Environmental Services and Sustainability Portfolio
To consider report PES/363 of the Head of Economy and Planning, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 June 2020.
The Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability presented report PES/363 of the Head of Economy and Planning which set out details of the draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP); a costed plan developed in line with Department for Transport guidance that aimed to establish borough-wide cycling and walking areas through a programme of infrastructure improvements. The draft LCWIP was to be approved for public consultation in order to identify further areas for inclusion in the Plan.
Councillor Rana presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 June 2020, which included:
· The need to instil public confidence in cycling and walking through separate space for cycling lanes, bike security and encouraging active travel. On balance, those who were not able to easily travel should not be at a disadvantage by the infrastructure established.
· Acknowledgement that five sets of cycle counters were in place to evaluate cycle trips. Whilst not monitoring speed it was proposed that all newly developed cycle routes would include a plan for monitoring and evaluating their use and effectiveness.
· Concern was raised regarding some of the traffic management plans proposed within the appendices. It was noted these may have a detrimental effect on other users and it was therefore suggested that it would be beneficial that ward and county councillors were included in the consultation of any potential scheme.
Councillor Crow was invited to speak on the item. Matters raised included the costing of the LCWIP, which was estimated at £23.5 million, and the possibility that the LCWIP could be seen by members of the public to penalise motorists instead of ensuring a balance to benefit all road and pavement users.
All Cabinet Members present spoke as part of the discussion and expressed general approval for the proposals in the report. Discussion occurred on parking, the climate emergency, and air quality in the borough, as well as the need to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. It was noted that the cost of the proposed plans was an estimate. The Cabinet also noted that the plans formed part of a national Government initiative to improve walking and cycling infrastructure.
Upon receiving a query regarding who was to be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the proposed plans in the LCWIP, the Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability suggested that this would fall to the Highways authority at WSCC.
A recorded vote was taken on the recommendations in accordance with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules. The names of the Councillors voting for and against the recommendations, along with any abstentions, are recorded as set out below:
For the recommendations:
Councillors Irvine, Jhans, Lamb, Mullins, and P Smith. (5)
Against the recommendations:
That the Cabinet:
a) approves the draft Crawley LCWIP that has been developed for consultation
b) delegates authority to the Head of Economy and Planning*, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, to consider the responses to the consultation and either:
i) make minor amendments to the Crawley LCWIP in response to the consultation and adopt the amended the LCWIP*
ii) if there are major amendments required to the draft plan then produce an updated version of the Crawley LCWIP follow further Cabinet consideration and adoption.
*(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).
Reasons for the Recommendations
The LCWIP provides a key document to inform the planning authority Local Plan. This enables clear discussions with developers on providing safe, accessible, connected, people-centred neighbourhoods for homes and business, ensuring full linkage with the wider town cycle network and formally evaluated walking routes.
Having an LCWIP will put Crawley Borough Council in a favourable position to apply for government funding for walking & cycling schemes when this comes forward.