To consider the report and make any appropriate recommendations to Cabinet.
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Officers presented the business case for the Active and Clean Connectivity Town Deal Business Case. A copy of the presentation is attached.
The Chair thanked officers for their report and invited questions and comments from the Panel, as summarised below.
Councillor Jones raised concerns about the suitability of using St Edmundsbury Road as part of the cycle route through North Lynn, explaining that the current cycle path was fine, and he did not feel that changes needed to be made. He provided details of paths that could be used which would make the route a better and more straight forward path for cyclists to use. He commented that having a cycle path going through a residential area where lots of children played was not good for cyclists or the children. The Assistant Director explained that this was not part of the Towns Fund project but had been identified as part of the Gyratory scheme work as a medium-term project.
Councillor Crofts asked if safe storage facilities would be available and if there would be a charge for the use of facilities. It was explained that there would be a nominal charge and membership schemes and card entry systems were some of the solutions that were being looked at. The area would also be covered by CCTV and emergency exits would be available.
Councillor Morley referred to the cost benefit ratio and felt that a demand assessment should be carried out before the project was progressed. He stated that he could not support the project in its current form as more evidence on demand was required. The Chair, Councillor Collingham, commented that she felt that this was a great opportunity for the area, and it was vital to encourage greener transport options. She hoped that the project would integrate with bus services.
Councillor de Whalley asked if Active Travel England had been engaged in the project process and if the West Winch development area had been considered. Councillor de Whalley stated that he could not support the recommendations as they stood. The Assistant Director explained that the project had designed inline with government guidance and had been subject to extensive consultation.
It was also explained that the West Winch development area was a separate project and opportunities for the future would be looked at and would have to consider active and clean travel.
The Portfolio Holder for Business, Culture and Heritage acknowledged that this project was bold and ambitious and strong incentives were needed to get individuals involved and to change their habits. He felt that this was the right move for King’s Lynn and hoped that the Panel would support the proposals.
The Vice Chair, Councillor Gidney referred to trends such as wide tyred bicycles and felt that this was something that may become more popular in the future. He stated that CCTC and security was important. He also commented that the project could provide opportunities for an insurance and maintenance scheme for bicycles.
Councillor de Whalley referred to the old Hunstanton Railway line cycle path and that it was well used and agreed that the Council should be bold with their ambition.
The Chair commented that this project was a good opportunity to future proof travel and the Assistant Director explained that the Nar Ouse travel hub would include bus stops.
Councillors Morley and de Whalley did not vote to support the recommendations.
RESOLVED: That Cabinets attention be drawn to the comments made by the Panel, as set out above and the Cabinet be informed that the Regeneration and Development Panel support the recommendations to Cabinet as set out below.
Cabinet is recommended to:
1. Endorse the draft Business Case as set out in appendix 1.
2. Delegated authority is granted to the Chief Executive, the Deputy Leader and the Portfolio Holder for Development and Regeneration to approve the final Business Case in their capacity as representatives of the Council on the Town Deal Board.
3. Delegated authority is granted to the Section 151 Officer to approve the final Business Case and sign the Business Case Summary Document for submission to government in the Council’s capacity as Accountable Body for the Town Deal.
4. To approve the future revenue costs associated with the operation of the Active Travel hubs detailed in Section 7; to be built into operational budgets from 2023/4.
5. Delegate Authority to the Assistant Director for Programme and Project Delivery to progress with the planning, procurement, and delivery of the projects within the Business Case, subject to the Business Case approval by government.