DISCUSSION PAPER 4
MEETING : ENVIRONMENT STRATEGIC PANEL DATE : 6 JUNE 2005
REPORT OF : TIM HARRISON, COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT &
ENVIRONMENT POLICY MANAGER Contact : Susan Shaw, LTP Project Officer
: Tel No: Chester (01244) 603595
LOCAL TRANPORT PLAN – OUTCOME OF CONSULTATION PHASE 2
1 On 21 December 2004 the Environment Strategic Panel considered the
outcome of Phase 1 of the Consultation for Cheshire’s new Local Transport Plan (LTP). Comments and issues raised during the Autumn 2004 LTP participation
exercise were noted and subsequently used to endorse the preparation of a
summary consultation document, as agreed by the Executive Member for the
Environment on 9 March 2005. The resulting document set out the County
Council’s draft policies and principles, together with proposed objectives and
targets for the new LTP. This was made available for public consultation between
14 March and 29 April 2005.
2 This paper has been prepared to outline the preliminary results of the LTP
Consultation exercise undertaken between March and April 2005. This will further
support and inform the development of Cheshire’s new LTP. Copies of formal written responses and a summary of issues raised in these letters and from
stakeholder meetings have been placed in Members’ Rooms.
3 The draft LTP itself is the subject of a separate paper submitted to this
Panel. Based on the outcome of this meeting, amendments will be made to the
draft LTP before it is finalised and approved by the Environment Executive
Member to allow submission of the provisional LTP to meet the Department for
Transport’s (DfT) deadline of 29 July 2005.
4 It was agreed in March 2005 that the consultation exercise would consist of
the distribution of a summary document/questionnaire to interested parties of the
wider community, plus various stakeholder meetings. The results of which would
be used to help inform Members and officers about the detail of issues to be
addressed in the LTP.
5 The summary document contained information regarding draft proposals for the LTP, setting out key issues facing Cheshire and the responding objectives; it also included suggested priority for major schemes; principles for developing the four key shared priority themes for transport; and a series of suggested measures for local action. A questionnaire invited response to the proposals. Like the first phase of the LTP consultation exercise undertaken in Autumn 2004, over 3,500 summary documents were distributed to individuals and organisations. In addition, copies were made available to the general public through libraries, information points, County Council and District Council offices, and all Parish Councils. Press releases were issued, and the document was placed on the County Council’s website, which included an electronic response form. A broad summary of the document distribution is attached at Appendix 1.
6 To support the summary document, over 25 meetings were held with key stakeholder groups including the Cheshire Strategic Partnership, District Local Strategic Partnerships, Local Joint Committees, the Sustainable Cheshire Forum, neighbouring authorities, Regional partners, public transport operators, and DfT and Government Office for the North West (GONW). A full list and timetable of meetings is attached at Appendix 2.
7 In total, some 393 responses were returned by the 29 April deadline for comments. The majority, 246, were in the form of the consultation summary document questionnaire form. Sixty-five letters and 55 electronic responses were also received. Additionally 17 letters/emails were received accompanied with a questionnaire form. The 10 remaining responses include meeting minutes and notes. Appendix 3 outlines the number of responses received by area and organisation. A full set of all letters and a summary of issues raised as part of this consultation exercise have been placed in Members’ Rooms for information.
Copies have also been forwarded to lead LTP officers for information at a local level. A formal response has been sent to all respondents.
Consultation Summary Document
8 The Consultation summary document questionnaire asked respondents
whether they supported the draft LTP objectives and the proposals to tackle the key transport priorities, namely congestion, road safety, air quality and accessibility, along with measures to improve quality of life. Additional questions included opinions on local priorities for their own area, county level major schemes, and proposed targets. Information about connected activities and issues was also sought from respondents
9 Respondents were invited to comment about the proposed objectives for the LTP, namely:
1. Enhance the quality of life for those who live or work in Cheshire.
2. Promote social inclusion and accessibility to everyday services for all,
especially those without a car.
3. Improve safety for all travellers.
4. Promote the integration of all forms of transport and land-use
planning, leading to a better, more efficient transport system.
5. Contribute to an efficient economy and to support sustainable
economic growth and regeneration in appropriate locations.
6. Protect and enhance the built and natural environment.
7. Manage a well maintained and efficient transport network.
10 Of the 262 responses to this aspect of the summary document, 76% agreed
with the proposed objectives. An additional 149 objectives were received, most of
which referred to suggested schemes, such as the electrification of the Bidston-
Wrexham railway line, Beeston Station and other rail initiatives; bypasses for
Congleton and Middlewich, plus bus, freight and cycle proposals and road
maintenance suggestions. Sustainable travel and environmental concerns also
11 Respondents were then asked to set out their overall support for key
priorities. Of these, the strongest support was for action to improve road safety
(26% of total responses). 83% of these responses to road safety agreed with the
proposed measures. Additional suggestions mainly related to speed issues, such
as speed limits, traffic calming measures, safety cameras, enforcement, and
raising speed awareness. Road maintenance also featured as an underlying issue
to road safety. After road safety, the next important measures related to
congestion (25%) and accessibility (25%). Issues raised about congestion
included both positive and negative support for congestion charging, public
transport improvements, bypasses, parking and park and ride schemes, bridge
building and cycling initiatives. Anti-road construction comments were also
received. The focus for suggested accessibility measures related to public
transport improvements, together with pedestrian and cycle connections.
Suggested measures to improve air quality included greater use of public transport,
opening of railway stations (Beeston and Middlewich), traffic reduction, road
charging, modern buses, more emission/ environmentally friendly fuel incentives,
bypasses, and aircraft pollution concerns. An outline of the outcome of this is
attached at Appendix 4.
12 The consultation brochure also allowed respondents to provide their own
priorities for local District areas. Predictably bypasses for Alderley Edge,
Congleton, and Middlewich featured, alongside railway station developments for
Chester, Crewe, Middlewich and Beeston. Northwich Vision was also well
highlighted in the responses. Environmental issues featured highly, such as
climate change concerns, greenhouse gases, noise, landscape and biodiversity
priorities, and sustainable transport. The responses have been forwarded to the
Area Teams for information.
13 The questionnaire invited respondents to place in preferred priority order the
five proposed major schemes for Cheshire. 18% of total respondents stated that
they agreed with the priority order. 55% of total respondents then went onto
indicate their own preference for prioritisation. After applying a weighted score for stndrdththeach position allocated (1x5, 2x4, 3x3, 4x2, 5x1), the most popular choice of
major schemes for the new LTP was development of the Alderley Edge and Nether
Alderley Bypass (Score of 450). The second most popular choice was delivery of
the Northwich Vision project (Score of 245). However, overall the Crewe Rail
Gateway project scored the most points (Overall score of 817). These scores
include figures for the 18% of respondents that agreed with the priority order.
Table 1 below illustrates the responses and associated scores.
Table 1 – Major Schemes Response
Prop-Alderley Edge Crewe Rail South East Northwich Chester posed & Nether Gateway Manchester Vision Transport Position Alderley Multi-Modal Study
Schemes Total Weighted Total Weighted Total Weighted Total Weighted Total Weighted Response Response Response Response Response 1 90 450 47 235 15 75 49 245 37 185 2 37 148 114 456 25 100 15 60 18 72 3 24 72 26 78 86 258 34 102 36 108 4 21 42 14 28 41 82 88 176 30 60 5 47 47 20 20 42 42 28 28 93 93
Total 219 759 221 817 209 557 214 611 214 518
14 From the questionnaire forms and written statements received it is evident
that extensive lobbying for Northwich Vision has taken place. Considerable
support has been achieved through the work of the Northwich Partnership Board
members, namely Vale Royal Borough Council, British Waterways and English
Partnerships, who have voiced their concern about the current ranking of the
Northwich Vision scheme. They have expressed the need to review this position
before the Full LTP is finalised in March 2006, and have written to all County
Council Members on this topic (letter dated 10 May 2005 refers). The priority order
of Cheshire’s major schemes has been highlighted for further discussion at Panel
in the accompanying paper for the draft LTP.
15 The final consultation response requested opinions on the proposed targets
for Cheshire’s new LTP. For every proposed target the majority of respondents
stated that the suggestions were ‘about right’. The three road safety targets of
casualty reduction were most highly supported. The target to ‘restrain traffic growth in urban areas to 15% between 1995-2011’ was the considered too high by
the most number of respondents (19%). Whilst the targets for ‘bus punctuality of 90%’ and ‘bus passenger satisfaction in excess of 75%’ were considered ‘too low’.
Other respondents considered unable to comment on the targets due to
inadequate information, whilst some considered them a waste of resources, or that
there were too many. Appendix 4 lists the number of responses to each target.
Suggestions for other LTP activities that should have a specific target or
performance indicator included atmospheric pollution, access to public transport for
disabled people, public transport information, reduction in freight vehicles, road
safety training, reduction in cars used for the school run, and an increase cycle
16 Finally the questionnaire sought information on other issues that should be covered by the new LTP. Suggestions included partnership working with GMPTE to extend the Metrolink to Poynton and Wilmslow, concerns about footpath width on bridge in Church Minshull, transport issues in Alvanley, objections to M6 widening, HGVs, more support for walking and cycling, and public transport incentives to promote usage. The list has been forwarded to appropriate officers for action.
Written responses and stakeholder meetings
17 A total of 237 broad points were raised. To gain an overview of issues raised by the written responses and meeting notes, comments have been segregated into various themes and issues for analysis. Appendix 5 gives a breakdown of these responses. A summary of responses received and copies of all the letters have been placed in the Members Rooms.
18 The highest number of responses related to public transport activities (19% responses referred to rail related issues, and 10% to buses). A large proportion of the rail responses were keen to promote schemes such as the Halton Curve, Wrexham-Bidston Line, Beeston Station and Middlewich Station. Improved rail links to Manchester and John Lennon Airports were also highlighted. Cheshire’s
bus services received strong support, mainly centred on improvements and maintenance of local bus services. Suggestions included integrated ticketing, concerns about bus activity at Chester railway station, and the continuation of rural bus services. The accessibility agenda raised additional points to support public transport measures, such as consideration for disabled passengers, and access to the workplace and other key services.
19 The other key shared priorities for transport were also addressed by many respondents, namely road safety, congestion and air quality. As with the questionnaire, road safety produced the most concern, with speeding a key issue. Other concerns raised included speeding past schools and at various locations throughout the county. Additionally road safety in rural areas was raised as a major concern, mainly regarding speeding vehicles and HGVs and the subsequent risk to vulnerable road users such as cyclists, equestrians and walkers. On a positive note, two respondents welcomed the emphasis placed on road safety throughout the LTP proposals.
20 Comments regarding congestion measures ranged from road improvements at various locations such as Crewe and Alderley Edge, to Company Travel Plan development, and congestion charging. The general opinion was for congestion measures to be more ‘creative’ in order to encourage greater use of alternative
transport modes to the car. Suggestions included the promotion of walking via the Public Rights of Way network, and consideration of the health agenda through congestion measures. Concern was also raised about the possible repercussions to the rural community of demand management measures in urban areas. This was further endorsed by requests for more Home Zones and Quiet Lanes in order to remove the emphasis on the priority of vehicles in certain areas.
21 Environmental concerns such as air quality, pollution and noise were also considered by many respondents, with calls for consultation on air quality issues
and the ‘Air Quality Management Areas’ (AQMA) declared in Congleton. The role
sustainable transport could play in reducing pollution levels was highlighted. Certainly there was much support for the promotion of cycling and walking measures, with concern about the current downgrading cycling within the LTP. In addition, school transport raised several points, including the production of Travel Plans, the use of high quality school transport and flexible taxi services, to walking and cycling initiatives. One negative response questioned the ‘actual demand’ for
journey to school initiatives.
22 Parking issues only scored 1% of responses, with suggestions of a car park management strategy in Crewe and Nantwich, and the restraint of any increase of parking charges. Freight vehicles were listed as a concern, with particular regards to speed and rural roads. There was a call for HGV reduction, with the promotion of rail and water use for the carriage of goods. Road maintenance also featured amongst the concerns, with a call for essential road repairs to be a priority, together with road signage and street lighting. Other issues raised by respondents included the production of a Rural Transport Strategy, the importance of links to the Regional Economic Strategy, tourism and recreation, and concerns over targets and objectives. There was also a call for the inclusion of Hospital Street proposals in Nantwich.
23 Finally comments on major schemes were of great concern amongst
respondents. Of the five proposed major schemes, Northwich Vision received the strongest support from letters received. The importance of the proposed scheme was emphasised, with support from English Partnerships stressing the Regional significance of the project. This was endorsed with correspondence from the Vale Royal area, namely from the Northwich Regeneration Board, Local Strategic Partnership and Borough Council. It should also be noted that Crewe Gateway development received support, along with schemes within the Chester City area. Other major scheme suggestions included bypasses for Middlewich and Congleton, and various station developments.
24 Phase 2 of the LTP consultation exercise has provided valuable information and insight into the aspirations of the Cheshire community for actions to be included in the new LTP. Suggestions have ranged from broad issues to specific local schemes. All comments and suggestions have been passed to appropriate officers for information and action where necessary.
25 Specific themes and priorities have emerged from this exercise, from the development of public transport improvements, to the welcome emphasis on road safety. The concerns raised over rural issues are apparent, together with freight movements, and the promotion sustainable transport modes. However, the general support for the objectives and targets is encouraging to the continuing development of Cheshire’s new LTP.
26 Both the Autumn 2004 and Spring 2005 LTP consultation exercises have made an important impact on the development of Cheshire’s new LTP. The
aspirations and wishes of both the local community and the wider interests of key
stakeholders have been central to the consultation. The exercises have provided a
valuable endorsement for the shared priority and quality of life agendas, as well as
the County Council’s own transport priorities. This feedback has been used to
endorse and finalise the Provisional LTP which is required by DfT/GONW in July
2005. Cheshire’s full LTP will be signed off by Full Council prior to submission to
DfT in March 2006.
RECOMMENDED: That the Executive Member for the Environment be
(1) note the comments and issues raised during the second phase of the
LTP consultation exercise; and
(2) highlight the inclusion of any specific amendments that Members of
the Environment Strategic Panel wish to be included in the draft
REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
To ensure the preparation process is taken forward to prepare the County
Council's next LTP.
Appendix One – LTP Summary Document Distribution List
Appendix Two – Phase 2 LTP Consultation Meeting List
Appendix Three – Response Summary
Appendix Four – Consultation Results
Appendix Five – Written Response Summary
ENVIRONMENT STRATEGIC PANEL
6 JUNE 2005
LTP Summary Document Distribution list
1 All neighbouring authorities - Chief Executives and LTP teams
2 All Cheshire District Councils - Chief Executives and Chief Technical Officers
3 All Parish Councils
4 All Chambers of Commerce
5 All businesses (employing 50 + people)
6 All organisations and contacts on CCC Travel Plan database
7 All Cheshire Schools
8 All Hospitals and Primary Care Trusts
10 Nantwich Hospital Street Association
11 Public Rights of Way groups
12 "Hard to reach" groups
13 All public transport operators
14 Specialist Environmental Groups
15 Members of the Cheshire Disabilities Federation
16 All members of the Sustainable Cheshire Forum
17 All County libraries and information points
18 All County Councillors
19 All Main County Council offices reception desks (including County Hall, Backford
Hall, Richard House, Duke Street Record Office, Goldsmith House, Rivacre
Business Centre, Delamere House Crewe, Wilmslow, Watling Street in Northwich). 20 Bus Inspectors’ kiosks
21 All Members of Ellesmere Port Air Quality Forum
22 Manchester Airport / Liverpool Airport
23 British Waterways Board
24 Manchester Ship Canal Company
25 Existing members of CCC LTP database
26 All members of Cheshire Strategic Partnership
ENVIRONMENT STRATEGIC PANEL
6 JUNE 2005
Phase 2 LTP Consultation Meeting List
Meeting Date Venue 1 Chester Local Strategic Partnership 11 Mar 05 County Hall,
(LSP) Chester 2 Rural Partnership Meeting 16 Mar 05 Tatton Park,
Knutsford 3 Chester Local Joint Committee 24 Mar 05 Chester
4 Ellesmere Port and Neston LJC 22 Mar 05 Ellesmere Port 5 Vale Royal Public Transport Liaison 1 Apr 05 Winsford
6 Crewe LJC 4 Apr 05 Crewe 7 Crewe PTLC 4 Apr 05 Crewe 8 Vale Royal LJC 5 Apr 05 Winsford 9 Cheshire Partnership and 6 Apr 05 St Mary’s Centre,
Sustainable Cheshire Forum Chester 10 Chester PTLC 6 Apr 05 Chester 11 Macclesfield LJC 7 Apr 05 Macclesfield 12 Ellesmere Port and Neston LSP 11 Apr 05 Ellesmere Port 13 Vale Royal LSP 13 Apr 05 Winsford 14 Community Transport Operators 13 Apr 05 Rivacre 15 Ellesmere Port PTLC 14 Apr 05 Ellesmere Port 16 Congleton LJC 18 Apr 05 Sandbach 17 Macclesfield PTLC 19 Apr 05 Macclesfield 18 Congleton PTLC 20 Apr 05 Sandbach 19 Travel Plan Forum 21 Apr 05 Winsford 20 Bus Operators 21 Apr 05 Rivacre 21 Taxi Operators 22 Apr 05 Rivacre 22 Rail Operators 22 Apr 05 Rivacre 23 CPRE 25 Apr 05 County Hall,
Chester 24 Cheshire’s Older People’s Network 28 Apr 05 Northwich 25 DfT and GONW 11 May 05 County Hall,
Chester 26 Regional Partners 16 May 05 County Hall,
Chester 27 Cross Boundary/Cross Border TBC – Jun 05 County Hall,
ENVIRONMENT STRATEGIC PANEL
6 JUNE 2005
? Response Type
Response Type Number of Responses
Questionnaire forms 246 Letter 65 Email 55 Letter + Questionnaire form 16 Email + Form 1 Meeting minutes and notes 10
? Response Areas
Area Number of Responses
Chester 69 Congleton 62 Crewe 73 Ellesmere Port & Neston 23 Macclesfield 41 Vale Royal 71 Countywide 9 Other areas 37 Blank 8
Type of Meeting Number of Meetings
Local Joint Highway 6 Committees
Public Transport Liaison 6 Committees
Local Strategic Partnership 3 Meetings
Regional/Neighbouring 3 Authorities
Transport Groups 4 Others (e.g. Cheshire 5 Partnership, Sustainable
Cheshire Forum, CPRE, etc)