Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/18/9) which provided a proposed consultation response to the Department for Transport’s proposals for the creation of a Major Road Network. It also outlined the desirability for the formation of a South West Peninsula Sub-National Transport Body (STB), attached.
(Councillors Connett, Dewhirst, Hannaford and Shaw attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/18/9) circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, which provided a proposed consultation response to the Department for Transport’s proposals for the creation of a Major Road Network. It also outlined the desirability for the formation of a South West Peninsula Sub-National Transport Body (STB), which would be subject to future legislation.
The Report highlighted that as part of the Transport Investment Strategy, published in 2017, the Government committed to creating a Major Road Network (MRN) across England. The need for a MRN was identified in the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund Report, highlighting there were a set of economically important roads that deserved a similar level of attention to the Strategic Road Network (SRN) (in Devon the SRN is the M5, A30, A38 and A35).
A 12-week consultation period was being held between 23 December 2017 and 19 March 2018 which outlined the Government’s proposals and sought views on its core principles, the definition of the network, investment planning, and eligibility and investment assessment.
The Consultation also set out that the MRN would form a consistent, coherent network, alongside the SRN, to allow better coordination of road investment, provide funding certainty to roads in the network through use of the National Roads Fund (funded by Vehicle Excise Duty), and raise standards and performance across the new network and provide clear roles for local and regional partners, who would support the Government to develop and deliver MRN schemes.
The document also set out a preference for Sub-National Transport Bodies (STBs) to be formed which would have an important role in the MRN investment planning.
A proposed consultation response from the Council was attached as an Appendix to the Report and also summarised the main points which outlined that the proposals included both quantitative and qualitative criteria for identifying links that should be included in the MRN, but there were links that would benefit from inclusion in the MRN which were currently omitted under the criteria, which included the A386, particularly between Plymouth and Sourton Cross and Sourton Cross and Bideford, the A376, A382, Sherford Road between Elburton Road and Deep Lane junction, the A39 between Minehead and Barnstaple and the A388.
The response also highlighted that in terms of investment planning, there were roles proposed for local, regional and national bodies which would need to be defined clearly to avoid confusion.
Furthermore, in terms of the ‘Eligibility & Investment Assessment’, where the proposed funding thresholds were for schemes between £20million and £50million, with some schemes with a strong case being eligible for up to £100million, it was suggested that it would be preferable to lower the minimum cost threshold.
The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. ... view the full minutes text for item 147