Issue details

Herefordshire - Local Transport Plan (LTP)

To progress a key element of the council’s transport strategy in line with the Cabinet’s decision of 24 June 2021.

LTPs are seen as the primary future tool for the DfT to encourage and support local authorities achieve new and challenging targets and ambitions for transport. LTPs are therefore set to become much more important that they perhaps have been in recent years and they will have a significant impact on the levels of funding and the types of funding that the council can receive in future.

Successive UK Governments have adopted increasingly ambitious carbon targets into law, committing to achieving net-zero by 2050. Reflecting this, the DfT stated in their 2021 Decarbonising Transport Plan, that future local transport funding will become conditional on demonstrating how emissions will be reduced across a portfolio of transport investments through LTP.

Guidance for how the Government expects local authorities to demonstrate this in their LTPs has yet to be published. However, WSP has been advising the DfT on the development of this guidance. This allows them to state with confidence, that as a minimum the guidance will be based around robustly demonstrating the likely impact of an LTP on transport emissions (do something) against the forecast impact of continuing business as usual. If Authorities wish to be seen as a top performing Authority (and noting the proposed link to future funding) they will be encouraged to investigate this in more detail.

However, a robust LTP will need to cover more than just carbon emissions. Similar to previous LTP guidance, the full process will include early stages covering an assessment of the previous LTP and determining the scope of the new LTP, the foundation stage of developing robust baseline information, determining an appropriate vision and objectives for the LTP, the core assessment stages of developing the strategy and defining the Implementation Plan and defining how monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken. Whilst carbon considerations will be central to this work, a wide range of other policy and technical issues will also need to be covered.

Taking account of the above, particularly the link to future funding, the council wishes to update its LTP and requested that WSP submit a proposal which details both the intended approach and projected fees. This has been set out as follows:

Stage 1 – After a short inception period, this will focus on providing a comprehensive baseline and carbon emissions forecast, with the forecasts including both Business as Usual and the influence of UK-wide interventions such as accelerated EV uptake. This will inform conversations with officers and Members on the scale of the challenge, the pace of change required and range of policy measures that are likely necessary to achieve net zero outcomes.

Stage 2 – This will use the information generated in Stage 1 to confirm the vision and objectives for the LTP. This will include the setting of draft targets for different aspects of the LTP which will be refined during the following stages. There is potential for this stage to include some stakeholder engagement to help define and confirm the vision and objectives and we would need to agree this with Members (it is unlikely this will be a mandatory requirement of developing the LTP but it may be seen as best practice, depending on the extent of other stakeholder engagement already undertaken to help identify and confirm these elements).

Stage 3 - This will comprise development of a long list of interventions and undertaking a high-level option appraisal to assist in sifting out the poorer performing options. This process will include carbon impact as a core part of the appraisal, along with other environmental aspects. The end of this stage will include stakeholder engagement, seeking views on the appraisal and the selection of the better performing options to be taken forward to Stage 4.

Stage 4 – This will include the appraisal of the Implementation Plan (ie interventions and policy options, including the quantified carbon impact). Once agreed, we will also develop a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan which will be used to track the implementation and success of the LTP in meeting its targets.

The LTP Guidance is expected to be published in early 2023. The agreed approach is to undertake Stage 1 before its publication, allowing the remaining stages to be progressed immediately after publication.

The appointment of WSP offers a number of distinct advantages:
• a consultant that has a working knowledge of the council since 2013;
• has understanding of current government transport ambition and policy;
• can be appointed directly through a framework and demonstrating value for money;
• been commissioned by DfT to produce the new LTP guidance;
• been commissioned by DfT to produce the new decarbonisation tool;
• early baseline analysis and preparation ahead of the release of the LTP guidance.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 17/11/2022

Decision due: 17 November 2022 by Corporate Director – Economy & Environment

Contact: Ross Cook, Corporate Director - Economy and Environment Email: ross.cook@herefordshire.gov.uk.

Decisions