MATTERS WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAS DECIDED IS URGENT BY REASON OF THE NEED TO ANALYSE AND REPORT THE RESULT OF THE CONSULTATION PROCESS BEFORE 22 JANUARY, 2016
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 11 January, 2016
Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration
Active Travel - Existing Route Maps - Results of Consultation
Purpose of the Report
- To advise Cabinet of the results of the public consultation on the draft existing route maps, to comply with the Council's Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 (the Act) duties.
- To request Cabinet approval for a set of Existing Route Maps to present to Welsh Government (WG) in order that the Council meets its statutory duties.
- That Cabinet approves the proposed responses to the consultation as attached at Appendix A.
- That Cabinet endorses the final existing route maps as attached at Appendix B.
- That Cabinet agree to the existing route maps being submitted to WG for approval by the closing date of 22nd January 2016 in accordance with the WG's statutory guidance.
- That Cabinet accept the 'Local Transport Fund Grant' from Welsh Government for 2016/17 for the sum of £9,000, to enable further works to be completed to deliver the integrated network maps by September 2017.
Reasons for the Recommendations
- To allow Cabinet to consider the responses received as part of the consultation process.
- To ensure the Council has existing route maps for active travel as required by law.
- To allow the Council to fulfil its legal obligations within the specified timescale.
- To enable the funding to be accepted and utilised to deliver the works required.
- On 21st September 2015, a report was presented to Cabinet to advise on the process that the Council is required to follow in order to comply with the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 (Cabinet Minute C2915 refers).
- The deadline for submission to WG of the final existing route maps is 22nd January 2016.
- A consultation process was approved in the report considered by Cabinet in September 2015 and the results of this process are outlined below.
Relevant Issues and Options
- In line with WG requirements, the extensive 12 week consultation process closed on 18th December 2015.
- The Council's Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment), Community Liaison Committee and Youth Cabinet were consulted as part of the formal consultation process along with all those who expressed an interest in transport and Active Travel issues as part of the Local Development Plan process. All known protected groups, all Town and Community Councils, all schools, the Local Service Board and the Health Board were all formally invited to respond. The consultation was promoted in the local free newspapers, available on the Council's web site, and at all libraries and Council Offices. There was also a workshop for Council staff from all Departments to consider the full duties placed upon the Council along with the benefits of Active Travel to their service areas. In addition, Sustrans promoted the consultation in local schools as part of their role in Active Travel.
- The Council received 147 responses to the consultation. An evaluation of the responses received can be found at Appendix A.
- As a result of the consultation process and having considered in detail all of the comments made, it is proposed to present the current existing route maps to WG and to consider any routes raised as part of the consultation, and that are not currently within the existing route maps, as part of the next stage in the process (integrated network maps).
- The main concerns fed back through the consultation process together with my response are outlined below:
- The route from McDonalds Barry through to Dinas Powys has not been considered. This route can be considered as part of the next phase in the process.
- A route is required to the Airport to complete the existing works undertaken. Funding is currently being sought to enable the delivery of this route;
- Sully Road, Sully Moors Road and Cosmeston existing cycle routes require upgrading . Funding is being sought to enable these routes to be upgraded;
- There are no current recognised cycle routes through Cowbridge, Barry Island, The Knap and parts of Penarth and Barry Road, Dinas Powys. Some works are currently being carried out to provide specific pedestrian/ cycling routes in areas such as Barry Island, and other routes will be considered as part of the next stage;
- The maps presented as part of the consultation were not large enough on the electronic survey. Larger maps were available on request and all maps were available for viewing at the Docks Office, Barry.
- The process has not considered the Act properly as the Council has not surveyed all possible routes. WG Guidance does not require all routes to be surveyed, just those that the Council has prioritised that meet the criteria and that serve the communities to access services.
- There were many positive responses received as part of the consultation in relation to existing routes, potential new routes, and those that the public would like to have upgraded. A more detailed evaluation has been provided at Appendix A.
- The final existing route maps proposed are to be presented to WG by 22nd January 2016. The WG will then notify the Council of its decision whether to accept the Council's proposals. The WG has not specified a timescale for their response, however, the Council has a duty to provide integrated network maps by September 2017 and the WG expects the Council to carry out considerable additional work to enable these maps to be produced, including a further extensive consultation process. It is therefore proposed to continue with the progress made to date to ensure that the Council is in a position to fulfil its obligations within the timescales required.
- The WG has recently advised that they have made provision for the Council to be offered a further £9,000, through Local Transport Fund Grant, to enable the further works to be delivered to ensure the Council has a full set of existing route maps by September 2017.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
- Some of the work required to comply with the actions to deliver the duties within the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 within the timescales prescribed over a three year plan period will need to receive additional investment by the Council, through grant, developer contributions and existing staff resources. This work will be a key priority going forward for the Visible Services and Transport Division.
- Funding to create and consult on the maps required as part of the duty in the Act has been provided by the WGto the sum of £14,000 as part of the Local Transport Fund. This funding was utilised fully to employ Sustrans to audit and assess routes against the Active Travel criteria. The duty to secure new and improved routes and facilities for walkers and cyclists will be funded by directing current WG walking and cycling spend at making improvements to the routes identified on the integrated network maps. In advance of the creation of the integrated network maps (due September 2017), the Council has been offered a further £9,000 from WG to deliver the Integrated Network Maps required. It is envisaged that local authorities will continue to receive Grant funding to deliver active travel schemes set out in their local transport plans. The costs of enhancing walking and cycling facilities in new road schemes will need to be considered as part of individual schemes, and planned for accordingly.
- Local authorities are encouraged to seek additional sources of funding to maximise the improvements they can deliver, for example by developing partnerships with the private sector to support active travel in their area. This could be in the form of corporate sponsorship of schemes and infrastructure through advertising on the maps, which is already done on many tourist maps and/or through working with local employers to promote walking and cycling amongst their staff.
- The focus of active travel is on walking and cycling as a mode of transport rather than as a leisure activity. However, some routes and facilities for active travel might also encourage recreational walking and cycling. In these cases, it is expected by WG that local authorities will look for opportunities to draw on funding for leisure, tourism or sports facilities.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
- Walking and cycling routes are important to reduce single occupancy car movements, therefore having a positive impact on sustainability and climate change.
- There is a legal duty on Welsh Ministers within the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009, to promote sustainable measures of travel.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
- As mentioned above, there is a legal duty on Welsh Ministers within the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 to promote sustainable measures of travel and the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 has been consequently made.
- The Welsh Ministers have subsequently published 'Statutory Guidance for the Delivery of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013' under sections 3(4), 4(5), 5(2) and 7(2) of the Act. The statutory delivery guidance is one of two guidance documents issued under the Act. The other guidance document is the design guidance issued using the powers of the Welsh Ministers to give guidance under Sections 2(6), 2(9) and 7(2) of the Act, which deals with technical standards for active travel routes and facilities. The design guidance will be essential to local authorities' decisions on whether a route is appropriate for active travel, and what steps should be taken to improve their routes.
- Parts of the statutory delivery guidance will be of relevance to the Welsh Ministers, who also have duties under the Act, and other delivery partners. However, the primary audience is local authority officers within transport, rights of way, geographic information and technology, education, health, planning and other areas that are connected to active travel.
- 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.
- The WG has made sustainable development its central organising principle. The Well-being of Future Generations Act became law on 29th April 2015, which aims to strengthen the existing governance arrangements for improving the wellbeing of Wales.
- When accepting external grant it will be necessary to ensure that all terms and conditions attached to the external funding offer and grant are complied with and that the Council's Procedure Note on Grant Funding has been followed.
Crime and Disorder Implications
- 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. A safe and accessible transport network will have a positive impact on crime and disorder.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
- The Guidance deals with Welsh Language and English Language matters equally.
- Activities to develop maps, and to create new or improved active travel routes and facilities, will affect some groups differently than others. To meet the duties under the Equalities Act 2010, local authorities must give consideration to these different effects and whether they can be minimised or removed. The maps need to show any obstacles along routes clearly to ensure that individuals can make an informed choice about the most appropriate route for them.
- There is a need to ensure that in all the stages of preparing and publishing the maps as many people as reasonably possible can access both the maps and the consultation.
- 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.
- 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
- This is a matter for Executive decision.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
- No Ward Member consultation carried out as this is a matter that affects the whole of the Vale of Glamorgan.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
- Economy and Environment.
Appendices A & B
Clare Cameron - Principal Transport & Road Safety Officer Tel. 01446 704768
Finance Support Manager
Legal - Committee Reports
Public Rights Of Way Officer
Principal Planner Policy
Principal Engineer Traffic Management
Head of Regeneration and Planning
Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing