Report of the Group Director of Services.
The Leader introduced the report of the Group Director of Services (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to the adoption of the Darlington Transport Plan, Darlington Town Centre Transport Plan and Darlington Parking Strategy (all also previously circulated) following the consultation process.
The submitted report stated that the Tees Valley Strategic Transport Plan (STP) 2020/30, developed by Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA), in partnership with all Tees Valley local authorities, set out the strategic direction for transport in the Tees Valley and that it was supported by other strategies developed by TVCA including the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) and the Tees Valley Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).
It was reported that the Darlington Transport Plan set out how the priorities detailed in the STP would be delivered in Darlington, taking account of local priorities and setting a delivery framework to ensure that those priorities were delivered; the Darlington Transport Plan framework had been approved by Cabinet (Minute C101(1)/Mar/21 refers), as a basis for consulting the public and other stakeholders on the Council’s key transport objectives and priorities; the Darlington Town Centre Transport Plan would support the Town Centre Strategy 2019/30 and the Towns Fund Investment Plan; and that the Darlington Parking Strategy set out a framework for the provision and control of parking within the borough, in order to meet the aspirations of the Darlington Transport Strategy and the Darlington Town Centre Transport Plan. Good quality transport into and within the town centre was important to support the transformation, growth and management of movement within the town centre and would help to make it a more attractive place to live, work and visit.
Particular reference was made to the responses received to the consultation which included 34 responses to the Darlington Transport Plan and 14 responses to the Darlington Parking Strategy. No responses had been received to the Darlington Town Centre Transport Plan. The responses received were broadly in support of the approach and no changes were made to the documents as a result of consultation.
Discussion ensued at the meeting on the importance of climate change and to making changes in the way we travel, particularly for shorter journeys under five miles; the aspirations included in the plan to tackle climate change; the lack of early engagement in the development process of the plans with the Climate Change Officers; the need for Council departments to work together in tackling climate change; and the promotion of cycling as sustainable travel. The Leader of the Council responded thereon.
RESOLVED – (a) That the outcome of the consultation, as detailed in the submitted report, be noted.
(b) That the Darlington Transport Plan, Darlington Town Centre Transport Plan, and Darlington Parking Strategy, all as appended to the submitted report, be approved.
(c) That it be recommended to Council that the Darlington Transport Strategy, Darlington Town Centre Transport Plan, and Darlington Parking Strategy, all as appended to the submitted report, be approved and adopted into the policy framework.
REASONS – (a) To provide a strategic framework to support growth in Darlington through the provision of improved transport infrastructure and promote sustainable transport initiatives.
(b) To support the Town Centre Strategy by improving transport links into, and reducing the impact of traffic travelling through, the Town Centre in order to help it be a place where people will want to continue visiting, shopping, working and living in.?????