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ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES
25 September 1998
INTEGRATED TRANSPORT - THE ROLE OF THE ASSOCIATION
Report by the Chief Executive of Test Valley Borough Council and the Policy Officer
(1) That the role of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Planning Officers' Group (HIPOG) be expanded to address integrated planning and transportation;
(2) That HIPOG reports back on developing integrated transport in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
1. The Government's White Paper on the future of transport - A new deal for transport: better for everyone - was published on 20 July 1998. The County Surveyor gave a brief presentation about it at the last meeting. The White Paper was followed by the publication on 29 July 1998 of A new deal for trunk roads in England which sets the policies for trunk roads in the context of the Government's integrated transport strategy.
THE ROLE OF THE ASSOCIATION
2. Although we did not need the White paper to tell us, the whole issue of integrating transport is now clearly a "hearts and minds" issue for the local authorities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, their Members, staff and communities. It is also one of the "wicked issues" which require partnership between all tiers of local government, and other organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors. In our local agendas for the 21st Century, integrated transport is one of the big issues which overlap the imperatives of environmental sustainability, sustainable economic prosperity and sustainable health and wellbeing. If our joint approach to delivering integrated transport is to be effective it will require leadership and co-ordination at senior Member and Chief Executive level. The Association has a key role to play in this effort.
JOINT OFFICER ORGANISATION FOR INTEGRATED TRANSPORT
3. At Association level we need some integrated transport thinking as a precursor to more co-ordinated action on the ground. For most subjects the Association has a Joint Officer Group to lead (eg Best Value, finance, planning). This is not yet the case with integrated transport. As was evident when the Association considered its response to SERPLAN in July, integrated transport is inseparable from strategic land use planning. It is therefore proposed that the role of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Planning Officers Group (HIPOG) should be expanded to address integrated planning and transportation. It is also proposed that the County Surveyor and the equivalent post holders in the three unitary authorities should join HIPOG for the purposes of considering integrated transport. The Chairman of the Hampshire District Engineers, currently Jim Pettitt (Head of Highway Services, Rushmoor), should also be invited to join HIPOG for this purpose, as should the lead Chief Executive (currently Alan Jones).
JOINT MEMBER LIAISON
4. The Association may feel that liaison at Member level would best be served by dealing with transport at full Association meetings such as this. If joint member consideration is required at a more detailed or preliminary level, it is suggested that the role of the existing SERPLAN Co-ordination Group could be expanded to allow for this. The SERPLAN Co-ordination Group is a joint member/officer group established by the Association to co-ordinate member authorities' work on regional planning and transportation.
LIAISON WITH TRANSPORT UNDERTAKERS
5. Traditionally, Hampshire County Council has held regular liaison with rail, ferry and bus operators. Many District Councils will have similar liaison at a local level and of course the Unitary Authorities will have added greater weight to this process. It is proposed that the future arrangements for joint liaison with transport undertakers should be one of the issues to be considered by the expanded HIPOG with recommendations coming back to the Association. It is felt that the Association would want to have a full role in lobbying for changes to public transport as well as promoting public transport infrastructure.
LOCAL TRANSPORT PLANS
6. Guidance on the preparation on Local Transport Plans is expected in September this year. It may be that the County Council and the Unitary Authorities will lead on the preparation of Local Transport Plans or it may be that the District Councils will also have a particular role to play. Either way, it is felt that the preparation and co-ordination of Local Transport Plans is key to integrated transport and should therefore be considered by the expanded HIPOG and by the Association.
7. The technical solutions to the transport problems of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Authorities are well understood and there is much good practice within the sub region on which to draw. The central issue, however, in making integrated transport work is changing the hearts and minds of the general public. A number of local authorities in the area have established transport awareness campaigns and programmes for the involvement of their local communities. The best known is the Hampshire County Council Headstart Programme. Without carrying out a detailed audit of activities around the Association area it is not known to what extent the policies and activities being pursued by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight local authorities are consistent, co-ordinated and mutually supportive. Again , this will be a job for the expanded HIPOG. It will not be surprising if each local authority is pursuing a local approach but it would be fruitful to examine whether the values which underpin a transport awareness campaign such as Headstart are commonly shared around the Association area. There is a great deal to be achieved here in a similar way to the success that has been achieved in the waste management field by Project Integra.
8. Finally, some local authorities have pursued travel awareness campaigns as part of their personnel policies to encourage staff to use more sustainable modes of transport to and from work. This is a notoriously difficult area - since issues such as car leasing, essential car user allowances and so on, touch upon remuneration packages and employment contracts. It will ultimately become essential, however, for local authorities to take a lead in this area if we are to be successful in persuading other organisations in the public and private sectors to change their behaviour and attitude towards sustainable transport.
9. This report has been considered and endorsed by the Chief Executives' Group in consultation with the County Surveyor, the Unitary Authorities and the Hampshire District Engineers.
ALAN JONES Chief Executive,
Test Valley Borough Council
|Author:||Nick Goulder, Policy Manager|
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