Memorandum by Devon County Council (TYP
This memorandum from Devon County Council addresses
two of the areas that the Transport Sub-Committee has identified
that it wishes to explore as part of its inquiry into the 10 Year
Devon County Council's Executive Committee considered
a detailed report on the 10 Year Plan at its meeting on 6 September
2000 and it is available at www.devon.gov.uk/dcc/committee/reports/ed00246hq.html.
10 YEAR PLAN
The 10 Year Plan is the Government's strategy
for modernising the transport network and addressing the consequences
of past under-investment. At local level the delivery of the Plan
is through Local Transport Plans prepared by local authorities.
Local Transport Plans set out comprehensive
integrated transport strategies together with five-year costed
programmes of improvements for which Government funding is sought.
Devon County Council is using the funding to deliver a wide range
of integrated transport schemes and maintaining principal and
non-principal roads. Local transport plans have enabled a more
holistic and longer term approach.
Improving the availability, access and use of
public transport in both rural and urban areas is a priority identified
by both the Government in the 10 Year Plan and County Council
in its Local Transport Plan. The County Council's view is that
consistent and long-term support from Government for urban and
rural bus services is vital to provide higher quality services
at affordable fares. Government support for rural services, through
the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant is currently set only until 2004 with
no indication, at present, whether it will be continued. The Grant,
which is limited to bus services, should be extended to all forms
of rural public transport. The Countryside Agency budget is set
in the same way with a cut-off at 2004 and this is particularly
challenging for community based transport schemes.
There is a need to update the Transport Act
1985 particularly with regard to the rules governing the registration
of local bus services in order to provide more protection for
bus users from change of services by operators and also for the
new flexible/ bookable services in rural areas. Section 19 and
section 22 regarding community transport should also be changed
to allow community operators to run local bus services with paid
drivers. This is an area that the Government has promised to tackle
but there is little indication that concrete progress is being
The County Council has developed a number of
aspirations for future rail services within and to/from Devon,
including an hourly clockface timetable on the Exeter-Barnstaple
line, increased capacity on the Exeter-Exmouth line, hourly service
to London Waterloo and a local service to Honiton. Linked to this
are a series of high priority line capacity and station improvements.
Improved and reliable rail services, including better rolling
stock and enhanced capacity at Reading Station are vital to allow
more frequent services from London to the West Country.
The implementation of the 10 Year Plan will
partly be a reflection of progress with infrastructure of regional
significance. In that context, the County Council considers that
the dualling of the A30/A303 trunk road in East Devon is vital
in order to provide an alternative high quality route for long-distance
road travel to London, the south of England and the Channel Tunnel.
2. 10 YEAR PLAN
Local authorities are responsible for the achievement
of some of the outcomes and targets identified in the 10 Year
The target to "provide sufficient resources
to local authorities to halt the deterioration in the condition
of local roads by 2004 and to eliminate the backlog by the end
of the Plan period" will require sustained and long-term
investment by Government. The County Council considers that Government
should adopt a positive approach to providing additional finance
to local authorities for road maintenance where it is identified
as a priority by local authorities in their Local Public Service
Agreements as a reward for enhanced performance.
The target to triple the number of cycle trips
by 2010 compared with a 2000 base could usefully be sub-divided
into separate targets for increases in trips for different purposes:
eg work, school, shopping and leisure. This would enable a clearer
demonstration of the outcomes of local transport plans.