Active Travel Existing Route Map Consultation Summary
Flintshire County Council launched a statutory consultation on it's Active Travel Draft Existing Route Map (ERM) at the Denbigh & Flint Show on the 20th August 2015 which sought the views of the public, stakeholders, children and young people on proposed active travel walking and cycling routes depicted on the draft maps. The consultation closed on the 25th December 2015.
Background to consultation
Welsh Government as part of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 "the act" placed a duty upon Local Authorities to produce maps of existing active travel routes and related facilities in the designated settlements within their local area (the Existing Routes Map) and to submit these maps to Welsh Ministers for approval by 22nd January 2016. The designated settlements within Flintshire include Buckley, Broughton, Connahs Quay, Deeside Industrial Park, Flint, Gorsedd, Holywell, Hope, Leeswood, Mold, Northop Hall, Penyffordd, Sandycroft, Shotton and Walwen.
In producing the first Existing Route Map (ERM) Flintshire County Council concentrated on arterial walking and cycling routes that provide access from large residential areas primarily to schools, employment sites, transport hubs, health facilities, shopping and retail facilities within each designated settlement.
Following a mapping and audit exercise of existing walking and cycling facilities, a series of draft ERM’s were developed which depict walking and cycling routes within the County that met the requirements set out within the statutory toolkit and were therefore considered suitable for ‘Active Travel Journeys’.
Section 3.44 of the Statutory Guidance for the delivery of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 specifies the Consultation process that Local Authorities should follow and Section 3.54 of the Guidance states that Welsh Government, in approving the ERM’s, will consider whether the appropriate consultation in line with the Guidance has been carried out.
How we consulted
A webpage was developed which outlined the purpose of the consultation and the public were invited to complete an online survey. Links were provided to interactive maps showing proposed Active Travel Routes for each designated settlement in relation to one another. From the online survey individual routes could be commented on by way of a pop up box showing a PDF of the route in question. A link was also provided to Flintshire County Council’s Active Travel information page.
Local Members, Town & Community Councils, schools and key stakeholders were consulted via emails. The Consultation was also publicised through press releases, Flintshire County Council’s website, Mold Town Council’s Cittaslow website, Sustrans website, social media activities, the Children & Young Peoples Partnership (CYPP) newsletter and a link to the consultation was also provided on the CYPP Facebook Group.
A presentation on the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 and Flintshire County Council’s consultation process was delivered at the Flintshire Local Access Forum.
Officers undertook consultation group exercises at a meeting of the Flintshire Youth Forum, at Mynydd Isa Junior School and attended a drop-in session at Coleg Cambria, Deeside. The consultation was also promoted at a number of events throughout Flintshires Business Week.
To further promote the consultation and Active Travel Agenda high-vis bilingual vests were provided to a number of school children bearing Flintshire’s Active Travel Logo on the front and the motto “I’m an Active traveller” on the reverse of the Tabard.
The survey questions
For each Active Travel route included on the consultation maps the public and stakeholders were given the opportunity by way of a multi choice option and open question, to tell us about their knowledge of the routes in terms of safety, network condition and whether they walked or cycled along the route. They were also given the opportunity to suggest additional active travel routes in each designated settlement.
We also asked the public and stakeholders, by way of a multi choice question and open question, what improvements they considered to be a priority to encourage more active travel journeys and for any further information they considered would assist the Authority in identifying suitable routes for disabled users.
We received a mixture of responses via the online survey and emails from internal departments, User Groups, Local Members, Town Councils and the general public. We also received good feedback through the various events attended throughout the consultation period.
Of the 89 Active Travel Routes included on the draft Existing Route Map we received feedback on 21 of these routes mainly reporting issues such as insufficient litter and dog bins, overhanging vegetation and litter/graffiti. There was also some reports of antisocial behaviour, traffic speed & volume, poorly lit paths, ineffective crossing facilities and parked vehicles causing obstructions to pedestrians on some routes. These issues have been logged on the Active Travel Mapper database for action.
We received a number of requests for additional routes to be included on the ERM. All of the routes were considered, and a substantial number of these routes which passed the audit were added to the final ERM that was submitted to Welsh Ministers in January 2016. Those routes which did not meet the standards for an Active Travel route will be considered in the development of the Integrated Network Map (INM). There were also a number of requests for routes from rural settlements outside of the designated settlements to Schools and Town Centres which will also be considered as part of the Integrated Network Map development.
The survey response also provided an indication of what the public felt should be the priority improvements to encourage more active travel journeys which are listed below in order or priority:
- More direct routes
- Increased priority or right of way given to walking and cycling movements over vehicle movements
- Better integration of walking and cycling routes
- Clean and well maintained routes
- Improved surface quality
- Reduce the dominance and speed of motorised vehicles
- Improved social safety and security
- Reduced street clutter
- Continuation of routes with minimal interruption and delay
- Secure cycle parking facilities
- Improved directional signage
We also received a number of suggestions for making routes more inclusive. These suggestions ranged from provision of wider paths, removal of A frames and kissing gates, more segregated traffic free routes, increase provision of dropped kerbs, reduce traffic speeds and provide more safe crossing facilities. All of these suggestions will be considered in the development of the Integrated Network Map (INM).
As part of the consultation process we attended a meeting of the Flintshire Youth Forum and Mynydd Isa Junior School to undertake some group exercises on Active Travel. The attached pdf’s outline the summary of the events.
Flintshire Youth Forum Consultation (PDF 200KB)
Mynydd Isa Junior School Consultation (PDF 400KB)
The consultation process provided excellent feedback which helped shape Flintshire’s first Existing Route Map for Active Travel.