogan Junction Improvements, the Merrie Harrier Junction and the bus stops subject to Statutory Undertakers requirements (Gas, BT and Electric).  However, the Cogan Roundabout Junction works would be on hold until Network Rail delivers the Bridge Improvement works as part of Electrification of the Valleys Line.  The timing of this latter scheme is still being debated.

 

24.    It is clear that in relation to both Corridors, much progress has been made in terms of discussing options and funding with WG.   In this report, it is recommended that negotiations continue with WG with a view to delivering all elements of the scheme that can be implemented during 2015/16 and those elements of the scheme (if any), that can be carried forward with funding to beyond the end of March 2016.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

25.    The delivery of the Metro Schemes will be funded in full by WG Grant and Section 106 funding.  Works at Culverhouse Cross will be delivered and funded partly by the developer of the housing scheme and partly by the Grant where there are specific bus priority measures to be delivered.  The Grant is subject to approval by WG.   S106 funding that is available from the HTV site is required to implement the pedestrian footway / cycleway scheme from Walston Castle to Brooklands Terrace to allow economies of scale. Should the funding not be forthcoming, the works will not be delivered.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

26.    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.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

27.    When delivering Transport schemes, the relevant Highways and Transport agreements and measures 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.  By virtue of section 120 of the Local Government Act 1972, the Council has powers to buy any land by agreement for the purposes of any of its functions or for the benefit, improvement or development of their area. There are also additional powers of acquisition contained in other statutes.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

29.    The concept of equal opportunities is a fundamental principle that underlies all of this Council's policies.  Improvements to bus stops are required to ensure they are Disability compliant and allow access for all sectors of the Community.

Corporate/Service Objectives

30.    The Schemes identified within the Metro, once delivered, will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors in the Vale.  

 

31.    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 disadvantage.

Policy Framework and Budget

32.    This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

33.    No ward member consultation has taken place as the Schemes are of a strategic nature and affect all of the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

34.    Economy & Environment.

Background Papers

Culverhouse Cross to St Athan Corridor Report (see link)

Dinas Powys to Cardiff Corridor Report (see link)

Appendix 1 Map of Culverhouse Cross to St Athan Corridor Schemes

Appendix 2 Map of Dinas Powys to Cardiff Corridor Schemes

Contact Officer

Clare Cameron - Principal Transport & Road Safety Officer

Tel:  01446 704768

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Highways & Engineering

Highway Works Manager

Principal Engineer

Finance Support Manager

Operational Manager Accountancy

Legal - Committee Reports

Principal Planner

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing Services