Agenda item

Local Transport Plan

Report of Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services


The Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report (previously circulated) seeking Members views on the outlined Local Implementation Plan for transport in Darlington in advance of public consultation in the summer 2020; and to update Members on highways and transport from a national, regional and local perspective, including delivery, performance and public satisfaction in 2019/20, and the proposed priorities for 2020/21.


A PowerPoint presentation given by the Transport Planning Manager accompanied the submitted report, outlining the Governments transport commitments; the ministerial commitments of which decarbonisation was a priority area; and details were provided of the transport budget, with TVCA investing £256.7 million into transport projects for 2019-2029.


It was reported that the statutory responsibility for the Local Transport Plan now sat with the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA); a Strategic Transport Plan had been approved by TVCA Cabinet at its meeting on 31 January 2020; and the Local Implementation Plan would be developed to meet the requirements at a local authority level.


The submitted report detailed the four ambitions for the Local Implementation Plan as set out in the draft policy framework, namely to support economic growth, create opportunity, to acknowledge the impact of transport on the environment and climate change and improve public health.


Reference was made to the current Transport Plan in Darlington (2011-2026); that this was based on a prioritised approach to maintain, manage and improve the highway network; and noted the recommendation that this approach be continued until the adoption of the Local Implementation Plan.


Members raised concern in respect of the bus service reliability, the bus routes currently available, and cost of fares. Members felt that this should be an area of focus for this Scrutiny as the plan develops and that consideration should be given to a specific piece of work within the work programme. Members also commented on the current subsidy in relation to town centre car parking offers versus the lack of incentives to use more sustainable modes such as bus, walking or cycling.


An observation outside of the committee Membership related to the Sustainable Transport initiatives, highlighting that the plan should be bold and more than just encouragement, ‘enabling’ preferential choices.


RESOLVED – (a) That Cabinet be advised;


      i.        that the draft ambitions for the Local Implementation Plan be endorsed by Members;

    ii.        Of Scrutiny Members recommendation for a section of the new plan relating to town centre and how the transport policy links to delivering the Town Centre Strategy;

   iii.        Of Members intention to input individually to the consultation;

   iv.        That public Transport (bus services), and in particular, routes available, service reliability, passenger facilities and fares be identified as an area the committee would like to focus on as the plan develops.


(b) That Members review the results of the consultation later this year to inform the development of the final Local Implementation Plan.


(c) That the progress made on delivering the Third Local Transport Plan through an approach of Maintain, Manage and Improve, be noted.


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