Strategic Planning Sustainability & Transportation Committee

06/07/2016

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?

Yes

 

Maidstone Integrated Transport Strategy and Maidstone Walking and Cycling Strategy

 

Final Decision-Maker

Strategic Planning Sustainability & Transportation Committee

Lead Head of Service

Rob Jarman: Head of Planning & Development

Lead Officer and Report Author

Steve Clarke: Principal Planning Officer Spatial Policy

Classification

Public

Wards affected

All

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   Councillors agree the revised draft of the Maidstone Integrated Transport Strategy and Maidstone Walking and Cycling Strategy documents for consideration by the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board at its meeting on 13 July 2016.

 

 

 

This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

         Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all -

         Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough Ė

The Integrated Transport Strategy and the Walking and Cycling Strategy play a key role in delivering a package of sustainable transport measures in support of the allocations set out in the Maidstone Borough Local Plan and the need to mitigate the transport impact of planned development and deliver modal shift away from reliance on the use of the private car with other potential benefits such as improved public transport networks and improved air quality.

 

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Strategic Planning Sustainability & Transportation Committee

06/07/2016



Maidstone Integrated Transport Strategy and Maidstone Walking and Cycling Strategy

 

 

1.        PURPOSE OF REPORT AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

1.1     This report considers revised versions of the Maidstone Integrated Transport Strategy (ITS) 2011-2031 and the Maidstone Walking and Cycling Strategy (WCS) 2011-2031. Copies of the documents are attached to this report at appendices One and Two respectively.† †

 

1.2     Members are recommended to approve the documents for consideration by the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board at its meeting on 13 July 2016.

 

 

2.        INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1     Section 80 of the Local Transport Act 2008 gives local authorities, acting jointly, the power to review the effectiveness and efficiency of transport within their area and to propose their own arrangements to support more coherent planning and delivery of local transport. Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council cooperated to prepare a document for public consultation for local transport provision in 2012.

2.2     The Maidstone Integrated Transport Strategy was first published for public consultation in August 2012. It aimed to set out the future for transport in Maidstone until 2026 and described the policy context, the existing transport networks and the challenges they face. Objectives for transport provision were identified and an action plan proposed to address the requirements for the new development proposed by the Maidstone Core Strategy at that stage.

 

2.3     Following public consultation and as a result of the publication of the NPPF in March 2012, the Borough Council decided to proceed with the preparation of a Local Plan to replace the Core Strategy and this necessitated a major review of supporting documents and policies.

 

2.4     A revised draft ITS was prepared to inform and guide transport policies and proposals in the emerging Maidstone Borough Local Plan which was submitted for examination on 20 May 2016. The Strategy was considered by the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board (JTB) and Maidstone Borough Councilís SPS&T Committee prior to public consultation which as indicated above took place between 5 February 2016 and 18 March 2016. †

 

2.5     Some 83 representations were received during the consultation period together with one late representation from the British Horse Society following confusion over the appropriate e-mail address to which responses should be sent. These representations were reported to and considered by the Maidstone Borough Councilís SPS&T Committee on 14 June 2016.

 

2.6     Kent County Council, in its capacity as local Highway Authority, raised objections to the draft ITS as part of its response to the Regulation 19 consultation.† The objections highlighted how the ITS should accord with the resolution made by this Board on 7th December 2015 regarding the initial implementation of a strategy covering the period to 2022, as part of ensuring that it is founded on a package of transport improvements that have been agreed by the County Council.

 

2.7     There has also been continuing engagement between Maidstone and KCC over the Strategy as well as with Highways England and other key stakeholders.

 

2.8     As a result of these continuing discussions, in particular with KCC, the principal change is that the draft ITS and the draft Walking and Cycling Strategy have been split into two separate documents. Appropriate amendments have been made to each document. These reflect the consultation responses and the other discussions that have taken place. The revised documents are attached at Appendices One and Two to this report respectively.††

 

 

3.        REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

3.1     The ITS and the WCS have been revised following consideration and assessment of the representations and continued engagement with stakeholders notably KCC and Highways England. A key outcome is the agreement between the County Council and the Borough Council that the ITS and the Walking and Cycling Strategy (which for the consultation was appended to the main ITS) would be separated to form two documents. This is how they are presented to this meeting.

 

3.2     The ITS and the Walking and Cycling Strategy have been produced as part of the evidence base of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan and will assist in the delivery of appropriate mitigation and sustainable transport measures and improvements in support of the allocations in the Maidstone Borough Local Plan.†††

 

3.3     The ITS sets-out all the highway and sustainable transport interventions previously agreed by Committee and the Maidstone JTB. It is again confirmed that these have been incorporated into the submitted Maidstone Borough Local Plan and the Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

 

3.4     The WCS contains a number of actions to improve walking and cycling infrastructure and the measures are intended to support the delivery of the ITS.†

 

 

 

4.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

4.1     Both the ITS and the WCS are scheduled to be reported to the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board that is to meet on 13 July 2016. Subject to the decision of this Committee, the Board will be asked to recommend to this Committee and the KCC Cabinet Member for Highways & Transportation that both documents are approved and adopted.

 

4.2     †If approved by the Board, the final version of both documents would be reported to a future meeting of this Committee to seek approval for formal adoption and publication.

 

 

5.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

The Integrated Transport Strategy and the Walking & Cycling Strategy play a key role in delivering a package of sustainable transport measures in support of the allocations set out in the Maidstone Borough Local Plan and the need to mitigate the transport impact of planned development and deliver modal shift away from reliance on the use of the private car with other potential benefits such as improved public transport networks and improved air quality.

Rob Jarman: Head of Planning & Development

Risk Management

The ITS and Walking and Cycling Strategy are part of the evidence base supporting the Maidstone Borough Local Plan, showing a package of sustainable transport alongside other infrastructure interventions in support of the allocations in the Local Plan and to support planned growth.

Rob Jarman: Head of Planning & Development

Financial

No specific financial implications arise from the consideration of this report

Head of Finance and Resources & Finance Team

Staffing

Specialist transport consultants have been engaged to assist in the delivery of the strategies,† funded though the existing agreed budget.

Rob Jarman: Head of Planning & Development

Legal

No specific implications arise from the consideration of this report. The† ITS and Walking and Cycling Strategy have been produced as part of the robust evidence base for the Local Plan

Kate Jardine Team Leader Planning† Mid Kent Legal Services

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

An ITS and Walking and Cycling Strategy that tackle transport challenges through a combination of modes will take into account the needs of all groups including those without access to a car. An alternative strategy reliant on highway improvements will not promote equal access to employment, services and social opportunities and is likely to lead to increased social exclusion amongst lower income groups in particular.

Anna Collier Policy & Information Manager

Environmental/Sustainable Development

The promotion of the ITS and the Walking and Cycling Strategy to promote sustainable travel where possible will encourage a reduction in single occupancy car travel and in turn a reduction in congestion and carbon emissions relative to a Ďdo minimumí situation.† An alternative strategy reliant solely on highway interventions is likely to generate more traffic than the additional capacity provided increasing carbon congestion†

Rob Jarman: Head of Planning & Development

Community Safety

No specific implications arise from the consideration of this report

Rob Jarman: Head of Planning & Development

Human Rights Act

No specific implications arise from the consideration of this report

Rob Jarman: Head of Planning & Development

Procurement

Consultants are used to prepare specialist or technical evidence to support the Local Plan and are appointed in accordance with the Councilís procurement procedures

Rob Jarman: Head of Planning & Development & Head of Finance and Resources

Asset Management

No specific implications arise from the consideration of this report

Rob Jarman: Head of Planning & Development

 

6         REPORT APPENDICES

 

The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

         Appendix 1: Maidstone Integrated Transport Strategy 2011-2031

         Appendix 2: Maidstone Walking & Cycling Strategy 2011-2031