To consider report PES/341 of the Head of Economy and Planning.
The Commission considered report PES/341 of the Head of Economy and Planning.
The ‘New Directions for Crawley’ document provided issues and options for the Crawley Transport Strategy. It set out a vision for future transport infrastructure and services in Crawley whilst also presenting an outline of proposals for the first phase of delivery towards that vision.
During the discussion the following comments were made:
· There was recognition that the document assisted in highlighting Crawley’s priorities which may assist when completing funding applications, particularly through the Crawley Growth Programme (CGP).
· Transport and access had been developed around the town at a time when car ownership was much lower. As the population and the business district grew, more road space had been provided to try to keep pace with the growth.
· Support for the increase in cycling and walking throughout the town, together with trials of pure electric buses, the shift towards full zero emissions bus fleet powered by clean hydrogen or installation of solar farms.
· Air quality was raised as a concern and it was noted that the air quality management zone (AQMA) was potentially to be extended from Hazelwick roundabout towards Three Bridges.
· Acknowledgement that it was an ambitious document and the collaborative partnership approaches with various organisations and groups was welcomed. Particularly given the size of the challenge, which included cost and behaviour change. There may be a need to incentivise the modal shift for example Metrobus trial travel and promote the advantages, making the change easily accessible, free wi-fi on buses and Superhubs.
· It was recognised that there was need to transform transport and access throughout the town, whilst reducing carbon emissions, improving safety, air quality and reducing congestion, it was apparent that in reality public transport will not be appropriate for all residents.
· WSCC had defined a transport strategy and was responding to increased use and developing infrastructure. There was been an increase in the number of electric vehicle charging points following the increase in usage. However it was acknowledged that installation was going to challenging at some locations for residents.
· Concern was expressed that the further opportunities to work with neighbourhood communities would need to involve active listening and community engagement.
The Cabinet is advised that the Commission agreed to support the report and requested the comments discussed be referred to the Cabinet.