Venue: Hybrid - Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron / remotely via video conferrence
Contact: Lisa Evans
No apologies were received.
Disclosures of personal interest (including whipping declarations) Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct. In addition, Members must declare any prohibited party whip which the Member has been given in relation to the meeting as per the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011.
Councillor Chris James
declared a personal interest under item 4.
Lisa Evans, Standards
and Scrutiny Officer declared a personal and prejudicial interest in relation to
item 4, in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Local Government Employees
and withdrew from the meeting whilst the matter was being discussed.
Councillor Keith Henson (Cabinet Member for
Highways and Environmental Services and Carbon Management) explained that the purpose
of the report was to give an update on the developments since the previous
report/ discussion. A meeting had been held with Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister
for Climate Change on the 1st of December 2022 to provide an
overview of Active Travel in Ceredigion. At present, there were only three
Welsh Government-designated Active Travel Settlements in Ceredigion under the
Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 (namely Aberystwyth, Cardigan and Lampeter) and
therefore, there was an aspiration to expand on this. Thanks were extended to
the service for progressing with the work to improve the accessibility of
Active Travel and safety for the county.
Phil Jones, Corporate Manager: Highways
Services explained that The Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 places a duty on local
authorities to plan for, improve, and promote routes for walking and cycling
for everyday journeys. The authority was grateful to WG for the funding to
improve the Active Travel network but having an improved plan for the next 3-5
years would be beneficial for all. An overview of the background as included in
the report was provided. Given the aspirations to improve the railway links
from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth, assurance was given by Elin Jones MS and Ben
Lake MP in a recent meeting that these proposals would not be developed for a
significant number of years, therefore essentially, it was possible to proceed
with expanding Active Travel on those lines.
Members were provided with the opportunity
to ask questions which were answered by Officers, Professor Stuart Cole CBE and
Councillor Keith Henson. The main points raised were as follows:
Stuart Cole CBE clarified that although WG had not confirmed whether they
planned to develop the railway from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth which would cost approximately
£800million, there was insufficient funding and not enough population to run
the railway, hence why the T1 TrawsCymru was in place. In his opinion, it was
very unlikely the railway would be developed in the next 30-40 years.
concerns with WG/ UK Government around the lack of or uncertainty with funding
streams was important. In addition, further relaxation of the restrictions
would benefit the whole county, not only the 3 towns named as Active Travel
Settlements and it would also enable local authorities to plan resources better
and deliver locally.
was given to the utilisation of Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers, which
may be required to acquire land for walking and cycling routes. Although it was
considered a complex and lengthy process, the use of CPO in conjunction with
discussions was considered important for delivering plans in the county. Work
was done in the background to progress this including with Rhiw Goch Hill,
· It was noted that not all routes would attract Active Travel Fund (ATF) and so other funding streams were being explored. Feedback following an unsuccessful grant application for Cylch y Cardi Trail Phase 1 Levelling Up Fund 2 ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Councillor Keith Henson explained that WG
managed a large proportion of the transport system in Wales and at present, the
transport industry faced a challenging time. An overview of the contents of the
report was provided including the local and wider context.
Gerwyn Jones, Corporate Manager:
Environmental Services stated that the report was presented to Cabinet on 14
February 2023. A presentation was provided to the Committee outlining the
Cole CBE noted that the situation was similar in many places, and although the
solution was different for each local authority, it was similar for rural areas
such as Ceredigion and neighbouring authorities. It was reported that Covid-19
had a significant impact on the number of people travelling on public
transport, including the TrawsCymru. Following the introduction of BwcaBus in
2008, research had been undertaken on public transport in rural areas, and as a
result, TrawsCymru was introduced in 2012, with BwcaBus and local buses feeding
into the network. 2.6million passengers had travelled on TrawsCymru in 2019,
which was a significant increase from numbers prior to 2012, however,
passengers had not yet returned to pre-covid numbers, including the T1 route
(Carmarthen- Aberystwyth) which had only returned to 60%. The reliability,
frequency and precept of services were deemed key to attracting more
passengers, along with accessibility, such as information signs and timetables.
It was reported
that although Lee Waters MS, Deputy minister for Climate Change was eager for
more people to travel on public transport, there were very clear differences in
the availability of services in urban and rural areas. The subsidy for
transporting Concessionary Travel Card holders was very small compared to the
price of a ticket, but hopefully, WG would not end this arrangement.
provided with the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by Officers,
Professor Stuart Cole CBE and Councillor Keith Henson. The main points raised
were as follows:
It was agreed to
confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2023.
It was agreed to
note the contents of the Forward Work Programme presented subject to the