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WelTAG lite helps to ease appraisal burden in Wales

Rhodri Clark
06 September 2022
 

The Welsh Government aims to introduce a simplified form of appraisal guidance, known as WelTAG lite, which would be applicable to most transport schemes.

The draft WelTAG 2022 includes three levels of detail: WelTAG lite for smaller projects; WelTAG standard; and WelTAG plus for larger and more complex programmes and schemes which will involve partnership with the UK Government.

Promoters should decide at the scoping stage which form of WelTAG would be appropriate. WelTAG lite will require only a single business case, combining Stages 1 to 3 in one report. A separate Stage 2 outline business case is not required and should be combined with Stage 1.

“Most projects in Wales should use WelTAG lite,” says the consultation draft. “This includes most active travel projects. WelTAG lite may also be appropriate for plans, policies and programmes where it is less important to appraise different options, and more important to align with well-being and take an integrated approach to policy development.”

WelTAG standard is only needed where projects or programmes may involve adverse well-being impacts, such as higher carbon emissions, and are likely to involve compulsory purchase and possibly a public inquiry.

Projects developed using WelTAG lite will require only annual progress reports, rather than full evaluation.

The government seeks to minimise appraisal of schemes which are elements of existing plans. “Where a project is already identifed in a local development plan, local transport plan or regional transport plan, on an active travel network map (ATNM) or in the National Transport Delivery Plan, there may be no need for a complex options appraisal process. Simply explain how your project was chosen and refer to previous development work or to the appropriate reference document.” 

Similarly, information which has already been prepared for the land-use planning process need not be repeated in WelTAG reports. Assessments of impacts on soil, water and landscape, for example, can be summarised, with links or references to the full information.

The draft WelTAG observes that some transport problems may not require a transport solution, and other potential ways of dealing with issues should be considered at Stage 1. “Priority one of the Wales Transport Strategy is to bring services to people to reduce the need to travel on a daily basis, so the menu of options includes planning options such as locating new services close to where people live, setting aside land for multi-modal hubs to transfer goods for last mile deliveries and remote working hubs to reduce the distances that people need to commute.”

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