Agenda item

Questions asked by members under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).


The following questions were received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5) and were put to the Chairman of the Highways and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Questions asked by Mr. Hunt CC


“Following the development of the County Council’s latest Cycling & Walking Strategy, I note that three particular documents cited in the document are badly in need of updating to meet the Government’s latest guidance (including Gear Change and LTN Infrastructure 20/1).

These are:

·       Leicestershire Highway Design Guide (Interim edition)

·       LCC Rights of Way Improvement Plan (2011-2016)

·       LCC Guidance notes on Development and Public Rights of Way (2011)


Without updating these documents we are frustrating the aims of the Strategy and limiting the powers of Local Planning Authorities in the County.








1)          When can we expect to see the revised version of these three key policies?


2)          LTP3 (1.4) says “we want to measure what these [School and Workplace Travel Plans] actually deliver – i.e. the actual changes in travel behaviour that result from these travel plans being in place”. Have these travel plans been evaluated in this way and what place do the school and workplace travel plans occupy, if any, in the Loughborough Area CWIS?


3)          What increase in active travel is expected of the Loughborough Area CWIS, assuming the funds become available.


4)          According to the 2011 Census figures drawn from the recommended propensity app, the percentages of journeys to work by cycling or walking in the Loughborough Area are approximately Shepshed 25%, Quorn 20%, Outer Loughborough 31% and Inner Loughborough 52%. (The respective figures for cycling alone are only 3.7%, 3.0%, 6.2% and 7.0%); what are the particular measures to boost the take up in these areas?


5)          The Cycling and Walking Strategy, agreed by the Cabinet, states that Leicestershire County Council is committed to increase levels of active travel in the county and is setting ambitious targets to meet the challenges of improving public health, air quality and congestion and have targets to increase cycling and walking stated in. What are the base lines for these 10 year targets and can they be broken down by area?”


Reply by the Chairman:


“1)    All three documents in question are in the process of being updated or scheduled to progress soon, with expected completion dates as detailed below.


·       The updating of the Leicestershire Highway Design Guide (LHDG) is well underway and is expected to be complete by Spring 2024, subject to public consultation feedback.


·       The project to update the Rights of Way Improvement Plan (RoWIP) is currently expected to begin in September this financial year 2023/24, with the expectation for it to be completed in 2024/25. The RoWIP update project will include several engagement activities seeking views from all key stakeholders to inform its development.


·       The guidance notes on Development and Public Rights of Way (2011) is to be included in the updated LHDG, which is expected to be complete by Spring 2024, subject to public consultation feedback.


2)          At the end of each academic year, the Choose How You Move (CHYM) Schools’ programme is evaluated to understand the impact of the behaviour change measures that have been implemented. In addition, we carry out an annual countywide school travel survey and for this year it will be carried out during October. Workplace and school travel plans are a key part of the Cycling and Walking Strategy and Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plans. There are several actions within the Strategy under the Encouraging and Enabling Theme which contribute towards the development of travel plans. All schools and businesses can access the Modeshift Stars Travel Plan system free of charge and we also have funding for one business and one school from each district to receive direct support from LCC on their travel plan work.  Free resources are also available on the CHYM website including an application form to apply for Active Travel Grants.


3)          Utilising the Active Travel England toolkit, the estimate average increase in active travel trips across all LCWIP active travel improvement schemes in the first 10-year pipeline, assuming the improvement schemes were in place, is approximately 21% for cycling and 53% for walking.


4)          The figures referenced do not match the 2011 Census data used in the development of the Loughborough Area LCWIP. Table below shows that cycling and walking make up 40.5%, 23% and 19.4% of internal trips from Loughborough, Shepshed and Quorn, respectively. For reference, the respective figures for cycling alone are 10.0%, 6.1%, and 6.4%. These figures have been derived from the Census table ‘WU03EW - Location of usual residence and place of work by method of travel to work (MSOA level)’ using only the output areas that fall within the study area.


Journey to Work: Modal Split of Internal Trips


% of Journeys




Car (driver or Passenger)





















Regards the measures to improve take up of active travel; The proposed 10-year pipeline of improvement schemes is set out in the DRAFT Loughborough Area LCWIP which can currently be accessed on the Council engagement ‘Have Your Say’ page:


These and other schemes may come forward through development obligation or Section 106 funding, or wider highway infrastructure scheme programmes or funding secure from Active Travel England/other Government funding sources. Ongoing CHYM programmes will support the LCWIP as a whole. The level and type of programmes delivered are determined by the level of funding available and identified opportunities to encourage and enable our communities to travel actively more often. Current CHYM programmes can be accessed here:



5)          The Cycling and Walking Strategy (CaWS) objectives are aligned to those of the Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS), with the initial three CaWS targets also being aligned to help deliver the CWIS targets. These initial CaWS targets were set in the absence of detailed local data baselines for active travel. The majority of existing data is from national studies at a less granular level and sample size, i.e., the National Travel Survey. To provide more granular local data, we are investing in a network of all-mode camera counters in our LCWIP areas to enable the collection of anonymous data for active travel trips, not only to set a baseline, but also to measure future changes. No baseline has been set yet, as 12 months’ worth of data is being collected from the first camera counters. Once the first year’s data is analysed, officers will be in a position to set the baseline.


Future annual active travel reports based on the annual collected data will detail the changing active travel trips recorded for each LCWIP area. This data will go on to help inform future CaWS targets.”


Mr. Hunt asked the following supplementary questions:


“A.    Supplementary to the response to question 2, the “actual changes” in travel behaviour currently seem very marginal at best, are CaWS and the LCWIS programme expecting to strengthen travel plans if they are to be influential in driving the improvement programme?


B.     Supplementary to the response to question 3, what are the baselines of these Increases of 21% and 53% over 10 years, and how do these relate to the ATE’s target of reaching 50% of short journeys.


C.     Supplementary to the response to question 4, could you explain why Table 9.2 of the Loughborough CWIS gives entirely different figures from the above, for example 82% travel by car to work but 53% (including passengers) in the figures quoted in your response?  And could you provide comparative figures for walking and cycling inner and outer areas of Loughborough which are bound to differ significantly and are likely impact on the outcomes of improvements?


D.     Supplementary to the response for question 5, the Cabinet agreed to these percentage increases in cycling and walking in the CaWS without knowing the baseline, but do we have a target for total short journeys by a given date or something else more measurable?”


At the invitation of the Chairman, the Director of Environment and Transport indicated that this information would be provided to Mr. M. Hunt after the meeting.


[Subsequent to the meeting a response was provided to Mr. Hunt as follows]:


A.    Travel Plans play a key role with the CaWS and LCWIP. We will work with schools and businesses as part of the CHYM programme to develop travel plans in line with the clear vision and priorities for cycling and walking improvements. Data collected through any travel plans developed in the LCWIP areas will be fed back into the monitoring and evaluation process.


B.    The without-scheme weekday trips assumed (baseline) varies significantly across the improvement schemes. For instance, the minimum cycling trips without the intervention is 34 (for Scheme 8) and the maximum is 1522 (for Scheme 4B). The total assumed trips across all LCWIP active travel improvement schemes is 5,415 for walking and 11,774 for cycling, and the average is 271 for walking and 589 for cycling; see the two ‘without scheme’ columns highlighted below in Table 7.2, taken from page 85 of the LCWIP.



Assuming funding is secured to deliver the schemes, and estimates are achieved, the increases in cycling and walking in the LCWIP area will contribute toward achieving the Government’s/ATE’s CWIS2 Objective to ‘Increase the percentage of short journeys in towns and cities that are walked or cycled to 50% in 2030….’.    


The Government/ATE use the National Travel Survey (NTS) to measure progress against this objective, using a metric of ‘trips of less than 5 miles’ to define ‘short journeys in towns and cities’. Therefore, the actual percentage contribution that these schemes in one LCWIP area would make to this national objective would depend on the sample size and location of residents who take part in the NTS, as that is the data that would be included in the calculation undertaken by the Government (i.e., data based on the NTS results for the area, at the relevant future year it was undertaken).


However, as part of any improvement schemes delivered the intention is for the Council to undertake monitoring and evaluation, pre and post scheme implementation, to enable a more directly related percentage change in active travel to be calculated as a result of the scheme, providing a more granular and locally meaningful picture of the positive outcomes for local communities.



C.    (It is assumed the question relates to Table 9.1 in the Loughborough area LCWIP). Table 9.1 shows data taken recently from the new multimodal counters installed in the area and relates to 2022-23 counts. The figures from the previous response came from the 2011 Census data, which would explain the disparity.


Nevertheless, the two tables are not directly comparable as the study work separated out the study area into Loughborough, Shepshed and Quorn, whereas Table 9.1 represents the LCWIP area in its entirety.


2011 Census data has been analysed to establish journey to work travel patterns, based on the Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs) in the study area. It would not be possible for officers to separate this out into ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ Loughborough due to the size of the output areas (see map below). Assuming that the town centre zone would make up the inner area, it spans over three large MSOAs so the data would not be specific to that inner area.




D.    There currently is not a specifically defined ‘short journey’ target set in the CaWS. However, ‘short journeys’ are encompassed in wider targets.


The Government annual data ‘baselines’ established at the time of the CaWS development are based on the NTS and Active Lives Survey and offer granularity at County and district level. This data is published annually by the DfT on their website.  Work is being undertaken to establish more local active travel trip data baselines to measure future progress against with greater granularity, which will include analysing a wide variety of data including that taken from the new multimodal counters installed in LCWIP areas.


Supporting documents: