Bus Lane in Upton by Chester A5116

C Gerrard made this Freedom of Information request to Cheshire West and Chester Council

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Dear Cheshire West and Chester Council,

Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to see the research, data, discussions and process in which the decision to implement the new bus lanes in Upton by Chester on the A5116 has been reached.

Please provide the source documents and reference to the specific sections in those documents which supported the decision to implement.

Please provide the detailed designs & specifications provided to the contractors who undertook the work, including reference to the section in the Cycling Infrastructure Design LTN/120 to which the design complies.

Please also provide a breakdown of all associated costs in relation to the planning and implementation of the bus lanes, including ongoing maintenance and operational costs.

If any exception to process, policy or guidelines has been granted (or being requested), please provide details of such exceptions.

Please also provide the formal grant determination letter from the Department of Transport for Tranche 1

Yours faithfully,

C Gerrard

FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

RE: Your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

Case Reference: RFI 3130

Dear C Gerrard

Thank you for your email dated 9 October 2020.

It will be treated as a request within the meaning of the Act: this means that we will send you a full response within 20 working days, either supplying you with the information which you want, or explaining to you why we cannot supply it.

If we need any further clarification or there is any problem we will be in touch.

Yours sincerely

Disclosures Team
Cheshire West and Chester Council
Tel: 0300 123 8 123
Email: [email address]
Location: Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port CH65 0BE
Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

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FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Dear C Gerrard,

 

Thank you for your request for information of 9 October 2020 which has
been logged as RFI 3130 and has been dealt with under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. We confirm that Cheshire West and Chester Council
does hold information relating to your request.

 

For the purpose of clarity your request has been reproduced below:

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to see the research,
data, discussions and process in which the decision to implement the new
bus lanes in Upton by Chester on the A5116 has been reached.

 

Please provide the source documents and reference to the specific sections
in those documents which supported the decision to implement.

 

Please provide the detailed designs & specifications provided to the
contractors who undertook the work, including reference to the section in
the Cycling Infrastructure Design LTN/120 to which the design complies.

 

Please also provide a breakdown of all associated costs in relation to the
planning and implementation of the bus lanes, including ongoing
maintenance and operational costs.

 

If any exception to process, policy or guidelines has been granted (or
being requested), please provide details of such exceptions.

 

Please also provide the formal grant determination letter from the
Department of Transport for Tranche 1

 

Response

 

The A5116 Liverpool Road corridor facilities are not only bus lanes. As
cycle and bus lanes, they directly support a number of Council strategies
and policies that were formally adopted by the Council following wide
ranging consultation and support. These include the following, which are
available via the Council's website:

 

• Local Transport Plan 2017-2030

• Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan 2020

• Cycling Strategy

• Local Plan

• Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2015-2020

• Cheshire West Place Plan

• Council Plan 2020-2024

• Climate Emergency Declaration 2019

• Low Emission Strategy 2018-2021

• Walk. Ride. Thrive. Initiative 2020

• Chester Transport Strategy

 

The lanes have also been informed by the Government's own vision for
increasing levels of walking and cycling as set out in the "Gear Change"
strategy document published at the end of July 2020.   This sets out
ambitions to seek a step change in cycling and walking in the coming
years, which is considered essential to help address some of the most
challenging issues that we face as a society including; improving air
quality, combatting climate change, improving health and wellbeing,
addressing inequalities and tackling traffic congestion. There is a
particular emphasis placed on the need to increase health benefits from
more physical activity and the longer-term benefits of this to the NHS,
and there was also a clear message from the Government that the response
to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Emergency Active Travel Funding 
represents a once in a generation chance to accelerate active travel.  The
Government is also developing a Transport Decarbonisation Plan in 2020,
where public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice
for our daily activities.  Thus to secure additional value and further
contributions to the Climate Emergency Declaration and Low Emission
Strategy, where possible to do so, the Council has introduced combined
cycle/bus lanes to support public transport operations as a vital
component of the future transport strategy

 

On 9 May 2020, the Department for Transport announced that pop-up bike
lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions,
and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England within weeks
as part of a £250 million emergency active travel fund. Fast-tracked
statutory guidance was published and effective immediately, telling
Councils to reallocate road space and implement scheme delivery within a
matter of weeks via Tranche 1 of its Emergency Active Travel Fund.  The
initial letter from DfT relating to Tranche 1 emergency active travel
funding was actually received via email on 2 June 2020 with a government
submission deadline of 5 June 2020, leaving less than 4 days to devise and
submit proposals.  Thus the proposals were informed by pre-existing data
referenced elsewhere in this response.

 

The A5116 Liverpool Road scheme was selected using  evidence from a number
of sources. This included information collected to help prepare the
Council’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and the results of
its associated consultation exercise (Local Cycling and Walking
Infrastructure Plan is available via Cabinet Papers (Item 10):
[1]http://cmttpublic.cheshirewestandchester...).
This was assisted by feedback from Councillors, officers, members of the
Council’s Active travel Forum as well as the ‘Walk. Ride. Thrive’ online
portal exercise which enabled members of the public to nominate their own
ideas and locations for potential “quick win” schemes
([2]https://participatenow.cheshirewestandch...).
The Department for Transport also made available a “'Rapid Cycleway
Prioritisation Tool” [3]https://www.cyipt.bike/rapid/ which was issued to
help identify promising locations for new cycleways, complementing local
knowledge. The tool provides top ranked new cycleways, providing a list of
roads that have high cycling potential and spare lanes, thus strong
candidates for reallocation of road space immediately or in the near
future to create new cycleways on strategic corridors under the Emergency
Active Travel Fund. It is of note that the A5116 Liverpool Road corridor
was identified by this tool.

 

The Council’s Tranche 1 submission to the Government’s Emergency Active
Travel Fund indicatively allocated the following sums to the respective
schemes. Please note these are estimated costings. Final costings will be
published as soon as they are available. We are enacting Section 22
(information intended for future publication) as a exemption under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, for this part of the request. The
attached link [4]https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/200...
will provide you with more information regarding this exemption.

 

Scheme Location Estimated cost £
Capital  
Grosvenor Bridge 15,000
A51 Boughton 13,000
A5116 Liverpool Road 27,000
A54 Whole Dual carriageway 37,000
Road One 22,000
Road Two 1,000
Dingle Lane / Weaver Street 2,500
Contingency 7,500
Total 125,000
Revenue  
Monitoring & Training 11,400
Evaluation 3,600
Design 20,000
Total 35,000

 

With regards to your request for specifications for the active travel lane
works, please refer to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General
Directions 2016 (as amended) which are widely published elsewhere. In
terms of their design, this information can be directly determined from
the as-constructed road markings and traffic signs that exist on site
along the A5116 corridor, which comply with the contractor instructions. 
It is if note that LTN 1/20 was published on the 27 July 2020, which
post-dates the Council’s Emergency Active Travel Fund Tranche 1 submission
of 5 June 2020 and grant determination letter of 29 June 2020. 
Furthermore, paragraph 1.1.1 of LTN 1/20 advises that ‘local authorities
are responsible for setting design standards for their roads and the A5116
scheme has been subject to road safety audit procedures’

 

With regards to your request for a copy of the formal grant determination
letter from the Department of Transport for Tranche 1, this should be
directed to the DfT as issuer.

 

Further information on the Active Travel Lanes can also be found on the
following link:
[5]https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.u...

 

 

We trust this answers your queries.

 

The Council considers that your request has been answered in full by
either confirming that information is not held, providing you with the
information requested, or explaining why any information has been withheld
and the reasons for any redaction. Where applicable, the Council has also
told you the reasons for the delay in responding to your request.

 

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The Disclosures Team can be contacted by email via:
[6][Cheshire West and Chester Council request email] or at the following address:

 

Disclosures Team

Cheshire West and Chester Council

4 Civic Way

Ellesmere Port

CH64 0BE

 

The Disclosures Team will acknowledge a request for an internal review
within 5 working days and complete the review as soon as possible and no
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More information about the Council’s internal review process can be found
via:

 

[7]https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.u...

 

If you remain dissatisfied following the outcome of your review, you have
a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Website: [8]www.ico.org.uk

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Disclosures Team – Customer Relations and Information Cheshire West and
Chester Council

Tel: 0300 123 8 123

Email: [9][email address]

Location: Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port
CH65 0BE

Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

 

 

PD (Ex)

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References

Visible links
1. http://cmttpublic.cheshirewestandchester...
2. https://participatenow.cheshirewestandch...
3. https://www.cyipt.bike/rapid/
4. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/200...
5. https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.u...
6. mailto:[Cheshire West and Chester Council request email]
7. https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.u...
8. http://www.ico.org.uk/
9. mailto:[email address]

Dear FOI West,
I have reviewed your response, and thank you for once again pointing me at documents in which I can find no supporting evidence which would provide a firm foundation for this change on the A5116. With regard to my original request, please do provide the sections within each of these documents which apparently identify the A5116 as benefiting from a bus/cycle lane.

With regard specifically to https://www.cyipt.bike/rapid/cheshire-we... it would seem the stretch of road identified was the 30mph stretch. The bus lane/cycle lane has been implemented along the 40mph stretch. It is also 8th on the list, hardly a "reason" for choosing this location.

With regard to the LCWIP (Item 10) - please specify the page number. I have searched the document and can find no reference to the A5116 or Liverpool Road or Upton.

With regard to the "Walk. Ride. Thrive’ online portal exercise. I completed the exercise in June, as did everyone else who "pinned". In any case there is no reference to requiring a segregated or bus/cycle lane on the stretch where we have a bus lane. At best a SUP was suggested further down.

Therefore to my original request: "Please provide the source documents and reference to the specific sections in those documents which supported the decision to implement"

Yours sincerely,

C Gerrard

FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Dear C Gerrard

Thank you for your email dated 13 November 2020. I have forwarded your correspondence on to the appropriate service and asked them to provide a response to the points you have raised.

I will contact you again when I have an update.

Yours sincerely

Disclosures Team
Cheshire West and Chester Council
Tel: 0300 123 8 123
Email: [email address]
Location: Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port CH65 0BE
Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

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FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Dear C Gerrard,

Please find information relating to your follow up queries, we apologise for the delay in responding.

With regards to https://www.cyipt.bike/rapid/cheshire-we... entry 8 (Liverpool Road) does relate to the section that is the Tranche 1 initiative and as demonstrated below the prior 7 entries have existing facilities, are subject to committed studies or are similarly subject to Tranche 1 initiatives. Thus Liverpool Road was identified as a priority via this tool for inclusion in Tranche 1 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund.

1.Hough Green Road - there is an existing Shared User Path
2.Hoole Road - this was the subject of an existing route corridor study of future interventions
3.Whitby Road - there is an existing Shared User Path (in part) and the remaining lengths are subject to the Ellesmere Port town centre masterplanning
4.Grosvenor Road – this was also a Tranche 1 scheme
5.A41 – there are existing on-road or off-road facilities along the majority of the length highlighted
6.A5115 – this was also a Tranche 1 scheme
7.Hoole Way - this was the subject of an existing route corridor study of future interventions

With regard to the LCWIP (Item 10), the Technical Report which accompanies the LCWIP considers the clustering analysis and desire line proposals that were identified by the study team. The A5116 Liverpool Road is represented by Desire Line B identified for the Chester area.

With regard to the "Walk. Ride. Thrive’ online portal exercise, it can be seen that 3 pinned requests were made for cycle infrastructure improvements within the length of the Tranche 1 scheme.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is committed to ensuring the security and protection of the personal information that we process and to provide a compliant and consistent approach to data protection. To learn more about how we handle your personal information when you contact the Council’s Data Protection and Compliance Team, please see our Advice, Enquiries and Complaints Privacy Notice on the Council's website or ask for a copy of the notice to be sent to you.

Kind Regards

Disclosures Team
Cheshire West and Chester Council
Tel: 0300 123 8 123
Email: [email address]
Location: Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port CH65 0BE
Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

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Dear FOI West,
Once again thank you for your considered response. In respect of the "3 pinned" requests along this section of the A5116. I have reviewed those requests, and can see only 2 pinned requests relating to the A5116. One request was submitted by me, and did not suggest a bus lane.
The suggestion was "The pavement all along this road could be made into a shared use cycleway/path all the way to the hospital to encourage walking/cycling by people going to the hospital or children cycling to Upton Primary School. This would then join up with the canal tow path at the hospital for leisure cycling all the way to the wirral (joins up to the greenway)". What was implemented certainly doesn't match what was suggested.

The other request wasn't for a bus lane either, but for a SUP "An SUP could easily be created here from the Hospital to at least as far as the bridge - ideally further as well although this might be a bit more difficult". Again nothing was implemented from the hospital. The third request which I assume you are alluding to is pinned to Upton Lane not the A51116 and was again submitted by me. I was suggesting that Upton Lane could become a "green road".

With regard to the cyipt tool. Please do send the documentation and/or minutes of meetings which would outline why this particular stretch of the A5116 was chosen, over and above any other stretch of this road. Bearing in mind the tool is highlighting the 30mph stretch, and also that the PTC tool is also not identifying the road up to the Dale Camp as ideal for cycling to school and that this tool suggests the 30mph nearer the train station as having more potential for cycling than where the bus lane was implemented. So I'm assuming someone in the highways department decided to override the output from the tool and selected another stretch of road instead. You reference the LCWIP Technical Report in your previous response, but that report has never been sent to me. Please could you send a copy of that report, where I assume it will make it clear why this particular stretch of the A5116 was chosen as an ideal candidate for a bus lane.

Yours sincerely,

C Gerrard

FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

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FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Dear C Gerrard

Thank you for your email dated 27 December 2020. I have forwarded your correspondence on to the service and will respond when I have received a response.

Yours sincerely

Disclosures Team
Customer Relations and Information Governance
Compliance and Assurance Service
Cheshire West and Chester Council

Tel: 0300 123 8 123 (Customer Contact Centre)
Email: [email address]
Visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

Cheshire West and Chester Council is committed to ensuring the security and protection of the personal information that we process and to provide a compliant and consistent approach to data protection. To learn more about how we handle your personal information when you contact the Council’s Data Protection and Compliance Team, please see our Advice, Enquiries and Complaints Privacy Notice on the Council's website or ask for a copy of the notice to be sent to you.

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