Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

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Agenda item

Public and Member Questions and Petitions

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Wednesday 2 October 2019

Minutes:

1.

Question from Adrian Becker to the Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay

 

While it is excellent that Cheltenham Borough Council have produced the Connecting Cheltenham Strategy, why is there no vision, aspiration or target for reducing travel demand overall?

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

The Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy focuses upon meeting demand where it arises. In this regard, two urban extensions are allocated to help meet Cheltenham’s longer term development needs. West Cheltenham is a good example of how we are seeking to reduce transport demands through well located employment, housing and community uses. We will be using the Connecting Cheltenham Strategy to influence how residents and businesses travel sustainably, linking into availability of homes and employment, routes to train station and town centre, with the focus on walking, cycling and public transport.

The data informing the Connecting Cheltenham Strategy has focussed upon travel to work and understanding the share of journeys across different transport modes and the type of trips. Understanding this data will help us to influence future planning decisions, approach to public realm investment and strategies around behavioural change.

As part of the preparation of the Connecting Cheltenham Strategy workshops were held with key stakeholders. Much debate was had in regards to whether a target should be set for reducing travel demand. The conclusions of this was that given the Connecting Cheltenham Strategy, in part, has been prepared to inform Cheltenham’s contribution to the review of the Local Transport Plan, any targets would need to be reflective of the wider county picture. In addition, transport is undergoing disruption. A variety of technological advances are combining to offer new forms of transportation as well as radically changing the way services are delivered and accessed. We will be feeding through our thoughts on this through the Gloucestershire Local Transport Plan review.

A transport strategy for Cheltenham needs to deal with what we know now and what we are confident will happen, and should avoid trapping itself in planning for a future that may never arrive.

 

Supplementary question from Adrian Becker to the Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay

 

How can the climate emergency be resolved while CBC strategists assume that ‘business as usual’ can continue indefinitely?

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

The Cabinet Member Development and Safety refuted the claim that it was ‘business as usual’, suggesting that the report outlines significant changes to be made in the coming years.

2.

Question from Adrian Becker to the Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay

 

Do Cllr McKinlay, the Cabinet and Cheltenham Borough Council support the sustainable travel hierarchy promoted by the Department for Transport and virtually all organisations that represent planning and transport professionals?

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

We have developed a strategy with a focus on modal shift and influencing behaviours to impact on travel demands. The Connecting Cheltenham Strategy prioritises behaviour change, urban design and freight consolidation to minimise demand, and supports a shift towards less environmentally damaging forms of transport (walking and slow modes, cycling, public transport) as set out in the answer to the previous question.

 

Supplementary question from Adrian Becker to the Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay

 

If the Connecting Cheltenham Strategy prioritises behaviour change, as claimed, why is there no target for increasing walking trips, and why are targets for cycling and public transport trips not expressed as increases in modal shares for these modes?

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

The Cabinet Member Development and Safety responded that it is currently difficult to apply specific targets to particular trips, and that behaviour change cannot be forced arbitrarily.

 

Supporting documents: