For the Waverley Borough Cycling
Supplementary Planning Document
Waverley Borough Council
A SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL REPORT ON THE WAVERLEY BOROUGH
CYCLING PLAN SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING DOCUMENT (SPD)
PREPARED BY WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL NOVEMBER 2004
(UPDATED APRIL 2005)
1. This report has been prepared using the draft Government Guidance
“Sustainability Appraisal of Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Development
Frameworks.” Office of the Deputy Prime Minister September (ODPM) 2004. It
is necessary for the report to accompany the Waverley Borough Cycling Plan
2005 Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), in accordance with the Town
and Country Planning (Local Development ) (England) Regulations 2004.
2. An Environmental Report has to be included as part of this document, under the
Strategic Environmental Directive (2001/42 EC) and this has been achieved by
combining the two documents, in accordance with Annexe 7 of the ODPM
3. The purpose of this Sustainability Appraisal (SA) report is to verify that the
Cycling Plan has properly taken account of sustainability objectives (see Annexe
1). The Report sets out the ways in which the Cycling Plan addresses social,
environmental and economic issues and how it deals with them. The structure of
the Report is based on the draft ODPM guidance.
4. The SA Report was originally prepared to accompany the Draft Waverley
Borough Cycling Plan during the public consultation period (November 2004 –
January 2005). Whilst most representations that were received related to the
draft plan itself, a few raised issues concerning the SA report. As a result, the SA
report has been updated to take into account issues raised at the consultation
Summary and outcomes
5. The report sets out the overriding sustainability objectives and considers them in
relation to the Aim and Objectives of the Waverley Borough Cycling Plan. The
tests show that the Objectives of the Waverley Borough Cycling Plan are
Statement on the difference the report has made
6. The original appraisal of the Draft Cycling Plan against the SA objectives
highlighted the positive role that improved facilities for cyclists, together with
improved opportunities for cycling, can play in meeting a range of social,
environmental and economic objectives. It demonstrated the important role that
the Cycling Plan can play as part of the Council‟s overall sustainability objectives.
It also demonstrated the important link between the Borough Cycling Plan and
the aims and objectives of the County Council‟s Local Transport Plan (LTP). The
original SA of the Draft Cycling Plan did not identify the need to make changes to
the plan itself.
7. The outcome of the consultation on the Draft Plan raised three issues in respect
of the Sustainability Appraisal report. Firstly, two respondents considered that an
additional „social‟ sustainability objective should be used to test the Cycling Plan,
namely the objective: - “To reduce poverty and social exclusion”. This updated
SA report tests the plan against this additional sustainability objective. Secondly,
the consultation resulted in changes to the wording of some of the cycling plan
objectives. As a result, it has been necessary to “re-test” the amended plan
objectives against the sustainability objectives. Finally, one respondent
supported the principles of the plan, but expressed concern that the SA report
was too positive in relation to certain potential effects of the plan. He made
specific reference to the potential negative impact of conflict with other users of
rights of way; and the potential negative environmental impact resulting from the
widening and surfacing of routes, together with potential light pollution from any
8. With regard to the concerns identified above, it is acknowledged that there is a
potential conflict as far as bridleways are concerned, given the potential use by
walkers, horse riders and cyclists. The Cycle Plan does not promote one solution
in terms of additional cycle provision. It identifies a range of options. It is
accepted that potential conflict already exists between different non-motorised
forms of transport and that this conflict will continue. However, the Cycle Plan
promotes safe cycling and the Cycle Forum, when considering specific schemes
would be mindful of the needs of other users. In fact, as a result of the
consultation, it is proposed that an additional Action Point be added to Objective
1 to the effect that there would be consultation with other transport users where
mixed-use routes are proposed.
9. It is accepted that if routes in the countryside are widened to facilitate cycle use
there is potential for impact on countryside character. However, the Cycle Forum
is very mindful of the need for a sensitive approach, particularly in terms of
surface treatment. Action Point 4 in support of Objective 2 already refers to the
Forum contributing to guidelines for appropriate forms of surface treatment,
especially in environmentally sensitive areas.
Approach adopted to the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Report
10. The approach adopted for the SA report has been to follow the guidance set out
in the document produced by ODPM in September 2004. The Waverley Borough
Cycling Plan has been in production since 2002, with the draft document being
completed and ready for public consultation in September 2004. However, the
work on the SA report could not properly proceed until the Government Guidance
became available in September 2004. As a result, it was not possible to carry out
the sustainability appraisal until the Draft Cycling Plan had been completed.
Given that the plan has reached the stage that it has, it has not been deemed
appropriate to carry out a scoping report for the sustainability appraisal. It was
considered instead that the original SA report should focus directly on the Draft
Cycling Plan itself.
When the Sustainability Appraisal was carried out
11. Work began on the original SA report in relation to the Cycling Plan in October
2004, following receipt of the draft guidance from ODPM. However, the collection
of baseline data for use on the various documents that will be within the Local
Development Framework for Waverley has been in progress since April 2004.
Following the consultation period, the SA report was updated to take into account
the new issues identified in paragraph 7 above. This updated version of the SA
report was completed in April 2005.
Who carried out the Sustainability Appraisal
12. The selection of the relevant SA objectives and the appraisal itself has been
prepared by officers in the Council‟s Planning and Development Department,
together with the Council‟s Sustainability Co-ordinator and Assistant from the
Environment and Leisure Department. The Sustainability Co-ordinator has acted
as a consultant, and has carried out an impartial assessment of the Aim and
Objectives of the Cycling Plan.
Who was consulted and when
13. As it was not possible to commence work on the Sustainability Appraisal itself
until a draft Cycling Plan had already been produced, it was also not possible to
carry out early stakeholder consultation on the scope of the Sustainability
Appraisal. However, the consultation on the draft cycling plan also provided the
opportunity to comment on the associated SA report.
Purpose of the SA and the SA Report
“The purpose of SA is to promote sustainable development through better
integration of sustainability considerations into the preparation and adoption
of plans.” (Sustainability Appraisal of Regional Spatial Strategies and Local
Development Frameworks. ODPM September 2004)
14. The report deals with the likely significant effects of the plan (in this case the
Waverley Borough Cycling Plan) and the extent to which implementation of the
plan will achieve the social, environmental and economic objectives by which
sustainable development can be defined.
The Aim and Objectives of the Waverley Borough Cycling Plan
15. The Cycling Plan has a single main Aim:-
“To maximise the role of cycling as transport mode in Waverley, so as to
reduce the use of private cars; to help achieve the cycle-related targets in the
Surrey Local Transport Plan, and to give real travel choice by providing
opportunities for cycling.”
16. This is supported by 11 Objectives. These are listed in the tables attached as
Annexes 2 – 4, where the Cycling Plan objectives are tested against the selected
Outline of contents of the Waverley Borough Cycling Plan
17. The Waverley Borough Cycling Plan is the product of the Waverley Cycle Forum,
which is a group comprising key stakeholders, including representatives from the
CTC and local cycling groups, officers and Member representatives from the
County and Borough Councils and representatives of the local town/parish
councils. The Cycling Plan identifies a range of cycle related objectives, each of
which is supported by specific actions in the accompanying Action Plan, which is
attached as an annexe to the plan. Additional annexes comprise maps showing
the local cycle network; maps showing the location of cycle parking in the main
centres; and a prioritised list of suggested schemes/projects, which was originally
produced by the Cycle Forum at the request of the County Highway Authority.
Compliance with the SEA Directive/Regulations
18. The objective of the SEA Directive is “to provide for a high level of protection of
the environment and to contribute to the integration of environmental
considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans and programmes with a
view to promoting sustainable development”. Directive 2001/42 EC.
19. An assessment of the draft Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes
Regulations 2004 suggests that the work and procedures carried out for the
Waverley Borough Cycling Plan comply with the Regulations and the Directive.
Sustainability objectives, baseline and context.
Identification of relevant objectives
20. 19 sustainability objectives have been identified for the Local Development
Framework based on the Integrated Regional framework, the ODPM guidance
document and the work of the Borough Council Sustainability Coordinator (see
Annexe 1). These indicators fall within three categories – Social, Environmental
and Economic. 13 of these objectives have been selected as being relevant to
the Waverley Borough Cycling Plan. They have mainly been chosen in
conjunction with the Borough Council‟s Sustainability Coordinator, with one
further sustainability objective being added as a result of the consultation. These
sustainability objectives are referred to in this report as SA objectives.
Links to other strategies, plans and programmes and sustainability objectives
21. The two documents producing sustainability objectives that have been used for
this work are:
“The Executive Summary Part of the Integrated Regional Framework 2004”
The Consultation Paper “Sustainability Appraisal of Regional Strategies and
Local Development Frameworks.” ODPM 2004.
22. Links to other Plans have been
The National Cycling Strategy (NCS)
Planning policy Guidance Note (PPG) 13
The Waverley Borough Local Plan 2002
The Surrey Structure Plan 2004 (Approved by County Council 19th October
2004, Notice of intention to adopt published 5th November 2004)
The Surrey Local Transport Plan 2001/2 to 2005/6
The Waverley Community Strategy
The Waverley Cultural Strategy
The Waverley LA21 Strategy
A description of the social, environmental and economic baseline characteristics and
predicted future baselines.
23. Waverley Borough extends to approximately 34,500 hectares and has a
population of 115,600. The Borough is mainly rural in character. The four main
settlements are Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh. These are
dispersed across the Borough. The Borough has a rich heritage. It contains 45
Conservation Areas and over 1600 Listed Buildings. 80% of the Borough is
designated as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are also a number of
sites of national and European ecological interest.
24. Being located in south-west Surrey it is an affluent area, with high levels of car
ownership. Unfortunately some areas suffer as a result of the high levels of
traffic. Particular examples are the historic town centres and villages like Bramley
and Wrecclesham, which are located on the main road network.
25. Dependence on the car is high. This is due partly to the general affluence of the
area, but also the lack of alternative travel choice, especially outside the main
urban areas. As a result, some of the main objectives in the various strategy
documents listed above relate to tackling traffic congestion, reducing dependence
on the car. Accessibility to shops, services, employment and community facilities
is another important issue. This can be addressed in part by influencing the
location of development. It can also be addressed, in part, by widening travel
26. The Waverley Borough Cycling Plan contributes to this overall strategy.
However, it is not the only means of tackling some of these issues. Therefore,
the Cycling Plan sits alongside other strategies that seek to widen travel choice
and reduce reliance on the car. This is why it is important that the Cycling Plan
and, in particular its objectives and associated actions, are linked to the wider
transportation strategy in the LTP.
27. The Borough already attracts visitors who enjoy its cultural, environmental and
recreational assets. Therefore, the Cycling Plan is also intended to promote the
positive benefits of cycling, for example as a form of exercise and as a means to
enjoy the attractive environment of the Borough, with the associated benefits of
contributing to the tourism economy
Difficulties in collecting data and the limitations of the data
28. Attached as Annexe 5 is a table setting out the specific SA objectives and the
relevant baseline data that exists. As far as possible, the baseline data that has
been selected is that which is most directly relevant. For example, in relation to
health, the data is that relating to general health as opposed to particular forms of
illness. This is because increased cycling and the exercise this provides is related
to general health issues. It is clearly impossible to identify one particular health
indicator that is directly linked to cycling alone.
29. In carrying out this appraisal it is clear that some of the baseline data that would
assist either does not exist or is only of indirect relevance. In addition, whilst
increased participation in cycling will contribute to meeting SA objectives, it will
not do this in isolation. For example, there are SA objectives that relate to
reducing pollution and safeguarding natural resources. Reducing dependence on
the car and the proportion of trips made by car will be influenced by a number of
other strategies as well as the Cycling Plan.
30. In cases where no direct evidence is available, it may be necessary to identify
mechanisms that are available to collect such data, as part of the process of
monitoring the implementation of the Cycling Plan.
The SA Framework including objectives, targets and indicators
31. Annexes 2 - 4 contain the appraisal of the 11 Objectives of the Cycling Plan
against the selected social, environmental and economic SA objectives. The
appraisal against these SA objectives identifies whether there are positive or
negative effects, or whether the impact is neutral. In some cases it has been
determined that a selected SA objective is not relevant to a particular objective of
the Cycling Plan. The results show that where an SA objective is relevant, the
appraisal against the individual Cycling Plan objectives reveals a positive effect.
This is identified in the table with a +. Where there is a particularly strong
compliance with the SA objective it is identified with a ++.
32. No negative impacts were identified, although in the cases where a „Neutral‟
impact was identified, it was recognised that the impact could be positive, and
potentially there could also be a negative effect.
Main social environmental and economic issues and problems identified
33. Testing the objectives of the Cycling Plan against selected sustainability
objectives revealed the following sustainable benefits resulting from the Plan:
32. Social – the Plan‟s objectives seek to encourage more people to cycle, such as
through improved routes and Safe Routes to Schools initiatives for school
children, thereby contributing to efforts to improve the health of the population. It
may also contribute to improving road safety and environmental awareness,
particularly for young people, for example, through the provision of relevant
training and education. In terms of crime, improvements in the security of cycle
parking facilities should help to reduce opportunities for cycle theft. Security is
also a factor in the consideration of new cycle routes. The Plan‟s objectives may
also contribute to improving the satisfaction of local people with their
neighbourhood as a place to live, such as by providing safe passage for children
to cycle and by reducing school traffic. The existence of a good cycle network will
also improve accessibility to services and facilities. Promoting cycling will also
contribute to meeting the SA objective of reducing poverty and social exclusion.
This is because cycling is a relatively cheap form of transport and provides a
transport option for those in the community (such as the young) who are either
unable to afford a car or too young to drive.
33. Environmental – the objectives of the Cycling Plan have excellent associated
environmental benefits, particularly with regard to preventing and controlling
pollution and reducing fossil fuel consumption. This results from the provision of
more opportunities to cycle. This helps to widen travel choice and reduce the
need to make journeys by car.
34. Economic – the Plan‟s objectives also produced several positive economic
benefits, in particular the reduction in traffic congestion resulting from less people
driving and more people cycling to work and school as a result of Cycle Plan
objectives, such as improved cycle routes and cycle parking. The Cycle Plan
objectives may also contribute to the development of a sustainable tourism sector
in the Borough, encouraging more visitors, including local people, to explore
Waverley‟s countryside by bicycle.
35.Only two issues were originally identified where there is the potential for any
36. Firstly, fear of crime issues could arise if cycle routes are in isolated areas and/or
away from roads.
37. Secondly, one of the objectives in the Draft Cycling Plan is to exploit the potential
for recreational and tourist cycling in Waverley‟s countryside. This has been
considered against the SA objective of maintaining and enhancing the quality of
landscapes and townscapes. The potential effect would only be negative if there
was excessive cycle use in specific locations that was of such a level that it
adversely affected the character/quality of the landscape.
38. As explained above, one respondent to the consultation on the plan expressed
concern about the potential negative effects in relation to the possible conflict
between cyclists and other users of rights of way; and in relation to the
environmental impact of countryside routes that are widened. These are valid
concerns, but it is considered that with the mitigation described above (see
paragraphs 8 and 9 above).
Proposed mitigation measures
38. In relation to the first two issues identified above, the monitoring and updating of
the Action Plan should take into account the potential for these negative impacts
to arise and may need to be amended accordingly. In relation to the points raised
at the consultation stage, the measures in the amended Action Plan provide
Main strategic options and how they were identified
39. The Cycling Plan does not set out different options. At the time when the plan
was drafted, there was not a requirement to specifically identify and consider
alternative options. However, during the consideration of the emerging document
by the Cycling Forum, options were considered informally (see the associated
Consultation Statement). It is not possible, therefore, to undertake a
Sustainability Appraisal against identified options. However, it is possible to
consider the Cycling Plan against the „do nothing‟ option. This involves
considering the selected SA objectives and asking what effect these would have
if the Council did not have this specific guidance on cycling. It is not considered
that the Council would have regarded this to be a more sustainable option for the
1. Although there would still have been general guidance encouraging cycling in
existing policy documents, there would not have been the focus that there is
in the Cycling Plan with its range of objectives and the specific actions
identified under each option;
2. There would not have been such a clear opportunity to raise the profile of
cycling as a healthy and sustainable travel option;
3. In considering planning applications it would not have been as easy to identify
cycling issues or to secure planning benefits related to improved cycling
4. It would have been more difficult to highlight cycling priorities that the County
Council needs to address in its LTP.
40. The Cycling Plan is not, in itself, a policy document. However, it does set out a
very clear set of objectives and an Action Plan to support the delivery of these.
The document is to be adopted as SPD under the new arrangements for
producing LDFs. In the short term, pending the completion of the Council‟s Core
Strategy and other Local Development Documents, the main point of reference is
the existing policies in the Surrey Structure Plan (approved 19th October 2004)
and the Waverley Borough Local Plan 2002, (namely Structure Plan policies
DN2, DN3 and DN5, and Local Plan policies M5, M6 and M7).
Uncertainties and risks
41. The Cycling Plan sits alongside a broad range of measures designed to reduce
dependency on the car and provide real travel choice. The potential uncertainties
arise from the fact that, when assessed against some of the SA objectives, it will
be difficult to identify to what extent the Cycling Plan itself has made the
difference, or whether any positive outcomes result from other strategies.
Moreover, given the rural nature of much of the Borough, it is possible that even if
provision for cycling is improved (i.e. more routes, improved maintenance, more
cycle parking provision etc.) it does not necessarily follow that this improvement
in choice of travel mode will result in a modal shift away from car use.
Proposals for monitoring
42. It is intended that the Action Plan and its associated maps will be reviewed
annually by the Cycle Forum, and updated/amended as necessary. The Cycle
Forum will also keep under review its prioritised list of suggested
schemes/projects. The LTP contains cycling targets and the County Council has
its own arrangements for monitoring these. The Council will also monitor the
effectiveness of the Cycling Plan through the annual monitoring of the Local