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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 05/04/2005
DRAFT WAVERLEY BOROUGH CYCLING PLAN



Summary & Purpose
The report which was considered by the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 14th March 2005, considers a schedule of responses to the public consultation on the draft Waverley Borough Cycling Plan. As a result of the public consultation, various changes are proposed to the draft Plan and its associated annexes. Agreement to the amended plan is sought in order that the Plan can be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document in accordance with the Local Development Scheme.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
Positive
Positive
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX K
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE - 5TH APRIL 2005

REFERRED FROM ENVIRONMENT OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
- 14TH MARCH 2005

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Title:
DRAFT WAVERLEY BOROUGH CYCLING PLAN
[Wards Affected: All]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The report which was considered by the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 14th March 2005, considers a schedule of responses to the public consultation on the draft Waverley Borough Cycling Plan. As a result of the public consultation, various changes are proposed to the draft Plan and its associated annexes. Agreement to the amended plan is sought in order that the Plan can be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document in accordance with the Local Development Scheme.
_________________________________________________________________________
Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe, Healthy and Active Communities
Local Economy
Positive
Positive
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive


Cycling is an environmentally benign form of transport with important health benefits for people of all ages. Cycling has the potential to cater for many more journeys than it does at present, particularly shorter distance trips where it can provide a genuine alternative to the car.

E-Government implications:

It is intended that the Cycling Plan will be available to view on the Council’s Website.

Resource and legal implications:

There are resource implications, principally in terms of officer time arising from the preparation and consultation on the plan. In addition, there will be implications in terms of manpower from the continued participation in the Waverley Cycling Forum, which will review, on an annual basis, the Action Plan, the maps showing the Waverley Cycle Network, and the prioritised list of suggested schemes.

The principal funding for cycle schemes themselves is likely to be from the County Council through the implementation of its Local Transport Plan (LTP). In addition to this, funding opportunities will arise from other relevant agencies, such as the railway operators, and through developer contributions arising from development schemes where cycle accessibility is an issue.
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Background

1. The Waverley Cycling Plan is the product of the Waverley Cycle Forum. This meets quarterly and brings together officers and members of the County and Borough Council, representatives of the cycling community across the Borough and other relevant stakeholders.

2. In October last year, this Committee agreed the plan as the basis for public consultation. Prior to this it had been considered by this Committee in May 2004 and by the Executive in June 2004.

The public consultation process

3. The document went out for consultation for eight weeks, between 26th November 2004 and 21st January 2005. The following measures were taken to involve the community:-

1. About 200 letters/emails were sent to key organisations and individuals. These included amenity groups, residents’ associations, the town and parish councils, schools, the highway authority, the Police and other stakeholders;
5. Copies were made available or inspection at the main offices and the three locality offices.

4. In addition to the plan itself, there were other supporting documents that had to be produced and made available for inspection at the same time. One of these was a Sustainability Appraisal (SA). This tested the objectives of the Cycling Plan against a range of sustainability indicators covering social, environmental and economic issues. There was also a Consultation Statement (CS), which explained the extent to which stakeholders had been involved in the preparation of the draft Cycling Plan. These documents were both produced in order to comply with the new legislation relating to the production of planning policy documents.

The public response

5. In total some 31 representations were received. Of these, 14 were from organisations and 17 were from individuals. A wide range of comments were made. Some dealt with issues relating to the quality/presentation of information, particularly the accompanying maps. Some were very specific, commenting on existing cycle facilities, or putting forward ideas for new routes. Some were more general, raising issues such as the need to promote safe cycling or the need to encourage and promote the provision of more or improved cycle parking. The draft Cycling Plan contains 11 objectives and the Action Plan sets out the specific actions to support each plan objective. As a result of the consultation, some of the objectives have been amended, some action points have been amended and some new action points added. The Waverley Cycle Forum met on 26th January. At that meeting a draft Schedule of Responses was tabled along with some proposed changes to the maps showing the Waverley Cycle Network, to address the comment that they lacked clarity. One significant change that was agreed by the Forum was the inclusion of the prioritised list of suggested schemes as a further annexe to the Plan. The list identifies some 37 suggested projects to deal with severance points and other network issues. These are prioritised in terms of their contribution to ‘safety’, ‘continuous route provision’ and ‘encouraging more cycling’. This list was produced by a Sub-Group of the Forum early in 2004. The original purpose was to produce a prioritised list of schemes/works for the County Highway Authority, so that it would be aware of the local priorities when considering its own programme of works etc.

6. In terms of other representations, Officers made it clear that it would be necessary to consider all the issues raised in the representations and to decide whether the draft Plan should be changed as a result. Officers had already put forward some suggested responses and changes. However, it was agreed that the Forum would use its Email Discussion Group to consider the representations, with a view to reaching a consensus on the response to each comment.


Proposed Changes

7. Attached as Annexe 1 to this report is the Schedule of Responses. This sets out the comments made, the response from the Cycle Forum and recommendations regarding any changes to the plan. In some cases the response is that the plan should not be changed. Where this is so, the Schedule includes an explanation as to why no change is considered to be necessary. At Annexe 2, is the amended map showing the Waverley Cycle Network, together with the associated inserts for Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh.

8. By its very nature, the Action Plan, together with the associated prioritised list of schemes and the maps showing the cycle network, are liable to change. It is the intention that the Cycle Forum meeting in July will be used to review the Action Plan and at the same time review the prioritised list of schemes and the maps showing the Waverley Cycle Network. The Schedule explains that some of the comments made in relation to specific routes or facilities will be picked up as part of this annual review process. It is proposed that the outcome of the review and monitoring of the Action Plan, the prioritised list of projects and the maps will be fed into the Annual Monitoring Report for the Local Development Scheme. It is also intended that the outcome of the review will be fed into the Local Area Committee, in order that the County Highway Authority is kept up-to-date on local cycle priorities.

9. As explained above, it was necessary to produce a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of the Cycling Plan. This was endorsed by the Council’s Sustainability Co-ordinator. As a result of the consultation process, it has been necessary to update the SA. Firstly to test the draft Cycling Plan against an additional social indicator, relating to reducing poverty and social exclusion. Secondly to respond to comments by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Service about the analysis contained in the original SA. Thirdly to re-test the any of the Plan Objectives that are proposed to be amended as a result of the consultation. This updating has been carried out and, subject to some changes to the layout, the Sustainability Co-ordinator is satisfied with the Update. It is not considered that any additional changes to the Plan, beyond those already proposed, are necessary.


Conclusions

10. The draft Cycling Plan has evolved through the direct involvement of the Cycle Forum which itself brings together key stakeholders. It has also been the subject of wide-ranging public consultation. It is considered that it meets the requirements for the production of a Supplementary Planning Document as set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations 2004. The document has to relate to an existing planning policy, which in this case is Policy M5 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan 2002.

11. The Plan and its accompanying Action Plan will have many uses. It will help to raise the profile of cycling in the Borough. It can assist in persuading organisations such as rail operators, schools and colleges and major employers to address the needs of cyclists. It will be particularly important in providing a focus for the County Council when considering highway schemes affecting cyclists and its priorities for LTP2. It will also be a material consideration in relation to any planning applications that either effect existing cycle facilities or where new/improved facilities should be provided. Views of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee

The Committee wished to commend the Waverley Borough Cycling Plan for adoption.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Waverley Borough Cycling Plan be recommended to the Council for adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document.


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Background Papers (DoPD)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Graham Parrott Telephone: 01483 523472

E-mail: gparrott@waverley.gov.uk
Comms/executive/2004-05/467