Item 6

Report to the

Date: 15 July 2008

Report by: Keith Willcox

tel: 01962 846997 email: keith.willcox @hants.gov.uk

Subject: South Hampshire Multi Area Agreement

Purpose of the Report

The Joint Committee has previously considered reports on the development of a Mulit Area Agreement with Government, including transport as a key element. Officers have worked up a transport outcome based upon the relationship with the Highways Agency and this was submitted to Government in June.

This report seeks endorsement of the submitted South Hampshire Agreement and seeks approval to work up a further series of outcomes with the potential to secure improvements in public transport delivery in a further Agreement to be submitted in the autumn.

Recommendations

1. That the Multi Area Agreement submitted in respect of the relationship with the Highways Agency be noted.

2. That a further Agreement be worked up with outcomes that involve working with transport providers to deliver improved public transport services.

Introduction

1. At its meeting on 14 April, the Joint Committee gave approval in principle to the submission of a transport element of the South Hampshire Multi Area Agreement (MAA), containing a number of potential outcomes and enabling measures, and gave approval to officers to conclude negotiations, in consultation with the Chairman.

2. Since the meeting, the long list of potential enabling measures has been modified, reflecting guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), concerns raised by the bus operators and subsequent discussions with the Highways Agency and Department for Transport (DfT) officials. The enabling measures were refined to build upon the good working relationship with the Highways Agency and deliver a set of proposals quickly in time for the June target date. The submitted document focuses on creating a sustainable policy framework for highways interventions to support development and overcome transport constraints on economic growth. It should provide a balanced approach to development and traffic management.

3. This report describes the MAA submitted for Government approval and highlights possible public transport improvements that will be worked up, in close consultation with network operators and Government officials, for submission in the autumn.

The Agreement

4. The submitted MAA, the `South Hampshire Agreement' contains a section on transport, which is attached as an appendix to this report. The Outcome and Enabling Measures have been the subject of extensive dialogue with officials from the Highways Agency, the DfT and the Government Office for the South East. Following discussions with DCLG, it was decided to concentrate in the first submission on a deliverable series of measures that would build upon the existing relationship with the Highways Agency and return later in the year to consider how best to secure public transport improvements through the MAA route.

5. The Agreement now with Government contains the following transport outcome and associated enabling measures.

6. It is intended that the Memorandum of Understanding will be prepared, allowing for a flexible approach to be adopted by both parties to address the impacts of development upon the strategic and local road networks in the planning process. This will take account of the guidelines that allow for travel demand to be managed through the Reduce, Manage and Invest approach without proscribing development proposals through the development planning process.

Future Proposals

7. In consultation with bus and rail industry partners, suitable measures will be sought that allow for improvements to public transport facilities that are currently beyond the reach of the local transport authorities. These might include seeking a new approach to securing improved bus and rail services for South Hampshire and relaxing some of the restrictions that are imposed by Government regulations.

8. These measures will be developed in close consultation with the South Hampshire Bus Operators' Association, the Bus and Taxi Division of DfT, Network Rail, the Rail directorate of DfT and the relevant train operating companies.

9. The timescale for the delivery of the next phase of the South Hampshire Agreement is autumn 2008. A report will be presented to the next meeting of the Joint Committee outlining the public transport provisions of this next Agreement.

Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers

 

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

 

NB the list excludes:

 

1.

Published works.

 

2.

Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.

TITLE

LOCATION

Multi Area Agreement papers

TfSH file 115

1717Rpt/KW

APPENDIX

· Transport infrastructure

1.1 Effective transport is one of the preconditions for economic growth in South Hampshire. The sub-region has many strengths in transport terms: a network of strategic roads, good rail links to London and the rest of the South East, an expanding airport and two thriving ports dealing with both commercial and passenger traffic. But we have complex journey to work patterns that reflect the multi-centred geography of South Hampshire and significant congestion issues.

1.2 One of the most pressing challenges is the impact of the continued underlying growth in traffic, year on year, particularly when coupled with congestion and the environmental degradation associated with it.

1.3 Against the requirement for growth, demand for mobility continues to increase and considerable pressures are being exerted on our transport systems. Roads are getting busier, congestion on the trunk road network is now a daily occurrence, while demand for rail travel has increased beyond expectations and there are now capacity constraints on further growth. At the same time, plans for expanded activity at Southampton International Airport and very large growth in port activity, particularly at Southampton, are compounding the challenges. Transport solutions are needed that result in reliable journeys for both passengers and freight, but which also attempt to balance the diverse current and future demands against economic and environmental objectives. Transport will be a key consideration in PUSH's climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy.

1.4 The Government's recent discussion paper `Towards a Sustainable Transport System', which pulls together the Stern Review with its challenge to cut emissions of CO2 and the Eddington Report1 with its links between transport and economic vitality, has formed the framework we have used to guide our future transport investment proposals. The Government's five goals are to:

1.5 These goals are entirely consistent with the aspirations of Transport for South Hampshire (TfSH), PUSH's partner in delivering transport improvements2. We know that, as with other growing areas in England, the continued growth in car traffic is unsustainable and that we cannot build our way out of trouble by constructing more roads. TfSH's strategy is therefore to seek to reduce the demand for car travel, manage existing transport provision better, and invest in a targeted way in those projects that deliver most in support of PUSH's economic objectives and adequately serve new development.

1.6 Details of the actions to deliver these objectives are contained in Chapter 3 and Appendix 3 to the PUSH Business Plan. A fuller exposition of proposals for delivering the strategic transport objectives for South Hampshire is set out in the Statement "Towards Delivery" published by Transport for South Hampshire on 14th April 2008.

1.7 Whilst action on all modes is critical in developing the right environment to tackle the challenges of growth - and the TfSH strategy addresses these - Outcome 5 concentrates on the Highways aspect for the initial submission in June. Outcomes to tackle rail, bus and other transport elements are planned to follow in future development of the MAA over the coming months. The reason for according priority to Outcome 5 in the first MAA submission is two-fold. First, the good existing relationship with the Highways Agency (HA) offers the best base upon which to build proposals quickly to meet the June target for this Agreement. Second, early attention to this Outcome accords with the priority PUSH and TfSH are giving to ensuring that sustainable solutions are in place to support strategic developments3, which have long lead times.

OUTCOME 6 : SUSTAINABLE HIGHWAYS INTERVENTIONS

Deliver sustainable highway interventions to support development and overcome transport constraints on economic growth, including projected increases in congestion, poor accessibility to key development areas and deteriorating journey time reliability4.

1.8 In this first Agreement, we are focusing on creating a sustainable policy framework for highways interventions to support development and overcome transport constraints on economic growth.

1.9 Action is needed to clarify the relationship with the HA, in order to provide a basis to consider the impacts of development in the sub-region. In this context, the new partnership would enable a balance to be struck between securing growth and managing traffic, and between the impacts on the strategic road network and local roads. Our intention would be to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding to set out a common framework for the new and deeper relationship described above.

1.10 We propose three complementary measures which are all high priorities for action:

1.11 By working more closely with the HA, to consider together the impacts of development and appropriate interventions on the strategic and local road networks together, we will be better placed to address the impacts of planned growth.

1.12 Typically, increased traffic is an inevitable consequence of economic and housing growth. This carries with it, in the short term, potential for increased congestion, poor accessibility to key development areas and deteriorating journey time reliability. However, over the long time horizon of the SHSRS, and with the right investment in measures across all three elements of TfSH's "reduce-manage-invest" approach, sustainable solutions will address these impacts. For instance, TfSH propose a package of measures to reduce the need to travel and better management of transport networks, including improved public transport, park and ride, traffic management and information systems. An expression of interest has been submitted for Community Infrastructure Funding to support the first phase of a Bus Rapid Transit system in South East Hampshire.

1.13 In particular, additional development is bound to impact upon the M3, M27 and M275 which are already categorised as stressed parts of the motorway network, as well as on other principal roads. TfSH plans further to develop a robust evidence base to help evaluate the impact of a range of transport interventions: it seeks a partnership with Government both to develop the evidence base and to identify and deliver transport and other measures to deal with the impacts of planned growth. We will build upon the existing strong relationship with the HA to ensure that the energetic pursuit of shared objectives for sustainable transport networks is accompanied by realism about the short-term impacts of growth.

Enabling Measure 5: Development of the Department for Transport and HA relationship with Transport for South Hampshire to facilitate a balanced approach to the delivery of the sub-regional strategy, and management of the South Hampshire highway network as a whole to achieve economic growth and manage journey time reliability. This to be achieved by:-

· developing a formal Memorandum of Understanding as a framework within which the parties will operate and develop their approaches;

· working together on a pilot to improve the operation of the local and national highways network, including Active Traffic Management on the M3 and M27;

· working together on the establishment of a robust and comprehensive sub-regional evidence Base.

1.14 Memorandum of Understanding. National programmes need to take greater account of the need to help remove barriers to economic growth, such as proposed in South Hampshire. The HA has entered into a Public Service Agreement with the Department for Transport to improve reliability on the trunk road network. Traffic growth and development in the South Hampshire sub-region will inevitably have an effect on the Strategic Road Network in this area, as well as on local roads. It is in the interests of the HA and the sub-region to develop a joint transport strategy to deliver the best solution. This solution should not be unduly constrained by a policy approach built on the DSO requirement specifically applied to the strategic road network in isolation. Journey time reliability considerations should apply to the local road network as well as the motorways in South Hampshire. We therefore ask Government's agreement to developing a formal Memorandum of Understanding as a framework within which the relevant parties can work together.

1.15 Active Traffic Management Pilot. Following the publication of the Advanced Motorway Signalling and Traffic Management Feasibility Study the Highways Agency is examining in detail where hard shoulder running, and other aspects of active traffic management, should be implemented more widely to ease congestion and improve reliability on the network. One of the areas highlighted in the feasibility study as a location where hard shoulder running could represent a high value solution was parts of the M3 and M27 in South Hampshire. The local highway authorities would wish to play a full part in the examination of hard shoulder running and active traffic management as an option to tackle congestion and journey unreliability on the M3 and M27. Also joint working to establish the impact and potential for area-wide traffic management as an instrument for influencing travel behaviour and optimising overall network operation on the local as well as strategic networks..

1.16 Sub-regional evidence base. TfSH seeks a joint commitment with Government transport agencies to develop the evidence base for the sub-region to help deliver the essential interventions to accommodate the economic growth planned in the SHSRS. TfSH and the HA will continue to work together to progress working solutions for both local networks and the regional/strategic networks, with an emphasis on delivering economic development and a pragmatic and practical approach to limiting and managing its impact on transport networks.

1.17 The proposed timetable for implementing these actions is as follows:

Component

Actions

Deadline

a) Developing a formal Memorandum of Understanding as a framework within which the parties will operate & develop their approaches

1) Establish core group to develop Memorandum of Understanding comprising DfT/GOSE/HA/TfSH

End June

2) Meeting of core group

End July

3) Draft Memorandum of Understanding

End August

4) Final Draft Memorandum of Understanding

Mid September

5) Sign off

End September

b) Working together on a pilot to improve the operation of the local & national highways network, including Active Traffic Management on the M3 & M27

1) Meeting DfT/HA/TfSH to establish terms of reference, roles, outcomes & programme

End July

c) Working together on the establishment of a robust & comprehensive sub-regional evidence base

1) TfSH to produce position paper by 27/06

27 June

2) Meeting TfSH/DfT on 27/06

27 June

3) Establish a protocol to share data

End July

1.18 This closer working relationship with the HA would add a new dimension to delivering the sub-regional strategy in South Hampshire, both by reducing the risk to LDF adoption (and thus supporting delivery of PSA 20 and CLG's Departmental Strategic Objective 5) and assisting the delivery of development to support economic growth. The TfSH authorities' engagement with a pilot scheme for Managed Motorways as part of the package of interventions in the South Hampshire strategy will be supplemented by a package of Reduce and Manage measures to minimise the impacts of additional traffic on the South Hampshire road network as far as possible.

1.19 The enabling measure would strengthen the existing partnership to deliver a cohesive well run network without the imbalance of a targeted constraint on part of the network within the sub-region. The implication of not agreeing to the request could be that an imbalance between congestion and journey time reliability on the local network and strategic network could create an economic disadvantage in the region, and fail to optimise overall highway network operation in South Hampshire.

1.20 All of the PUSH planning authorities have already completed the Issues and Options stage of their Local Development Framework (LDF), and the majority plan to submit their Core Strategies to the Secretary of State during the current year. Clearly, partnership working should reduce the risk of these LDF documents being found unsound on the basis of objections regarding the adequacy of transport infrastructure.

1 HM Treasury (December 2006) The Eddington Transport Study.

2 Transport for South Hampshire (TfSH) is a delivery agency comprising the three strategic transport authorities in South Hampshire - Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council, together with a wide range of transport stakeholders.

3 In particular, the Strategic Development Areas North of Fareham and North/North-East of Hedge End, and the South Hampshire Strategic Employment Zone (SHSEZ).

4 PUSH Business Plan, Appendix 3a, TI1