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Pavements are for People Policy

This policy sets out how we will design, manage and maintain our pathways to make sure they are safe for all users.

1.      Background

A Pavements for People Policy was produced for the Authority some years ago, which contained a significant amount of relevant guidance and information on standards. A working group was set up in 2009 to provide an updated version. As the group progressed, it became clear that a new policy was required with dedicated guidance that could be updated as and when required.

2.     Introduction

2.1 In the context of this policy pavement means paved footpaths, footways and shared use surfaces that are the responsibility of the Authority.

2.2 The purpose of the policy is to:

  • set general standards to ensure safe usage for all users of pavements (where practicable)
  • provide a framework, principles, best practice and standards (attached to legislation) that will guide the design, management and maintenance of pavements.

2.3 The policy has been developed in conjunction with:

  • Swansea Access for Everyone (SAFE)
  • Member Champion for Equality
  • The following service areas:
                    - Streetscene
                    - Transportation
                    - Planning
                    - Parks
                    - Performance and Strategic Projects.

3. Principles

3.1 Pavements are used by a diverse range of people with different needs and requirements which need to be respected.

3.2 Meet as far as is possible best practice and legislative requirements.

3.3 The appearance of a pavement is an integral factor in the quality and character of a place.

3.4 Endeavour to ensure that everyone can use our pavements by removing obstacles that cause hazards and designing the layout and selecting street furniture to prevent them from causing a hazard.

3.5 To consult and engage during the process of preparing the guidance documents including local design principles by adhering to the principles and guidance laid out in the Council's Consultation Strategy.

4. Objectives

4.1 To provide a framework that recognises the needs of all users of pavements that is achievable and practicable.

4.2 The areas covered by the policy through its guidance will include minimum standards, statutory requirements eg access widths, alignment of street furniture, width and height and street textures.

4.3 To produce and agree local and service standards that will be best practice and implemented by relevant service areas.

4.4 To strengthen other initiatives and strategies in particular:

  • Safer Routes to Communities and encouraging people to walk
  • Improving Swansea's tourism industry and regeneration
  • Supporting safe and secure environments including community cohesion.

5. Legislation

5.1 The primary legislation for this policy is as follows:

  • Highways Act 1980
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Traffic Management Act 2004
  • New Roads and Street Works Act 1991

5.2 The policy also relates to the following Council Schemes and Policies;

  • Regional and national transport plans
  • Walking and Cycling Action Plan for Wales 2009-13 (Welsh Government)
  • Unitary Development Plan
  • Local Development Plan
  • Equality & Diversity Scheme 2009-12 
  • Sustainability Policy.

6. Monitoring and review:

  • The Policy and Actions will be reviewed one year after adoption and every three years thereafter.
  • The guidance developed in the action plan will be reviewed and amended as standards or legislation change.

7. Actions:

7.1 Develop or review Council guidance including enforcement procedures in the following areas by the first year review:

a) Accessible Design (Planning)

b) Obstruction caused by trade waste (Streetscene)

c) Obstruction caused by signs on the highway (Streetscene)

d) Enforcement on pavement parking (Transportation)

e) Licensing on pavements (Streetscene)

f) Shared use of pavements (Transportation)

7.2 Promote the policy to ensure awareness of the policy and associated guidance, standards and best practice.


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