The Cabinet was provided with an update on the refresh of the Solihull Connected transport strategy and asked to approve a public consultation on the draft document.
Members were advised that three options had been considered do nothing, review/refresh or develop an entirely new strategy. A ‘refreshed’ Solihull Connected remained the preferred option, as the principles, objectives and structure of the current document remained valid within the context of recently issued advice and guidance.
The adopted 2016 Solihull Connected provided a transport strategy that acknowledged the importance of providing a more balanced multi-modal approach to movement. However, increased emphasis needed to be given within the document towards the promotion and priority of active travel and public transport modes, which would be delivered through the development of a Public Transport Vision and greater embedding of the principles of the recently adopted Cycling & Walking Strategy.
Solihull Connected 2016 also highlighted that a different approach should be taken to policy and infrastructure delivery in different areas of the borough, to consider the variation in demography and geography across Solihull. It currently included six area strategies. The principle of having area strategies that were tailored to different parts of the borough was still considered to be sound; however, it was proposed that these area strategies be complemented by Town / Local Centre Access Strategies, which would translate the policy and principles of access into specific measures for implementation in such centres.
Members welcomed the Strategy and supported the principles which lay behind the Strategy. A number of points of clarification were sought which Officers responded to.
(i) That the commencement of a public consultation on the Draft Transport Strategy, and supporting documentation, in accordance with the approach set out in paragraphs 3.37 to 3.41 of the report be approved; and
(ii) That it be agreed that delegated authority be given to the Director of Economy and Infrastructure, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to make any necessary changes to the Draft Strategy, and / or supporting documentation, prior to commencement of the consultation.