Environment and Transport – A Summary
Information about environment and transport can be found in the sections below.
Environment and Transport
Protecting and enhancing the cityʼs environment is integral to Wolverhamptonʼs future success – making it not only a more attractive place to be, but also helping to improve economic, health and social outcomes. Wolverhamptonʼs environment impacts on all those living, working or visiting the city and everyone has a responsibility to invest in the environment so that it is maintained for future generations. Evidence is mounting that increasing greenhouse gas emissions are causing a rapid rise in global temperatures and the effects of this are likely to be felt both now and in the future. It is therefore a fundamental challenge for Wolverhampton to secure a sustainable future by significantly reducing CO2 emissions, becoming a low carbon economy and by ensuring we are well adapted to the unavoidable effects of climate change.
CO2 – Energy use in the home is a major contributor to climate change. If all houses in the city were fully insulated (excluding those without cavity walls), had double glazing and draught proofing, the cityʼs CO2 emissions would be reduced by over 626,000 tonnes every year.
The Council will be expected to meet significant carbon savings as part of the overall UK requirement under the EU Commission requirements to reduce emissions by 15% by 2020. These requirements to lower emissions, save money, create jobs and prosperity for the city will not only complement each other, but by working towards each aspiration in a unified way will actually strengthen each part and maximise the potential for delivery.
Estimates of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions from local authority operations, or NI185 was adopted as part of the Council’s LAA in 2008-09 and required targets to be set for reducing its emissions up until March 2011. This National Indicator requires the collation of energy and fuel data across the Council’s buildings and fleet. A target of 2% year on year CO2 reductions was decided upon starting from a baseline of 74,586t CO2 for 2008/09.
Affordable Warmth – This is a major issue for households on low incomes, with many not able to afford to heat their homes adequately in the winter. This puts older residents and other vulnerable people, including children, at risk. Over 25% of residents in Wolverhampton are at risk of fuel poverty. The definition of fuel poverty is a household where people spend 10% or more of their income on fuel. In Wolverhampton, the % of households defined as being in fuel poverty (10% measure) in 2011 was 18.2%. Wolverhampton City Council will target households with low energy ratings (or, Standard Assessment Procedure) for energy efficiency measures (e.g. insulation and upgraded central heating) as a way of tackling fuel poverty. Houses are rated from 0 – 100, with 0 being very inefficient and 100 being highly efficient.
Disposal of Household Waste – Local Authorities are responsible for managing, collecting and disposing much of the UK’s waste material. Each year we set targets for the percentage of waste recycled in Wolverhampton. For 2010/11 our target was to recycle 35.57% of the city’s waste. We successfully exceeded this target and achieved 36.05%. For 2011/12, our target is to recycle 38.24% of waste. The table also shows that Wolverhampton is the second-best performing Black Country local authority, after Walsall. Although Wolverhampton’s performance is good within a Black Country context, the recycling rate in Wolverhampton was 4 percentage points lower than the England average for the 09/10 financial year.
Fly tipping – The Council receives around 2800 reports a year of fly tipping on council and private land. Each case is investigated to establish if there is evidence of the offenders. Where satisfactory evidence is obtained the Council prosecutes. In 2012 there were 9 prosecutions and 7 warnings issued for waste duty of care offences. These are where waste producers (commercial and domestic) have not taken sufficient measures to ensure that their waste is properly disposed of.
Rights of Way – Wolverhampton was given city status in 2000 and is located on the northwest of the metropolitan West Midlands which is the tenth largest conurbation in Europe. At just six miles across and with a quarter of a million residents, it is a densely populated and highly urbanised area. Despite being a very built-up city, Wolverhampton has around 75 kilometres of public rights of way. These are mostly footpaths, with a few bridleways and cycle paths. They are a key part of the highway network in Wolverhampton. Wolverhampton City Council has a duty, as highway authority, to maintain rights of way for the benefit of all highway users. The network comprises 521 footpaths, 17 bridleways, 5 cycle paths and one BOAT (byway open to all traffic). The majority of the footpaths are surfaced with tarmac or concrete slabs and could best be described as ‘alleyways’; very different from the typical image of a public footpath in a rural setting.
Building for Life – Is a criteria which is a Government endorsed assessment benchmark developed by CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment). Each housing development is awarded a score out of 20, based on the proportion of Building for Life questions that are answered positively to show the level of quality in new housing development. The indicator relates to the number and proportion of total new build completions on housing sites reaching very good, good, average and poor ratings against the Building for Life criteria. Only new build housing sites of 10 or more dwellings are assessed, including phases of large developments.
2009/10 – number of dwellings scoring good or very good = 66%.
2009/10 – number of dwellings scoring poor = 0%.
Sites of Importance for Local Nature Conservation – A relatively small proportion of Wolverhampton is designated as a SINC or SLINC (collectively known as Local Sites) compared with other West Midlands local authorities. A full list of the Local Sites in Wolverhampton is provided in the UDP (June 2006) and shown on the UDP Proposals Map. These sites are subject to development pressure and the aim is to ensure there is no net loss of biodiversity resource through development.
2009/10 – No net loss of biodiversity resource
No of Developments which Compromise the Open Nature of the Green Belt – The extent of the Green Belt designated in Wolverhampton through the UDP is approximately 800 hectares. Local Development Framework policies seek to protect the Green Belt from inappropriate development except in very special circumstances.
2009/10 – 0 planning applications were approved which did not comply with Green Belt policy.
Number of planning permissions granted contrary to Environment Agency advice on flooding and water quality – Water related policies at the national and local level seek to protect the natural watercourse in order to provide essential drainage and flood protection, and oppose development that is likely to lead to a significantly adverse impact on ground water resources, both in terms of protecting their quality or ability to use the resource.
The target is zero and in 2009/10 – 0 planning applications were approved contrary to the advice of the Environment Agency.
Car ownership – The 2011 census provides information on the numbers of cars per household in Wolverhampton. 41% of households in the city have one car or van, 34% have no cars or vans and 25% have 2 or more cars or vans. Wolverhampton has a higher percentage of households with no cars or vans than England and a lower percentage of households with more than 2 cars or vans.
Wolverhampton has an extensive bus service network, operated by a range of providers. The Midland Metro tram links Wolverhampton and Bilston with Wednesbury, West Bromwich and Birmingham. The proposed second line will link Wolverhampton to Walsall via New Cross Hospital, Wednesfield and Willenhall. Other lines are planned elsewhere in the region. Alongside this, the proposed Wolverhampton Interchange plans to redevelop the city’s mainline railway station and improve links to bus and coach services as well as the Midlands Metro.
The Council has strategies to promote walking and cycling amongst both school children and adults. The city’s road network is increasingly congested, in line with national trends, but provides good links to the M6, M6 Toll and M54 motorways, which are just outside the city boundaries.
The 2001 census asked respondents how they usually travel to work. Around 60% responded that they travelled by car or van, the majority as the driver. The number travelling by bus was 12.8%, lower than the West Midlands average, but higher than nationally. Fewer people in the West Midlands travel to work by train or tram than the national average. The 2011 cesus results will be useful in illustrating any changes that may have occurred over the last 10 years.
ar ownership – The 2011 census provides information on the numbers of cars per household in Wolverhampton. 41% of households in the city have one car or van, 34% have no cars or vans and 25% have 2 or more cars or vans. Wolverhampton has a higher percentage of households with no cars or vans than England and a lower percentage of households with more than 2 cars or vans.
Work and Housing – The table below indicates travel to work patterns, and shows that 65% of Wolverhampton residents work and live in Wolverhampton, whilst 35% travel to neighbouring areas.
Travel – Having a good transport network gives people choice about how they choose to travel. Safety on public transport gives people freedom and a feeling of safety whilst travelling. The reduction of crime on public transport is there important, especially as Wolverhampton is a popular commuter destination for neighbouring areas. Transport data shows that for Wolverhampton the total number of instances of crime on public transport or enroute to other destinations was 288 for Apr 2012 – Mar 2013.
- British Transport Police also provide individual indicators which show types of crime on transport. These indicators show the following crime rates for Wolverhampton:
- Number of drug crimes on public transport or en-route to other destinations for Apr 2012 – Mar 2013 was 13
- Number of route crimes on public transport or en-route to other destinations for Apr 2012 – Mar 2013 was 32
- Number of public order offences on public transport or en-route to other destinations for Apr 2012 – Mar 2013 was 47
- Number of all other recorded crimes on public transport or en-route to other destinations for Apr 2012 – Mar 2013 was 133