Author Topic: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.  (Read 1131 times)

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« on: November 22, 2020, 06:14:39 am »
I hope this doesn't end up needing a move to POBI.

Gloucestershire council applied for £10,284,500 and were awarded just £864,760.  The government set out what they expected to see in the applications and explicitly stated what they would not fund.  So the logical conclusion is that the Gloucestershire application must have fallen far short of the required standard.  But did it?  In my opinion no, it was much worse than 'far short'.  Here it is, all 8 pages of it..  So what does it contain:
  • Gloucester to Cheltenham cycle link.  This is a plan that's rattled around a long time.  Work has been done on planning it and it's the only scheme in the application that includes a map.  Allegedly most of it would be off road and two way but most sections have an alternate shared use option, it is not stated if this is shared with cars or pedestrians. £6.1m has already been identified for this locally, the EATF application asks for a further £5.4m.
  • Central Severn Vale (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans).  This is a big pile of woo copy pasted in from earlier work.  Touted as complementing the Glos-Chelt link there is next to nothing in the application but a link back to the Glos CC web site.  £248.5k is asked for from the EATF to add to £688k already allocated for 'Implementing the Severn Central Vale LCWIP'.  i.e just under a million to do the lot.  Yet if you follow the link and look at the cost breakdown of the LCWIP it requires £4.7m.  It consists mostly of crossings, paint, fixing broken signs and adding new ones.
  • Tewkesbury Connections.  Upgrades & extensions to the existing Newtown cycle link. I have no knowledge of this one and nothing is provided in the EATF, not even links to other sources. £225k is asked for here.
  • Stroud cycling improvements.  Two main elements are identified with some bullet point clues what they might entail.  Naff all detail. £1.99m
  • Rural connections.  There's two schemes here, Lydney to Parkend and Moreton-In-Marsh.  The first of these is very close to me and it is well needed.  The FoD has excellent cycling facilities within it but not a single one safe route in our out.  Every day at the weekend we have an influx of (at a guess) a couple of thousand cars, vans & pickups filling car parks & verges.  Lydney is the nearest station and Parkend is well connected to the forest routes.  This propoal would join them.  From Parkend to Whitecroft there are a couple of off road routes that are not too lumpy.  There is a pavement beside the road for pedestrians. One of the off road routes has been identified as best for upgrade and route signage.  Between Whitecroft and Lydney there are two roads neither of which has a pavement.  One is very hilly and the other twisty, a festival of close passes and blind corner passes every time I use it.  I know of one off road route, it's pure MTB territory, very lumpy and dumps you a long way from Lydney town.  The return starts with 2km steep slog up a nasty road.  A new, entirely off and away from road route has been identified following roughly the line of the Dean Forest Railway so an easy gradient.  It looks, from the scant details I've seen like it just might be bloody fantastic.  So what does the EATF application say about this?  Little more than listing a bunch of forest tourist traps that might benefit.  I've given you more useful background in this post.  This is probably in part because the plans are very new and under developed.  £1.3m is asked for here.  That might get it properly planned.  I can't tell you anything about the M-in-M plan.
The government asked for school streets plans, Gloucester CC proposed none.
The government asked for LTNs, Gloucester CC proposed none.
The government asked for segregated cycle lanes, these exist in the proposals but for most there's no clue what sort of infrastructure is proposed.
And pedestrian inprovements, these exist in the proposals but as with cycling there's only a few instances where the proposal is spelled out by following links, not within the EATF application.

The government asked for plans to show how councils will consult with communities, residents, businesses and emergency services.  Gloucester CC provided zilch in this respect.  Not one paragraph, not one word.
The government asked for evidence to show appropriate consultation prior to implementation.  The most advanced scheme listed above must have had some consultation done surely?  As I said, it has rattled around for years.  There's nothing in the EATF application.
Plans for monitoring the schemes 6-12 months after implementation?  Zero here too.

I think, as a Gloucester resident, we did damn well in getting 8% of what was asked for.  All the schemes identified that I have any info about are entirely worthwhile.  A well put together application that met the government criteria could have got at least some of them done.

1/10, must try much harder.

So how bad were your EATF applications?
2020 targets: None
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2020, 09:04:52 am »
It would be good to know.
Leicestershire County Council's proposals do not appear to be online as far as I can find
They must have ticked the right boxes to get the funding.
The first round was fairly 'meh' - I'd give them 5/10. Lots of piecemeal schemes, but no coordination - and heaven forbid any coordination with the City Council.
There was a questionnaire that went out, and as far as my limited canvassing went, the council were roundly (& rightly) lambasted for their (historical) antipathy towards cycling.
We'll see.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2020, 09:22:42 am »
Your mark of 1/10 is unfortunately accurate, judging by the award at a similar proportion. The application is an appalling document, but sadly no better than I would expect from Gloucestershire's transport department. I spent some years on our local road safety group, and eventually left due to disillusionment with Gloucestershire CC's inertia, intransigence, illiteracy, innumeracy and general incompetence. Despite backing from parish council, district council and police, the only effect was the appearance of some bizarre hatched semicircles on one of our local roads. These were apparently supposed to slow down traffic (needless to say they didn't work). We hadn't asked for these, we hadn't been told they were being put in, I think they were just a sop to shut us up.

The worst thing is that most of these proposals are sensible. I'll go into a bit more detail on the Stroud ones, as those are the ones I am most familiar with.

On Cainscross Road they propose upgrading the existing cycle lanes to segregated cycle paths. This is necessary: the existing ones are the sort of white-lines-on the-road-denoting-a-space-narrower-than-your-handlebars attempt which discourages people from using them (me included: I don't use this road in busy periods). There's certainly been consultation on these: I was consulted. No evidence provided, though. Can't see any issues with other road users - it's the widest road in Stroud. Businesses, etc? There's two schools on this road, though for obvious reasons few if any of the pupils cycle there. So this would be an all round good idea.

I hadn't heard of the Golden Valley route, though I found the proposal after digging around on the internet. On paper it looks fantastic, and should be realisable. But obviously at a very early stage, and possibly a bit premature for this application. There's clearly a lot more work needs to be done on this one, but the principle is great.

Fundamentally the problem is that Gloucestershire CC seem to have no interest in active travel, and this document is merely another indication of this.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2020, 09:26:21 am »
The Stroud bit appears to include the A419 corridor, which is looking at the spine road from Chalfont to Stroud. Quite a lot of work has been done on it.

Last year the Route 45 Nailsworth to Stroud was surfaced, having previously been one of the worst stretches of NCN. This was funded by County, and the funds released by designating the route as a Bridleway, for which they had funds. There was controversy over that, with people not wanting horses on it. Lockdown provided an increase in cyclists on the route, but also an  increase in walkers and dogs.

Both ends of the route are inadequate and there are still some stretches that need completing.

Both these have come about through pressure from a parish and town council cycling group.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2020, 12:40:13 pm »
Last year the Route 45 Nailsworth to Stroud was surfaced, having previously been one of the worst stretches of NCN.
It used to be pretty decent. But that was back in the 1980s. I get the impression this recent surfacing must be the first work on it since it was put in.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2020, 12:42:31 pm »
I think the last recent work was done at the turn of the century.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2020, 01:14:26 pm »
Last year the Route 45 Nailsworth to Stroud was surfaced, having previously been one of the worst stretches of NCN.
It used to be pretty decent. But that was back in the 1980s. I get the impression this recent surfacing must be the first work on it since it was put in.
I wasn't aware that it had been resurfaced. I haven't used it for a couple of years, as the last time I tried it was overgrown with nettles.

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2020, 01:18:49 pm »
I think the last recent work was done at the turn of the century.
Thanks for the info on the Stroud plans. Unsurpringly they look like excellent ideas.  I've amended my op to show the sum requested for these, £1.99m which seems woefully short for those two.
2020 targets: None
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2020, 05:36:33 pm »
I think the last recent work was done at the turn of the century.
Thanks for the info on the Stroud plans. Unsurpringly they look like excellent ideas.  I've amended my op to show the sum requested for these, £1.99m which seems woefully short for those two.

I've been on the group looking at these, although I've been more distanced from the A419 proposals, because of stuff.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2020, 05:40:30 pm »
I'm not sure what the state is in Birmingham.  I think the general theme was making permanent some of the earlier temporary infrastructure[1], but I can't find any details on the web.


[1] Upgrading the segregated cycle lanes with bollards that drivers can't just unscrew in order to park in them, maybe?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2020, 09:06:09 pm »
I think the last recent work was done at the turn of the century.
Thanks for the info on the Stroud plans. Unsurpringly they look like excellent ideas.  I've amended my op to show the sum requested for these, £1.99m which seems woefully short for those two.

I've been on the group looking at these, although I've been more distanced from the A419 proposals, because of stuff.

The A419 route is the one we are most interested in, as getting from Brownshill / Chalford to Stroud is a right pain. I'm big and ugly enough to manage the road (just about) but Marys already had one off trying to avoid a lorry*.


* frankly the trucks should go back down to the m5 and round the long way to the M4. We even had one try to drive through the closure for remembrance Sunday at Chalford church once, the policeman had him out of the cab apologising to the vicar.
Somewhat of a professional tea drinker.


Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2020, 11:01:02 pm »
Yup.

That's the kind of horribleness that needs be dealt with.

Unfortunately, after having 50 years of Car is King, and Highways Engineers that have been brought up on that, there's a battle to be fought.

We win small skirmishes, and well, we carry on.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2020, 08:27:04 am »
Is this the “tranche 2” funding? East Sussex got £1.8 million, which looks like more or less what they asked for.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2020, 09:37:09 am »
I couldn't find Surrey's but I'm pretty sure, given their giddiness about cycling only lasted 15 seconds after the close of the Olympics, probably asked for money to spend on a hit squad to take out the six remaining cyclists and landmines for the Ride London route.
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Socks

  • Clennel Street on my touring bike
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2020, 09:58:51 am »
Apparently there was a joint bid for the Local Authorities in Tyneside / Durham / Northumberland.  They asked for about 15m, and have been allocated 9.5m.  All I can find about the plans is the creation of some key commmuter routes across the area, no other details published as yet.  It will be interesting to see how good the implementation is - some of these councils have a better idea about modern design standards while others are still building roads and junctions which are 1970's style death traps.  They've also asked for some funds to upgrade and extend the metro system - which at present will only allow folding bikes.

Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2020, 11:37:36 am »
I don't know all the details about Croydon's award but I do note they appear to be using it to replace planters in some LTN areas with concrete less susceptible to vandalism. While this has unleashed howls of rage from some sections who are anti-LTN who claim this is evidence that they don't care about the results of the consultation, when I emailed the relevant Cllr to say I supported the measures and enjoyed the effects of them a while back, he responded that currently he was getting emails that were 2 to 1 in support, so I would hope this is a result of this trend continuing. Certainly I think it's better than conceding to the vandals by removing the LTNs entirely after two weeks (coughWandsworthcough). These things do take a while to properly bed in.

I also see that for their most contentious LTN they have written to each address and assigned them unique codes to use when responding in the online consultation. So you can still respond if you don't live there (I don't but I cycle through) but they can tell the difference between residents and not. I think they've done this because some of the anti-LTN campaigns have recruited support from far and wide including the other side of London or those who don't live anywhere near London.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2020, 12:38:06 pm »
I wish we'd stop the consultation nonsense, there's nothing meaningful to be gleaned with them, the majority of people don't know of the existence of any consultation, and they degenerate into a battle of small special interest groups. They may look like 'engagement' but they're not, they're just a waste of time, effort, and money.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2020, 12:42:35 pm »
I wish we'd stop the consultation nonsense, there's nothing meaningful to be gleaned with them, the majority of people don't know of the existence of any consultation, and they degenerate into a battle of small special interest groups. They may look like 'engagement' but they're not, they're just a waste of time, effort, and money.

I thought the point with most of these 'emergency' measures was that the physical change was effectively the consultation.  Block off the end of a residential street and see what happens to traffic levels over the following weeks.  Re-purpose some parking bays as pavement space and see if the economy implodes.  Put in some badly-planned protected cycle lanes and see if the mistake agents unscrew the bollards, sort of thing.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2020, 12:42:57 pm »
I think the last recent work was done at the turn of the century.
Thanks for the info on the Stroud plans. Unsurpringly they look like excellent ideas.  I've amended my op to show the sum requested for these, £1.99m which seems woefully short for those two.

I've been on the group looking at these, although I've been more distanced from the A419 proposals, because of stuff.

The A419 route is the one we are most interested in, as getting from Brownshill / Chalford to Stroud is a right pain. I'm big and ugly enough to manage the road (just about) but Marys already had one off trying to avoid a lorry*.


* frankly the trucks should go back down to the m5 and round the long way to the M4. We even had one try to drive through the closure for remembrance Sunday at Chalford church once, the policeman had him out of the cab apologising to the vicar.
I had a look at Cainscross Rd on google and I'd say the main difference – one that applies nationwide, probably worldwide – since I used to ride along there in the 1980s, is that back then there was virtually no parking on the road. It wasn't banned, it just didn't happen. So there was none of this dodging in and out, mobile pinch points, and if they had painted a white line cycle lane all those decades ago, it would have been continuous and made a little bit of sense.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2020, 01:10:48 pm »
West of England Combined Authority got just under £3 million. This seems to be their application but all the figures are redacted, so no idea how much they bid for. Not much idea what they intend to do with it either.

I find the whole idea of LAs having to bid for funds as if they were tendering for contracts a bit odd.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2020, 01:15:38 pm »
I find the whole idea of LAs having to bid for funds as if they were tendering for contracts a bit odd.

Double-edged sword really.  In this case, it seems to be an attempt by the DfT to prevent the funding being spent on Magic Paint in lieu of actual infrastructure, which is commendable.

In general, it's just make-work.  They should all be on the same side.

On the gripping hand, they should be spending, say, 20% of the highways budget on cycling anyway.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2020, 01:24:17 pm »
What strikes me is it's bidding rather than being awarded on the basis of "Show us what your plans are and we'll fund them if they're up to scratch". So yes it avoids funds being spent on more stripy pavements but it also means schemes won't necessarily be funded just because they're good.

And more than that, it's the ideology of the marketplace applied to intra-governmental funding. Which, I suppose, has been the norm for an awfully long time.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

Socks

  • Clennel Street on my touring bike
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2020, 01:53:55 pm »
What strikes me is it's bidding rather than being awarded on the basis of "Show us what your plans are and we'll fund them if they're up to scratch". So yes it avoids funds being spent on more stripy pavements but it also means schemes won't necessarily be funded just because they're good.

And more than that, it's the ideology of the marketplace applied to intra-governmental funding. Which, I suppose, has been the norm for an awfully long time.

And also has the 'advantage' that it enables centralised control, rather than allowing any local or regional autonomy.

Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2020, 02:15:24 pm »
What strikes me is it's bidding rather than being awarded on the basis of "Show us what your plans are and we'll fund them if they're up to scratch". So yes it avoids funds being spent on more stripy pavements but it also means schemes won't necessarily be funded just because they're good.

And more than that, it's the ideology of the marketplace applied to intra-governmental funding. Which, I suppose, has been the norm for an awfully long time.

And also has the 'advantage' that it enables centralised control, rather than allowing any local or regional autonomy.

I've no great problem with that. It's central government money, and they are quite entitled to check it goes on schemes which meet national guidelines (and in view of some of the unrideable rubbish local councils produce as 'cycle paths', this is very sensible).

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Active travel fund applications - 2nd round.
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2020, 03:22:39 pm »
Apologies Rod, I meant to thank you too in my earlier post & somehow cocked it up. Thank you.

Blimey, I've started reading the WECA application cudzo linked, it is light years ahead of the Glos travesty.  It's all the more interesting as it shows the questions from the dft. 
2020 targets: None
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.