Active Travel Fund Consultation Plan

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1. Introduction

The County Council recognises that local people should be involved in decisions about public services and policies that affect their lives.  The Active Travel Fund Consultation Plan set out below is complementary to the County Council’s public engagement policy and details how the County Council proposes to:

  • keep people well‐informed about the Active Travel Fund programme, as well as the reasoning behind the overall programme and the individual schemes contained within it  
  • engage people in discussions and decisions about the overall programme and individual schemes to deliver schemes that are supported by the local community
  • listen and respond to people’s views and concerns through consultation.

Following Communities and Place Committee approval for the Active Travel Fund (ATF) Tranche 2 programme in principle, each of the schemes approved by Committee will be subject to the necessary detailed scheme investigation, design and safety audit. Formal consultation and equality impact assessments will be undertaken as part of this process to inform scheme development and design. This Plan, which was approved at 7 January 2021 Communities & Place Committee, sets out the consultation that will be undertaken as part of the scheme development; and it will be reviewed/updated as the programme develops (e.g. to include dates of individual scheme consultation, etc. when these are known).

2. Active Travel Fund Tranche 2 programme delivery schedule

The proposed consultation forms an integral part of the delivery of the ATF Tranche 2 programme in order to determine support for the overall programme, its individual elements and to help shape the schemes that make up the programme.   The table below sets out the current ATF Tranche 2 programme delivery schedule, including consultation planned as part of the overall programme and individual scheme development (actions 3&4 and 8&9 respectively in the table below).

Action

Date

1 – Consultation with affected County Council members 

December 2020

2 – County Council Committee approval of proposed programme to be

consulted on

January 2021

3 – Public and stakeholder consultation on overall programme

January/February 2021

4 – Review of consultation feedback

March 2021

5 – Member/Committee determination of final proposed programme

March 2021

6 – Programming of schemes’ predicted construction start/duration

March 2021

7 – Detailed scheme design

TBD on a scheme by scheme basis to meet

scheduled construction start for each scheme

8 – Public and stakeholder consultation on detailed scheme designs

TBD on a scheme by scheme basis to meet

scheduled construction start for each scheme

9 – Review of consultation feedback

TBD on a scheme by scheme basis to meet

scheduled construction start for each scheme

10 – Confirmation of consultation and final construction programme

TBD on a scheme by scheme basis to meet

scheduled construction start for each scheme

11 – Scheme construction

TBD on a scheme by scheme basis to meet

scheduled construction start for each scheme

12 – Scheme evaluation

TBD in line with DfT reporting timescales

 

3. Proposed public and stakeholder consultation

Prior to the start of each stage of the consultation (on both general support for the proposals and on the detailed design of each scheme), each scheme will be assessed to determine those likely to be impacted by the proposals; and this will inform how the planned consultation will be effectively promoted and relayed to the public and stakeholders.  A list of consultees already identified for inclusion in any consultation is provided as appendix A.

Restrictions due to Covid‐19 mean that any public consultation events will be replaced with a virtual consultation, undertaken to give local residents and stakeholders the chance to have their say on the schemes included in the proposed ATF Tranche 2 programme.  The consultation will be promoted to the wider general public and will provide people with the opportunity to look at initial scheme proposals, submit questions for clarification and submit formal comments.

Whilst the County Council encourages consultation responses to be made via our online consultation system, comments submitted by email or letter are also accepted subject to a name and email or address being provided.  Respondents who are unable to make comments online, by email, or by letter are able to make comments by phone through the Council’s Contact Centre.

3.1 Overall programme consultation (actions 3 and 4 in the delivery schedule)

Following the determination of the ATF Tranche 2 programme (actions 1 and 2 of the delivery schedule), consultation on the proposed ATF Tranche 2 programme and individual elements within it will be undertaken to determine if there is general support for the proposed measures and to gather initial comments (both positive and negative) on the scheme proposals to help inform their detailed scheme design.  The consultation will include the following (NOTE: the public and stakeholder consultations as set out below in 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 will take place concurrently):  

3.1.1 Consultation with adjacent frontages (businesses/residents)

A consultation letter, as well as, copy of the draft scheme proposals and scheme rationale will be sent to all affected frontages (residents and businesses).  A period of four weeks will be given for consultees to submit comments on the proposals.  Copies of these documents will also be published on the County Council’s website.

3.1.2 Consultation with stakeholders and the wider public

Consultation with stakeholders and the wider public will include the following:

  • Public notice – A public notice, which details the proposals, will be displayed on site.  A copy of the notice will also be published on the County Council’s website as part of the consultation documents.  A period of four weeks will be given for respondents to submit comments on the proposals.
  • Consultation letter – A consultation letter, copy of the draft scheme proposals and scheme rationale will be sent to consultees listed in appendix A.  Copies of these documents will also be published on the County Council’s website.   A period of four weeks will be given for consultees to submit comments on the proposals.   
  • Online consultation – the programme proposals (as well as the public notice and consultation letter) will be published on the Council’s online consultation system.

3.1.3 Consideration of consultation responses

All comments (positive and negative) and objections to the proposals received during the consultation period will be considered at the end of the consultation period.  Comments will be used to:  

  • help determine the programme taken forward for detailed design and delivery
  • inform the design of each of the schemes included in the ATF Tranche 2 programme.

Where it cannot be shown that a proposed scheme has overall public support further discussion will be undertaken with the local County Council member. This information will then be used to help the relevant Committee/member to determine what will be included in the ATF Tranche 2 programme taken forward for detailed design and delivery.

3.2 Consultation on detailed scheme design of individual programme elements (actions 8 and 9 in the delivery schedule)

Following the first phase of consultation described above, detailed design will be undertaken which will include consideration of:

  • Initial County Council member, public and stakeholder feedback
  • Equality Impact Assessments of each individual scheme design
  • Required monitoring/review of each individual scheme
  • Safety audit of each individual scheme design
  • Local County Council member views on detailed design.

Public consultation will then be undertaken on the detailed scheme design of each of the individual ATF Tranche 2 programme elements to gather comments(both positive and negative) on the scheme proposals to help inform their final scheme design.  Where a traffic regulation order (TRO) is required a decision will be made at this stage, based on the specific circumstances of the individual scheme, whether it would be appropriate to use an experimental or permanent order.  The type of order used will be tailored to the needs of the scheme and both types of order involve statutory opportunities for active consultation and collaboration between the County Council and public.

Following discussions on the proposals with the relevant County Council member(s) representing the electrical division in which proposals are located, the consultation will include the following:

NOTE: The public and stakeholder consultations (including for a permanent TRO) as set out below in 3.2.2, 3.2.3 and 3.2.4, will take place concurrently. If an experimental TRO is used the first six months of the scheme, after delivery, forms the statutory consultation period.  Consideration of all forms of consultation responses will take place as set out in 3.2.5.

3.2.2 Consultation with adjacent frontages (businesses/residents) and essential consultees

A consultation letter and a copy of the draft scheme proposals will be sent to all affected frontages (residents and businesses).  Copies of these documents will also be published on the County Council’s website.  A period of four weeks will be given for consultees to submit comments on the proposals.   

3.2.3 Consultation with wider stakeholders and the public

Consultation with stakeholders and the wider public will include the following:

  • Public notice – A public notice, which details the proposals, will be displayed on site.  A copy of the notice will also be published on the County Council’s website as part of the consultation documents.  A period of four weeks will be given for respondents to submit comments on the proposals.
  • Consultation letter – A consultation letter and a copy of the draft scheme proposals will be sent to consultees listed in appendix A.  Copies of these documents will also be published on the County Council’s website.  A period of four weeks will be given for consultees to submit comments on the proposals.
  • Online consultation – the detailed scheme proposals (including public notice, consultation letter and drawings) will be published on the Council’s online consultation system.

3.2.4 Consultation on Traffic Regulation Orders – Advertising of the Order

Where scheme proposals include the introduction of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) they will be introduced in line with the Council’s Highway Network Management Plan and consultation will follow the standard process for advertising of the proposed TRO as set out below.  A period of four weeks will be given for the receipt of comments on the proposals.

A pack of documents will be produced containing a consultation letter, plan, public notice (for display on site and to be published in the newspaper), Draft TRO, and Statement of Reasons.   The notice, which details the proposals, will be published in the local press and also displayed on site.  A consultation letter and a copy of the plan will be sent to all affected frontages (residents and businesses) and statutory consultees.  Copies of these documents are also published on the County Council’s website.  A copy of the draft TRO, notice, plan and statement of reasons are held on deposit at County Hall and the local library.  NOTE: in response to Covid‐19, emergency legislation came into force on 23 May 2020 which removed the requirement to have documents on deposit in libraries and Council Offices.  This legislation will remain in force until 30 April 2021.  During this period all documents (including ‘has made’ documents) will be available to view on the Nottinghamshire County Council consultation webpage.

3.2.5 Consideration of consultation responses

All comments (positive and negative) and objections to the individual scheme proposals received during the consultation period will be considered at the end of the consultation period.  Comments will be used to inform the refinement of the design of each of the schemes included in the ATF Tranche 2 programme where appropriate/feasible.  Where objections to a scheme are received, we will attempt to mitigate the objection if possible; and where appropriate these will be discussed with the affected County Council member.  In response to the consultation we may decide to re‐consult on a revised scheme, cancel the scheme or reduce it in scope.   If it is not practical, appropriate, or possible to revise the scheme the objections will be reported in line with Nottinghamshire County Council’s formal procedures.

A report summarising the scheme and consultation responses will be submitted to County Council senior management for  consideration by County Council Members at Communities & Place Committee.  The report and the decision taken will be publicly available on the County Council’s website and communicated to consultation respondents.

4.3 Post‐programme delivery consultation to inform programme evaluation

The County Council will work with the DfT to undertake effective programme and scheme evaluation to assess the effectiveness of schemes.    DfT has stated that it will circulate updated monitoring guidance to support these requirements, with suggested templates for reports, and this Plan will be reviewed in light of the guidance when received.   It is, however, anticipated that the reports will include the results of local resident and stakeholders’ surveys that test the effectiveness of schemes post implementation. 

Appendix A

List of consultees  

To include but not restricted to:

  • Affected County Council elected members
  • Impacted local residents (including residents/tenants associations)
  • Impacted local businesses
  • Emergency Services
    • Nottinghamshire Police
    • Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service
    • East Midlands Ambulance Service
  • Local disability groups/representatives
  • Local MPs
  • District Council officers
  • Parish and Town Councils
  • Key local stakeholders
    • Cycling Groups Representatives
    • Public transport operators
    • Royal Mail
    • Local schools that would be served by the proposals
    • Freight transport organisations
    • Organisations representing trade and commerce
    • Statutory Utility Companies
  • Impacted County Council service areas

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