Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 17th July, 2012
Report of the Director of Development Services
Barry to Dinas Powys Cycleway
Purpose of the Report
1. This report has been prepared at the request of Councillor Christopher Williams to provide information on the proposed cycleway along the A4055 between Barry (Biglis roundabout) and Dinas Powys.
1. That the contents of the report be noted.
Reason for the Recommendation
1. To advise Scrutiny Committee of the proposal, the work undertaken so far and the issues and challenges associated with the future development of the scheme.
2. In 2010 the Council was successful in securing £30,000 from the South East Wales Transport Alliance (Sewta) to undertake investigative and initial design and costing works on two cycle routes in the south eastern Vale namely:
· Railway Walk, Penarth ( at £10k); and
· A proposed cycle route between Barry and Dinas Powys on land adjacent to the A4055 Cardiff Road ( at £20k).
3. Both routes had been identified by Sustrans the national cycle Charity as integral elements of the proposed National Cycle Network through the Vale of Glamorgan NCN 88. A copy of the NCN 88 feasibility report (June 2008) prepared by Sustrans has been placed in the members room for information.
4. The routes identified were investigated by officers from the Council's then Visible Services Division and two reports identifying preferred routes, issues and outline costings were prepared. A copy of the Barry to Dinas Powys report has been placed in the Members' Room for information.
5. In summary, the report:
· Identifies a preferred off road cycle route between the Biglis/McDonalds roundabout on the eastern side of Barry and the western edge of Dinas Powys at the Southra Park estate.
· Identifies Issues and options associated with the development of the route e.g. land ownership, flooding and the need to span a number of watercourses; and
· Provides a cost estimate range of £614,000 to £783,000 (dependent upon preferred route and options) for the completion of the works. That said, at this juncture there is no real implication of land costs as no valuation has been undertaken and there has been no tender process. As a consequence costs could exceed these estimates.
6. As resources for the development of the route network are severely limited, completion will by necessity be gradual with design and implementation works occurring as and when resources are available.
Relevant Issues and Options
7. The land required to facilitate the proposed scheme is in multiple ownership and while a small section of the routes comprises a public right of way, land ownership rights would need to be secured to develop the route. Currently no discussions have taken place with the landowners to assess how co-operative or not they might be with regard to access over their land or sale of their land for the purposes of the cycleway provision. In a similar manner, given there is no funding commitment at present, officers have not appointed any agent or carried out any land valuation exercise to quantify what the land costs might be.
8. With no direct capital or revenue funding for the development of the proposed route completion would be subject to grant aid from external agencies and organisations. In reality, the primary and most likely source of funding for the work will be the Sewta and given the scale of the project funding if successful would/might be spread over a number of years. It should be noted that in seeking funding from the Sewta, the Council would be competing against the other local authorities within the region for available funding. It should also be noted that while the scheme has benefited from funding for investigative and initial design works, it is not included within the Regional Transport Plan 5 year programme. Funding for cycle schemes in the 2012-13 period for the ten local authorities covered by Sewta is £800,000 and the scheme works costs estimate for this one route is £614,000 to £783,000 (subject to the comments outlined in para 5 above.).
9. To date no consultation has been undertaken with respect to the draft scheme. Once undertaken the landowners in the area would understand what parcels of land might be required for the scheme and the options at that point in time would be either land purchase supported by the owners or a process of compulsory purchase for the scheme. A risk assessment approach would favour the latter in support of negotiations for land as multiple parcels will be required and a CPO supported route would avoid the ransom strip position (i.e. one party waiting until all other parcels have been required and increasing the asking price on that basis). In any event valuations will almost certainly need to be agreed by the District Valuer who can consider both land value and compensation issues. CPOs can be opposed via an appeal mechanism and land valuation might be challenged via the Lands Tribunal so the process of acquisition may be lengthy.
10. A detailed scheme involving any significant earth works and bridges is likely to require planning permission and that process and the likelihood of approval is a risk to the scheme and its programme.
11. Following funding and planning consent the scheme would need to be tendered and a scheme capable of being delivered within a Sewta approved delivery and funding programme will need to be achieved.
The Way forward
12. The next stages in progressing any scheme would be to gain acceptance from Sewta for inclusion in the 5 year programme of works and for detailed development of the scheme. Some commitment to resources to progress the land and valuations issues would need to be made. To date officers' time from the Planning Policy Team, Highways and the Project Management Unit has been committed but the fees of the latter two are covered via capital programme allocations so additional allocations would need to be made to ensure sufficient staff resources to take the scheme forward to the point were appropriate bids might be made for the land costs and capital works costs. In addition it is worth noting that any further decisions to progress the scheme would need to be taken having due regard to other competing sections of the National Cycle Network.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
13. The limited financial resources available for feasibility and design have limited the progress that has been made on the proposed route. No direct capital or revenue funding has so far been identified to further progress the route. However officers will continue to seek funding from external agencies and organisations wherever possible funding streams are identified, but as stated above, the same principle would apply to other elements of National Cycle Network 88.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
14. None at this time in respect however there may be future legal implications associated with the securing of the necessary land for the scheme and for the necessary river crossings.
Crime and Disorder Implications
15. None arising from this report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
16. The development of cycle routes within the Vale of Glamorgan will benefit all elements of the community.
17. The delivery of sustainable transport projects is a primary objective of the Planning and Transportation Service Plan.
Policy Framework and Budget
18. This report is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
19. All Dinas Powys local Ward Members have been consulted on this report.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
20. Economy and Environment.
John Marks - Planning Policy - Tel: 01446 704629.
Operational Manager Visible Service Design and Procurement
Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services.