Cabinet Member: Highway Management/Travel & Development Strategy
Forward Plan Ref: 2021/237
Contact: Joseph Kay, Strategic Transport Lead Tel: 07827 979234 / Melissa Goodacre, Infrastructure Team Leader Tel: 07825 314780
Report by Corporate Director Environment & Place (CA13).
To seek agreement of the LTCP document and supporting strategies for adoption by full Council in July 2022.
Cabinet are RECOMMENDED to
a) Approve the content of the LTCP document, and the supporting strategies for adoption by the County Council on 12th July 2022, and
b) Delegate the decision on the final LTCP document, including graphical format to the Corporate Director for Environment and Place in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy.
Cabinet considered a report updating on the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP), summarising the results of the LTCP consultation and outlining the key changes to the final LTCP.
Before discussing the report the meeting heard from the following speakers:
John Center stated that he believed Councillor Leffman was being hypocritical supporting traffic measures that did not affect her own town. He criticised the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods for inconveniencing drivers, forcing them to take longer journeys. He complained that the bus service where he lived in Littlemore was inadequate and that blue badge parking was not being enforced. Complaints from him to the Council had gone unanswered.
Councillor Charlie Hicks, Deputy Chair of the Place Overview & Scrutiny Committee, summarised the report from the Transport Policy Development Working Group:
· There was really good ambition on active travel plans but this was not matched by the necessary resources.
· Car congestion was the major barrier to safer walking and cycling and to better bus services. Solving this in the city would help rural services too.
· There was a lack of ambition on rail. Providing more stations should be considered.
· A tougher stance was needed with the freight sector which was resisting change.
· Modelling being used was not reliable and there was a lack of evidence base.
· Land use and transportation needed to be considered together more closely.
· There was a need to identify why previous local transport plans fell short on achievement.
· The three main messages were: better data, stronger system leadership and understanding behaviour.
Graham Smith, urban designer, stated that ideals were not enough: they had to be linked through appropriate design ideas to the fabric of the built environment itself. Without change in guidance and practice what will happen is that the old ways of doing things will continue to create formless places just like now. The review of the previous LTP4 simply failed to identify key problems and blithely spent millions on poor, incoherent design and even missing out changes on major junctions.
Deborah Glass Woodin, Co-chair of the Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel, noted that previous LTP plans had great words and that the problem was with implementation. If they had been implemented the Council would not be spending £300m on new roads. She welcomed co-production and urged working with local campaign groups. On a personal level she was disappointed to see the commitment to ‘net-zero’ rather than ‘zero-carbon’.
Danny Yee, commended officers for their work and taking on feedback. He recommended adopting the report but shared the concern that much of it will be ignored. It had been policy for many years to promote walking and cycling but yet every new junction design had prioritised motor vehicles. There was a need to provide clear guidance for designers, contractors and housing developers.
Councillor Duncan Enright, Cabinet Member for Travel & Development Strategy, thanked the speakers and noted the common view that implementation was key. More detailed plans and area strategies will come with the next stage and the comments from the Working Group and others will be considered. This draft had particularly taken onboard criticism that the Plan had been focussed on urban problems. The partnership work involved in the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 was a move towards bringing consideration of land use and transportation closer together and there was a need to ensure that was effective.
Other Cabinet Members added the following comments:
· The report from the working group was comprehensive, detailed and progressive.
· With plans in place for 100,000 new houses it was vital to get active travel plans embedded in the new developments.
· 90% of carbon emissions from transport were in rural areas so it was pleasing to see rural issues had been brought into the plan.
· The needs of disabled residents needed to come higher up the agenda and be specifically addressed in all plans.
· The lack of implementation of plans in the past was down to previous administrations. This administration accepted the challenge.
· Developers were making a lot of money and thought needed to be given to how to feed some of that back into the communities.
It was proposed to amend the recommendations to take account of the report from the Working Group. Councillor Enright moved the amended recommendations which were seconded by Councillor Gant and agreed.
a) Approve the content of the LTCP document, and the supporting strategies subject to consideration of the recommendations from the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee, for adoption by the County Council on 12th July 2022, and
b) Delegate the decision on the final LTCP document, including consideration of the recommendations from the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee and graphical format to the Corporate Director for Environment and Place in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy.