Cathkin Relief Road Planning Statement

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1 Cathkin Relief Road Planning Statement The Proposal This statement sets out the background to the Cathkin Relief Road project currently being progressed by South Lanarkshire Council. The project will provide a new 7.3m wide carriageway between the junctions of Cathkin Bypass / Burnside Road and Fernhill Road / Croftfoot Road / Blairbeth Road / Mill Street. Adjacent to the new carriageway will be a 2m wide footway on the south side and a 3m wide combined cycleway/footway on the north side. The cycleway will tie into and complement existing and proposed cycle routes in the area. There is an opportunity through the project to protect and enhance the remaining areas of greenspace / biodiversity in addition to introducing enhanced walking and cycling routes. The junctions at either end of the new carriageway will be designed to maximise the capacity and provide a controlled flow of traffic along with enhanced pedestrian crossing facilities. Opportunities will also be taken to lock in the benefits on neighbouring streets through the introduction of improved public transport infrastructure / services. A full package of drawings has been submitted outlining the proposal in detail as part of this application. Indicative timescales for the delivery of the project are as follows:- - Public exhibition November Design Autumn 2014 to Summer Planning submission Spring Tender Autumn/Winter Construction Spring 2016 through to Autumn 2016 Background / Strategic Case The proposed Cathkin Relief Road is situated in an extremely busy transport network. The project will enhance the local and strategic road network. Rutherglen has had a longstanding problem of congestion in the town centre which has led to air quality problems in particular. The Council has a desire to remove strategic traffic from the town centre and some existing less suitable radial routes, and re-route via an improved strategic local network. In terms of addressing areas of need, in 2007, the Council undertook a consultation / appraisal exercise with local stakeholders in the area which identified several continuing areas of concern, including: - Congestion at peak times - Bus reliability - Poor bus/rail integration - Access issues for non-car owners - Increasing traffic from future developments - High volume of through traffic between Glasgow and East Kilbride The local area is categorised by higher than average levels of unemployment, with a lower proportion of working age population. South Lanarkshire also has a centralised pattern, whereby the majority live and work within the area. The Cathkin Relief Road will improve accessibility for areas with high levels of deprivation. Cathkin Relief Road Planning Statement Page 1

2 The project will improve access to areas of new development, thus assisting with job creation and providing improved access to the wider road and transport network and the opportunities this brings. Policy documentation at a national, regional and local level has been reviewed and supports the completion of Cathkin Relief Road. Specifically the project forms part of the Local Transport Strategy with the objective of improving the economy. It will also complement existing Council led interventions in improving walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure. The project is also contained within the recently adopted Local Development Plan for South Lanarkshire. The project has been included in many strategic transport and development planning documents and frameworks for a number of years raising awareness of the proposed development. Benefits The project will have wider benefits in the region, as well as local benefits to road users and residents from reduced congestion. Specifically the proposed scheme will: - Improve infrastructure to employment areas across Rutherglen, East Kilbride and Cambuslang and reduce traffic impacts on neighbouring residential type roads - Reduce congestion at peak times with associated carbon emission reduction - Improve public transport reliability and bus / rail integration in the area by removing congestion and through traffic from existing routes - Enhance access for cyclists and pedestrians, by upgrading the capacity, integration and quality of the wider footpath and cycle network - Provide environmental benefits in terms of air quality across the road network - Improve road safety on the existing road network This project will influence demand and stimulate development at Shawfield National Business District and Rutherglen Low Carbon Zone, within Clyde Gateway and Cambuslang Investment Park and will also stimulate development within Newton Community Growth Area. Completion of this project will also have a positive influence on stimulating the development of strategic investment sites, including those in East Kilbride. Appraisal & Traffic Modelling A transport appraisal undertaken in 2007 outlined a series of options to improve the local transport network. As part of the appraisal, these options were packaged, with the Cathkin Relief Road Project, and included in a package of measures categorised as integrated roads-based and sustainable transport interventions. This package, including the Cathkin Relief Road, was preferable compared to a public transport only orientated package which was also assessed. The Council has since developed the Paramics model used as part of this STAG appraisal, focusing on the Blairbeth / Fernhill area of Rutherglen in order to appraise the impacts of the Cathkin Relief Road. The initial calibration and validation exercise was undertaken on the base model to ensure that it was representative of current day traffic conditions. The results from this initial task showed a good level of validation suggesting that the model would be an appropriate tool in forecasting future traffic conditions. Cathkin Relief Road Planning Statement Page 2

3 Modelling has been undertaken on two future years, 2017 and 2032 and a number of scenarios have been tested to identify the preferred option for the Relief Road. An economic appraisal of the preferred option has also been undertaken and demonstrates that the project delivers very good value for money. This manifests itself in a benefit to cost ratio for the project of 2.9. In conventional transport economic appraisal, schemes with a benefit to cost ratio greater than 2, demonstrate value for money. The modelling report is included as a separate supporting document in this planning application submission. Consultation Stakeholder engagement is an integral part of scheme development and acceptance. Prior to 2007 transport appraisal process, two stakeholder workshops were undertaken, firstly to understand local issues when using the transport network and secondly to discuss and develop potential solutions. These workshops highlighted that a number of real and perceived problems in the study area, notably congestion at peak / school times; the detrimental effect of congestion on bus reliability; speeding traffic; poor bus / rail integration; the lack of local penetration by bus services; accessibility problems, particularly for non-car owners; and increasing traffic from future developments. Further consultation was undertaken, providing stakeholders with a long list of options ahead of discussions. The outcomes of the discussions found general support for bus-based Park and Ride to the south of the study area; walking improvements; access improvements to Burnside rail station; quality bus measures; public transport improvements; the construction of the Cathkin Relief Road; junction improvements; improved road markings and signage, including illuminated slow down signs; School Travel Plans; and employer / developer travel plans. As part of the Cathkin Relief Road project development and in compliance with planning requirements, a public exhibition was held at the Fernhill Community Centre on Wednesday 26th November 2014, between 10:30hrs to 14:30hrs and 16:00hrs to 20:00hrs. The plans for the project were on display and representatives of South Lanarkshire Council s Roads and Transportation Services were present to discuss the project. Information leaflets were also provided which detailed the main points of the project. The exhibition was well attended by the local community with in excess of 450 people visiting throughout the day. 348 people signed in with their name and address, and 143 also filled out the comment form provided. Contact information was also provided for anyone who wished to comment on the proposals after the event. An exercise was undertaken to collate and identify particular concerns. This resulting planning application submission and supporting documentation, such as the Traffic Modelling Report, Environmental Statement and Flood Risk Assessment has considered these concerns and has sought to mitigate the impacts and concerns raised. Full details of the consultation exercise are available in the PAC Report which is included in the planning application. Environments / Sustainability The Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2010 requires that a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is undertaken on all plans, programmes, policies and strategies to determine the impact it may have on the environment. A scoping report for the LTS, which included the proposed Cathkin Relief Road was drafted and submitted to the statutory Consultation Authorities (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage and Historic Scotland) during the summer of The Environmental Report concluded that a number of the LTS policies and actions were predicted to have potential Cathkin Relief Road Planning Statement Page 3

4 temporary negative effects on the environment as a result of construction activities; however, the majority of these effects are temporary in nature and can be avoided or reduced through mitigation. A number of operational negative effects (landscape, biodiversity, noise and water quality/flood risk) have been identified as a result of the assessment of the LTS. The majority of these relate to proposed large scale infrastructure developments, such as Cathkin Relief Road. The assessment concluded that provided that the recommended mitigation measures are implemented and additional assessments are undertaken where required, there should be no significant adverse residual effects on the environment. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has since been compiled to consider the environmental impacts of the project and supports this planning application submission. As a new road infrastructure project, environmental implications will inevitably occur; conversely the new road will remove congestion from the town centre and create opportunities for more sustainable travel choices. The EIA used volume 11 of Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) and the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 to provide guidance, for completion of the assessment relating to the following topics: - Air Quality - Cultural Heritage - Landscape and Visual - Ecology and Nature Conservation - Geology and Soils - Traffic Noise and Vibration - Community and Land Use - Drainage and the Water Environment As with construction of any new road infrastructure on a previously undeveloped site, there are associated impacts. The design of the project has been developed to reduce and mitigate these impacts and increases community benefits through improvements to bus travel and increased accessibility through non-motorised user provision. Active travel is also to be encouraged through non-motorised user provision as part of the project. At present, while there is an established footpath network through the proposed project site, the quality and connections could be improved. Opportunities have been taken to protect and enhance the remaining areas of greenspace / biodiversity in addition to introducing enhanced walking and cycling routes. The introduction of sustainable urban drainage systems will also contribute to this. Opportunities are also being taken to minimise the importation of fill material to the site during construction by optimising the earthworks cut and fill quantities. Recycled materials will also be used where appropriate and the street and footpath lighting infrastructure will consist of modern LED technology. Project Delivery The UK Government launched its City Deals programme in To date, over 25 City Deals have been agreed with cities in England. Importantly, the City Deal establishes a 1.13 billion Infrastructure Fund which will be used to support 20 projects which will improve the transport network across Glasgow and the Clyde Valley; unlock key development and regeneration sites; and improve public transport. These investments will increase economic growth across Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, lever in an estimated 3.3 billion of private sector investment and create around 29,000 new jobs. Cathkin Relief Road Planning Statement Page 4

5 As well as benefiting from the overall programme of works undertaken across the Glasgow and Clyde Valley area, the four projects included within South Lanarkshire are of huge potential economic development significance for the Council area. The City Deal agreement confirms that the UK and Scottish Governments will both contribute 500 million of new capital funding over 20 years (2015 / 2016 to 2034 / 2035) to the Glasgow City Region Infrastructure Fund. This funding will be supported by a further 130 million of capital funding from local authorities across Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, including South Lanarkshire, from 2015 / 2016 to 2034 / Cathkin Relief Road is one of these projects and the cost of the project is presently estimated at 21.6 million, of which the City Deal will cover 86%, requiring the Council to contribute 14%. The project will be designed, procured and constructed by South Lanarkshire Council who will then become responsible for the operation and maintenance of the new road and associated transport infrastructure. The works will be procured through an open tendering process in line with the Councils established procurement frameworks. Conclusion For any integrated transport strategy to support sustainable economic growth, investment is required in new road infrastructure. This is in order to provide an efficient road network that provides key strategic linkages and minimises delay and congestion. Roads are not only vital for private car travel, but also for fast and efficient bus services and many essential freight journeys, in particular local freight journeys which could not be undertaken by rail. Pinch points on the network require to be minimised and road facilities require to be provided for public transport services to function efficiently. Road schemes which achieve these goals are required for a sustainable strategy, because they not only have clear economic benefits, but also benefits for the environment, for social inclusion and for safety. This project also provides the opportunity to enhance walking and cycling infrastructure along the project corridor. Consultation and understanding of the key issues arising from local stakeholders across the community has been key during the development phase of the project. Supporting documentation and assessments, such as the Traffic Modelling Report and Environmental Impact Assessment, have considered these concerns and have sought to mitigate the impacts and concerns raised. Cathkin Relief Road Planning Statement Page 5

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