In July 2013 SY sent an FOI request to WCC regarding various cycling issues with reference to public council documents.
Freedom of Information request, cycling strategy
I refer to your recent email requesting information about the Council’s Cycling Strategy. I’m sorry it has taken some time to reply but as you will appreciate there was quite a lot of information requested and I have had to pull together answers from a number of colleagues. I have indicated the various answers in red text following your questions – see below.
Sent: 12 June 2013 19:57
To: City Direct
Subject: Wolverhampton Highways FOI Request
Having looked at various resources on http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk , ( temporarily hosted on www2.wolverhampton.gov.uk ),
Highway Maintenance Policy and Strategy - http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/transport_streets/rights_way/cycling/resources/strategy.htm
Wolverhampton Cycling strategy :
I would like to ask the following questions :
What is the total cost of the works done to Penn Island in the last 3 years?
Works cost approx. £1,800k over the two phases ( £1.8m )
Is there an environmental impact assessment available?
Which traffic modelling system was used in the redesign and how did cycling feature in the throughput calculations?
The design was modelled using ‘Transyt 12’ software. Cycle traffic was not specifically modelled.
What future proposals are there for the island?
None at present
As the Tettenhall Rd is a 3a Main Distributor Road, cycleways are classed as part of the carriageway, and information from all inspections and surveys together with any immediate or programmed action, is recorded, what is the overall state of the cycle lane classed at in June of 2008, June 2009, June 2010, June 2011, June 2012 and latest survey for 2013.
The condition of the carriageway in Tettenhall Road is monitored by means of SCANNER surveys using a specially equipped survey vehicle. The surveys are undertaken every 2 years. The condition of the cycle lane is not separately recorded in this type of survey.
We also undertake monthly Safety Inspection surveys to identify defects that are in need of repair, however these do not give an overall condition score since they only record individual defects.
How much extra would it have cost to repaint the cycle lane width where required, rather than just the white lines?
Approx £20 per Square metre.
In terms of the overall cycling strategy,
"Pg 10 : Cycling Trips
• To increase the number of cycling trips to 6% of all journeys in Wolverhampton by 2010 and to increase this to 11%, by 2030 (taken from the West Midlands Area Multi-Modal Study) What budget / resource was / is being put behind these targets?
Spend on cycling, in the years for which figures are available:
2013/14 £435,000 (programmed)
Note: The figures for spend on cycling only cover specific cycling schemes. Many of our larger schemes include cycling provision but this expenditure is not separately accounted for and is not included.
• To increase the percentage of children walking, cycling or using public transport to school to 70% in primary schools and 85% in secondary schools by 2010.
What budget / resource was put behind these targets?
From 2004 to 2010 WCC employed an officer to promote sustainable travel to schools at a cost estimated at £32K p.a. average. This resulted in all schools completing School travel Plans and qualifying for School Travel Grants totalling £540K over this period.
• To provide secure cycle parking for staff at all Council buildings employing 50 or more staff by 2012 Was this achieved?
Not at all Council buildings.
• To increase the level of secure cycle parking at the railway station to accommodate at least 40 cycles by 2006. "
Why was this not achieved?
The redevelopment of the railway station as part of the Wolverhampton Interchange project was intended to deliver the additional secure spaces. Unfortunately the project was delayed due to funding issues and is even now only partly complete, with the railway station element yet to go ahead.
Pg 11 : In terms of the C1-11 Policies :
C1 : From the report until present date, how much many metres of off road and on road cycleways have been built (which are still present)
(Pre 2009) 6,930 metres off road & 6,806 metres on road & NCN 81 7,970 metres.
(2009 – 2010) 700 metres off road & 1,115 metres on road.
(2010 – 2011) 2,070 metres off road & 30 metres on road.
(2011 – 2012) 2,150 metres off road & NCN 81 20 metres.
(2012 – 2013) None.
C1 : How has the council worked with other authorities to improve and extend the cycle network?
In 2012 WCC as part of a West Mids consortium secured a £33M LSTF grant to improve a network of transport corridors including A41 Bilston/Wellington Rd and A4123 Birmingham New Road. Improvements made/planned under this include the Wellington Road LSS and development of off-road cycle routes between Wolverhampton and Bilston
In March 2013 WCC joined with the other Black Country Authorities in investing £6K and considerable officer time in developing a £5M bid for Cycle City Ambition Grant.
C2 - Guidlines are here -
the Guidelines recommend that those carrying out an audit or review should be independent of the original planning or design team
C2 : How many cycle audits have taken place for Highway Schemes by year?
How many of these were independent of the original planning or design team?
No specific cycle audits but independent road safety audits undertaken on highway schemes include for any cycling proposals.
C2 : How many cycle audits have taken place for Major Development Schemes by year? How many of these were independent of the original planning or design team?
No specific cycle audits but independent road safety audits undertaken for major developments include for any cycling proposals.
C4 : All cycle routes and other cycle infrastructure will be provided in accordance with current design standards, and best practice.
The public realm cycle route proposals for Wolverhampton City Centre seem to stop and start too much with no continuity.
Which best practice techniques have been used in the proposal along Queen Square, Lichfield St, Princess St, Garrick St, Cleveland St and Victoria St?
The proposals in the consultation document were to illustrate proposed routes and are not the detailed design which is still under development. The guidance that will be used in developing the cycling elements of the city centre scheme includes the following documents. I would stress however that these are guidance documents and the city centre design has to balance competing demands for street space.
· Local Transport Note 2/08 Cycle Infrastructure Design (DfT)
· Local Transport Note 1/12 Shared Use Routes for Pedestrians and Cyclists (DfT)
· Sustrans National Cycle Network Guidelines and Practical Details
· Manual for Streets (DfT)
· Cyclists’ Touring Club web site
· Sustrans Web site
This list is not exhaustive and the scheme will also be subject to Safety Audit.
C9 : The City Council will continue to support for National Bike Week activities,
What happened in Bike Week 2012 and why is nothing planned for 2013?
In 2012 due to vacant positions within the Transportation teams, there were no specific events run for 2012. While the Cycle Champion project was active some promotional activities were organised including a stand at the City Show in 2012. Due to a continuing lack of resources and increased pressures from other work programmes (e.g. LSTF) there are no specific activities planned for 2013. We do however continue to offer support to other organisations in promoting cycling / Bike Week events through the Travel Planning process, and we continue to promote cycling to City Council staff through cyclescheme, cycle mileage and providing improved storage and changing facilities at Council sites. We have an ongoing programme of training for children, adults, and instructors which attracts £100K p.a. of grant currently and trains thousands of people. Through our regional partnerships we have also delivered safer cycling messages to the travelling public through bus-backs, lorry-back posters, ad-van boards and a bespoke website (www.whatmattersmost.org.uk)
Pg 17 - Funding.
Funding for new cycle facilities and existing route improvement and maintenance will be sought through the:
• Local Transport Plan
• European Funding Opportunities
• National and Regional Regeneration Funds
• Sponsorship from local business and commerce
• Planning Obligations from developers to serve particular development proposals.
Since the start of the plan, How many European Funding Opportunities were sought?
How many National and Regional Regeneration Funds were sought after?
How many sponsorships took place?
How much S106 money has Wolverhampton received each year since 2006?
The amounts below are for received contributions for transportation elements only. There may be elements of secured s106 funding which are not included as they have not yet been received by the City Council.
- 2011 – £417,724
- 2010 – £12,000
- 2009 – £4,471,000
- 2008 - £85,000
- 2007 - £47,414
What cycle infrastructure has been installed each year with S106 money since 2006?
The following improvements have been made using S106 money, although they have not necessarily been undertaken in the same year that funding was received so I have not indicated the year. These are the examples we could think of, we don’t keep a register of cycle infrastructure using S106 money:
BCR cycle route (near Citadel junction)
Bilston Boulevard shared cycle/pedestrian route
Vine Island cycle routes and toucan crossings
Various traffic signal upgrades
Traffic Regulation Orders to assist cycling at various locations
Do your figures include / exclude VAT ?
Pg 18 - "The programme for the extension and enhancement of the cycle route network and other facilities for cyclists will be reviewed annually and the priorities and policies will be subject of consultation at regular intervals."
I would be interested in seeing the annual reviews.
- An annual review specifically of the Cycle Strategy has never been produced.
- The enhancement of the cycle route network and other facilities is monitored through the transportation capital works programme, and future works established through the same mechanism and in consultation with the Cycle Forum members and other relevant stakeholders.
- As part of the Black Country Core Strategy which was approved in 2011 there is an identified network for cycle route enhancement and a policy for creating coherent networks for cycling and walking (TRAN4) which can be viewed at http://blackcountrycorestrategy.dudley.gov.uk/ Progress in delivering against this policy is monitored annually and when completed will be available on the BCCCS website.
- As the strategy states, the objectives and targets of the plan are closely aligned with those of the West Midlands LTP and monitored in accordance with those targets; for this there is an annual monitoring report. http://www.centro.org.uk/LTP/LTP.aspx
- Cycling in the City is monitored on a regular basis through the bi-annual cordon reports which are available to view at http://www.westmidlandsltp.gov.uk/traffic-survey-data/wolverhampton/
- Wolverhampton has also had fixed cycle count sites for a number of years, increasing from 3 to 5 locations within the last 12 months. This data helps to inform the above monitoring programmes.
For purposes of the FOI act, please feel free to assume these are FOI requests.