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TRAC (Tourism and

Rural Access in
Cornwall) & CYCLE
Project Evaluation

Date 21/07/14
Environment Team

Table of Contents
Legacy Landscape and Urban Design Unit (LUDU) Projects
TRAC Project
- Project Summary
- Caradon Hill
- Launceston
- Bude
- Project Financials
CYCLE Project
- Project Summary
- CYCLE Trail Creation Works
- Trail Waymarking and Seminar
- Project Financials
Lessons Learned
Future Project Development
Conclusions

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Legacy of Landscape and Urban Design Unit (LUDU) Projects


Prior to the unification of Cornwall Council and the Districts in 2009, environment
projects were delivered by district teams within each of the respective authorities.
Each district council had different delivery mechanisms.
Cornwall County Council had a specific projects team known as LUDU. The team
comprised Landscape Architects and Engineers delivering grant funded projects as
a self funding team, earning their fees through grants.
The team members were working in generalist roles, working on schemes from
inception through to completion. Their work involved bid writing, design, cost
control and site supervision with certain more specialist services being bought in,
examples of this being ecological surveys and bridge design.
With the unification of the councils in Cornwall the LUDU team was relatively
unaffected by the changes with the team continuing to work on projects which
were already in train and still seeking new opportunities for fee earning schemes.
The restructuring of the Transportation Waste and Environment service in 2011
saw the LUDU team disbanded with those projects and staff which were working on
funded projects being transferred into the Historic Environment Projects Team.
Projects which were transferred included:
a) TRAC(ie the creation of multi-use trails)
b) CYCLE,(ie cycle route creation, way-marking and promotion of cycle
touring) and
c) Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project (CHAHP) (ie the conservation of historical
features and creation of a multi-use trail).
By January of 2012 it was apparent that these projects were not progressing well
and were in significant difficulties with elected members and grant funders
expressing concerns over the deliverability of the projects based on their
respective constraints.
Management decided that the projects and staff should be transferred to the
Environment Projects Team with a view to recovering what could then be delivered
from the projects given the difficulties then faced. The transfer of the projects
being made during Feb to April 2012.
TRAC (Tourism and Rural Access Cornwall)
Project Summary
The TRAC project had originally set out to deliver only the Bude and Launceston
elements within a 1.5M funding package.
The CHAHP project presented a significant opportunity to draw in grant from the
Lottery, but was short on match funding with CHAHP being a 2.48M opportunity.
320,000 of funds were re-allocated from the TRAC project to provide the match
funds to the CHAHP project prior to grant submission and subsequent approval of
TRAC funding. This decision increased the likelihood of the TRAC project failing.

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96,000 grant from the East Cornwall Local Action Group was also granted to the
project to support project development costs.
By the time of grant approval in November 2009 the TRAC Project had been
modified to set out to deliver three sub-projects, these being the creation of multiuse trails at Bude and Launceston together with enabling a 3km extension of the
Launceston Steam Railway.
Works at Caradon Hill have progressed well with the works to the engine houses
now having been completed and works to create the trail in hand and scheduled to
deliver within the overall timescales for the project. The Caradon Hill project is set
to provide outputs far in excess of those originally envisaged for the original level
of investment.
The scheme for Launceston was beset with difficulties from the outset, not least
around the original budget allowance made for the works and land assembly
issues. It is estimated that the project was under-funded and some landowners
opposed to the proposed extension of the Launceston Steam Railway.
At Bude difficulties have been encountered in securing the land required to deliver
the substantive works. A section of the proposed trail has been delivered, securing
a safe passage beneath the A39 via an underpass, linking the pre-existing trail
from Bude, beyond to the existing National Cycle Route at Helebridge. Land has
been secured by Cornwall Council beyond this point allowing a further 570 meters
of trail to be created. As an interim position this extension of the trail is seen to
deliver a useful off-road section of trial. Works delivered have seen the
achievement of 16% of the length of the original trail, for an overall investment of
277,790.

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Caradon Hill
Changes introduced by the Environment Team upon inheriting the project were
mainly around the management of the project team, introducing an externally
appointed Project Manager.
On handover to the Environment Team, the project was significantly adrift in terms
of delivery having only 10% of the grant claimed whilst already 2/3 of the project
duration had passed. The changes introduced and approved by the funders saw a
further 9 months added to the delivery programme and the project has since been
successfully delivered with many of the original project outputs having been
exceeded.
Works to consolidate and preserve the historic mining engine houses at Caradon
Hill have now been completed bringing the total spend against the mining heritage
works to 261,532. With regard to the creation of the on-road cycle trial at
Caradon Hill. Works to develop the trail were undertaken during November and
December 13.
Works which have already been undertaken to the heritage structures have been
far less costly than originally estimated and the number of structures / features
preserved, has risen from 7 at the bid stage to 22 due for completion. Similarly the
original funds to secure 14km of the new Caradon Trail have realised the creation
of 27km of trail.
Launceston
Whilst the transfer of the management of the project to the Environment Team,
gave the opportunity to review the project, it was clear that that by that time that
the funding allocated to the delivery of the project was insufficient to deliver the
original scheme intent.
Relationships with many landowners had been soured by protracted negotiations
and the Launceston Steam Railway had been frustrated by changes to scope from
the original proposals.
Works to create the multi-use trail and enable the parallel extension of the railway
have not been delivered. Post funding award, further survey work has been
undertaken to develop the proposals and has shown that the funds originally
requested to deliver the scheme were insufficient.
Whilst it had been possible for a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to be pursued in
relation to the creation of the new trail, the same CPO powers could not be used to
obtain rights on behalf the railway. DEFRA subsequently confirmed that the scheme
being developed had departed from the original scheme objectives to such an
extent that they would not continue to support the scheme as amended.
Accordingly the CPO actions were halted.
Cornwall Council considers that the CPO proceedings were appropriate and
specialist legal advice in this regard was provided by Cobbetts.

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In preparation for the making of the CPO, assembling information on land


ownerships and preparatory legal work was undertaken. Furthermore, survey and
design work has been undertaken to develop the proposals to seek the required
planning consents. This includes, ecological surveys, bridge assessments and staff
time spent in forwarding the proposals.
Expenditure to the end of December 2013 for the Launceston proposals was
255,778.
Whilst the trail creation works have not been delivered, survey works undertaken
will be of use in informing future proposals to create an off-road trail and/or any
proposal to extend the existing narrow gauge steam railway.
Bude
The transfer of the project to the Environment Team again gave the opportunity to
review and introduce changes to the scheme.
At Bude difficulties have been encountered in securing the land required to deliver
the substantive works. It had been hoped that the land required could be secured
by negotiation with the respective landowners. Two of the key landowners have
refused to sell the land required to deliver the trail, on the basis that the trail
would severely compromise their farming operations.
An action to instigate a CPO to assemble the required land had not been started by
the team in time for the CPO to be carried though within the project timescales.
Even if this had been the case, the CPO and the resulting compensation costs could
not have been met from the available project funds.
A section of the trail securing a safe passage beneath the A39 via an underpass,
has been delivered. In addition a further 570 meters of new trail along the route of
the former railway line has been created. There would be the potential for a future
scheme to build from this section to fulfil the full extent of the original scheme.
This coupled with the works already delivered would see the achievement of 16%
of the trail, for an overall investment of 277,790 inclusive of administration costs.
Project Financials
The final grant position with DEFRA has just been settled, resulting in Cornwall
Council having received approximately 452,000 of funding from DEFRA in support
of the overall project, this being against an original grant allocation of 1.5M.
Cornwall Council has taken considerable time and effort in developing the original
project proposals. At the time of approval the projects were known not be straight
forward and to have significant risks around their delivery, which were
acknowledged by all, including DEFRA as the principal funder.

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CYCLE
Project summary
CYCLE is an Anglo French project working to promote cycle touring in the south
western counties of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset and also in Brittany and Normandy
in France.
The key wider project deliverables are the creation of waymarked cycle touring
routes and their marketing.
Cornwall Council was to deliver the waymarked sections of the Velowest routes
within Cornwall, improve sections of the trail in particular to the Eastern side of
Launceston and to contribute to the wider marketing and promotion of the routes.
Grant funding was confirmed by INTERREG in September 2009 for this project with
completion of all works being required by the end of November 2013. The
INTERREG funding was match funded by Cornwall Council and LSTF monies
totalling 451,737.
Of the works to be undertaken by Cornwall Council of the trail creation works only
a small section of trail upgraded from footpath to cycleway between Newport
Industrial Estate and Ridgegrove Hill has been completed.
The delivery of the independent seminar and waymarking projects have been
successfully completed and the CC project has contributed toward the wider project
marketing.
CYCLE Trail Creation Works
For the purposes of explanation, the works have been broken down in to the
following works sections:
1) Ridgegrove Lane to Ridgegrove Hill
2) Co-op spur link
3) Ridgegrove Hill to Kensey Meadow Estate
4) Newport industrial Estate to Ridgegrove Hill footpath upgrade
Following provisional agreement with landowners sections 1 and 2 were put out to
tender in early August to the Councils framework contractors. Three tenders were
received all of which were substantially over budget.
From the tenders received it is clear that the construction of section 1 could not be
completed without substantial additional funding. From discussions with the main
project funders, Interreg and LSTF it was clear that additional funds were not
available.
Subsequently the land required could not be secured by negotiation as envisaged.
Works have been completed to upgrade the existing footpath connecting from
Ridgegrove Hill to the eastern end of Newport Industrial Estate. This will enable
cyclists on the Velowest Route to cross the town safely but does not provide the
links from Ridgegrove Estate and Kensey Valley Meadow which were acknowledged
to be a priority.

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The project has obtained planning approval for all of the proposed route sections
and has completed two minor landowner agreements. The remaining landowners
have been informed of the position and advised that the Council will not be
proceeding to completion of the agreements.
The Velowest route through Launceston has been modified to bring it on road
through the Newport industrial Estate. Route signs have been installed with a few
small outstanding items to be resolved.
Trail Waymarking and Seminar
The waymarking of the Cyclewest route which links from the principal Velodysee
route between Plymouth and Ilfracombe into Cornwall has been successfully
completed.
The waymarking has seen the opportunity to give a much needed refresh to the
waymarking of the national cycle routes (NCR) 3, 32, 304 and 305. In addition the
project has secured the creation of a new national cycle route numbered 327
linking the former NCR 3 with the NCR 27. The newly designated route links
Otterham Station to Tavistock running via Launceston. The creation of this route is
of benefit to Launceston and other areas taken in by the route, given the additional
visitors which this will generate to the area.
The wider promotion and marketing which the project will bring should begin to be
realised now that the marketing information has been published.
The seminar held at Eden in October to promote the project and wider cycling
opportunities made links with interested businesses which may benefit from the
trail creation. The seminar was well received.

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Project Financials
The grants funding CYCLE are based upon reimbursement against defrayal, so as
such there will be no grant to be handed back. The original funding package for
this project was 451,737 with 102,442 of grant having been used in support of
delivering what has been completed.

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Lessons Learned

Clearly the failure to deliver the entire project is regrettable. Cornwall Council has
reviewed the delivery of this project in order to learn how project delivery can be
strengthened for future projects.
The review of the project has identified the areas below where it is felt that
improvements can be made:Partnerships At Caradon Hill a project partnership group has been formed. The
group has been properly constituted and has had structured quarterly meetings
throughout the project lifetime. Whilst there have been project working groups set
up for both Bude and Launceston, these have been run less formally and have
been groups that have been largely reported to, rather than the group being
engaged in steering the project. This has led to tensions with the project partners.
At Launceston in particular, there had been particular tensions between the
Launceston Steam Railway and Cornwall Council, as the project was unable to
deliver the original scheme intentions within the constraints of the project with
particular reference to budget. Latterly relationships with the Launceston Steam
Railway have been rebuilt, with them having expressed a continued enthusiasm to
realise the original project aims and work with Cornwall Council to deliver them.
Future projects would benefit from using the Caradon Hill Partnership model which
has worked well in keeping the project partners both informed and engaged.
Locally elected members raised concerns over the lack of progress in delivering the
project. Had appropriate and decisive action been taken at this early stage, then it
is thought that the project could have been delivered.
Budget Estimates Whilst the estimated costs for the works at Caradon Hill had
been overestimated, costs for the delivery of the Bude and Launceston trials had
been underestimated.
At Caradon Hill this has resulted in a significant increase in project outputs from
those envisaged at the bid stage.
At Bude and Launceston project funding allocated to Caradon Hill has left the trail
creation projects at Launceston and Bude without sufficient funds to fully deliver all
of the project outcomes originally set out.
Whilst the project team has worked on the basis of previous trail creation projects
and their associated delivery costs, the above projects were more significant in
scale and would have benefited from the appointment of cost consultant services
from the outset to inform the budget setting.
Land Assembly From the project outset there was a belief that the land could
be assembled by negotiated purchase. However, it transpired that there were
landowners at both Bude and Launceston who vehemently opposed the project.
At Launceston, the use of the Councils CPO powers could have been used sooner
and subject to there having been sufficient budget as mentioned above, the
projects aims could have been met.

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At Bude, the lack of the threat of a compulsory purchase order weakened the land
negotiations to a point where the route was diverted around several constraints
and departed significantly from the original route intended.
A clear land assembly strategy needs to be put in place for such projects involving
multiple acquisitions, prior to bidding for funds and adequate time needs to be
factored in to the project to permit such a strategy to be played out.
Project Management The delivery of the project was through a multi-skilled
team, with project management from within the team. Given the complexity of the
land assembly required and numerous relationships to manage, the project would
have been better served by a bespoke project manager to drive the project
forward.
Structure Changes The recent re-organisation of the Environment Directorate
at Cornwall Council seeks to learn from the above. The new structure will see the
establishment of a Capital Projects Team which will oversee the delivery of all
projects of significant value. The new structure will see the bringing together of
significant expertise in land assembly and project management, being
supplemented by other specialist resources as required.

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Future Project Development


Whilst it is very disappointing that the potential projects have not been realised,
certain aspects of the original schemes have been delivered.
Where significant parts of the projects have failed to be delivered, there is now a
great deal of survey and project data which has been built up. This information
would be of great use to inform any future project proposals.
With particular reference to Launceston, heads of terms have been agreed with all
respective landowners associated with the CYCLE project, planning consents, EA
consents and designs have all been provided.
Subject to funding aspects of the original scheme could be readily delivered, albeit
taking on board the lessons learned and recommendations made.
There is the potential through early developer discussions to accommodate the
proposed routes as an integral part of the development proposals which may
deliver the routes in the absence of other funding.
There is also the potential for the Ridgegrove Lane and Kensey Valley Meadow link
to contribute to the forthcoming transportation improvements and could potentially
be realised by the Local Transport Plan funding.
The original TRAC proposals require significant funding and resolve to deliver the
Bude and Launceston trails. Given the councils present budget pressures it is
difficult to see how these trails, if created, could be sustained unless there were
project partners able to make a significant contribution for their ongoing repair and
maintenance. Whilst the trading model for the Camel Trail at Wadebridge does take
some revenue from licenses granted to cycle hire firms, this revenue is modest in
comparison to the overall cost of operation.
Conclusions
Review of the projects has revealed the following failings: The complexity of project delivery had been underestimated prior to bid
submission and inexperienced staff put in place to deliver the schemes.
Funds required to deliver the projects had been underestimated.
The projects lacked a clear land assembly strategy.
Concerns raised by local members over the lack of project progress were not
adequately addressed.
Certain aspects of the projects have been successfully delivered, these include: Partial trail creation at Bude.
Survey and landowner information compiled which will assist in supporting
any future proposals.
Planning approvals gained for the trails relating to CYCLE at Launceston.
On road trail creation and way-marking.
The Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project has been successfully delivered within
budget, significantly exceeding the key project outputs which had been
envisaged.
Key lessons have been learned and the departmental staffing structures have been
altered to address how major projects are delivered in the future.

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