Councillors deny 'turning their backs' on sustainable transport

28/03/2018
Chris Ames

Council leaders have hit back against claims that local authorities are reneging on sustainable transport packages because they are allowed to ‘mark their own homework’.

The Campaign for Better Transport (CfBT) said the planning system is allowing councils to backtrack on agreed packages of transport measures linked to new roads because there are no checks and balances to ensure they are delivered in their entirety.

It said that because councils have the ability to sign off their own work, they are doing so before sustainable transport elements of a scheme have been implemented. This means that although new roads are completed, accompanying sustainable transport measures are being cancelled or delayed – without consequence.

Local groups campaigner for CfBT Chris Todd said: ‘This is a problem; councils are effectively being allowed to mark their own homework. The system needs to change so that they can no longer sign off their own schemes and are held to account for their failings.'

Cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s transport spokesperson, told Transport Network: ‘Councils are not turning their backs on providing sustainable transport solutions. However, they are doing what they can to combat poor air quality and invest in sustainable transport such as cycling, walking and bus travel.

‘However, when faced by competing and increasing demands on their budgets, and government transport funding that is uncertain and fragmented, they are ultimately limited in what they are able to do.’

CfBT pointed to Norwich, where Norfolk CC (pictured) recently completed the new Northern Distributor Road (NDR) which is due to be fully open next month, albeit significantly overbudget.

It said the road was given planning permission as part of a package of measures, including sustainable transport options, which had to be in place before the road could open. 

Although the legal requirements of a Development Consent Order (DCO) were for an action plan and feasibility study of promised measures, these have been delayed until after the road opens, therefore breaching the DCO, CfBT claims.

Independent environmental consultant Andrew Boswell has written to transport secretary Chris Grayling, asking him to investigate the case as a matter of urgency.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, told Transport Network: ‘It is ironic that Dr Boswell, who as a Green Party councillor opposed the road at every stage, is now carping about progress on measures that Norwich NDR helps make possible.

'In fact significant progress has already been made on all fronts, including major changes in the city centre that have benefited bus services, and a series of cycle route improvements – as well as improved access to city centre car parks.

‘If we had taken Dr Boswell’s advice, progress towards a 21st century, sustainable transport system for Norwich and its surrounds would be permanently stuck in the slow lane.'

 

 

 

Highways jobs

Technical Administrator Policy and Regulation

Cambridgeshire County Council
£18,795 - £21,166
Seeking an individual with a good standard of education, excellent organisational skills, and experience of using computerised systems... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Highways Infrastructure

Leeds City Council
£72,397 - £79,637
Seeking an exceptional candidate for the position of Head of Highways Infrastructure to lead on the authority’s duty to... Leeds, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Leeds City Council

Local Land Charges Information Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£37,717 - £44,373
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Planning and Transport Strategy service for a forward thinking and innovative... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Planning Enforcement Officer

Brent Council
£29,241 – £38,799 p.a. inc
Do you have a degree or recognised post graduate qualification in planning or a science/environmental subject? Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Water Services Contract Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£40,028 - £46,431
Seeking a contract manager to ensure the water services day-to-day repairs and works are identified and remedied. London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Environmental Health Officer WCC10676

Westminster City Council
£33,759 - £47,274 per annum
As an Environmental Health Officer in Food Safety or Health and Safety, you will be responsible for... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Download your Highways App

Google App Apple App

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Latest Issue

The ALARM survey 2019

Game over for flyovers?

Traffex, Parkex and Cold Comfort Scotland previews

View the latest issue

Latest Video