Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Emma James/ Jo Weston  Overview and Scrutiny Officers

Items
No. Item

332.

Apologies and Welcome

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Panel member James O’Donnell, from Tony Miller, Cabinet Member for Environment and from Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure.

 

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that Agenda items 5 (Cycling) and 6 (Congestion) would be swapped around, since there was an external speaker present for the discussion on congestion, and this item may also provide context for the discussion on cycling. 

333.

Declarations of Interest and of any Party Whip

Minutes:

None.

334.

Public Participation

Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Head of Legal and Democratic Services in writing or by email indicating the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case 7 May 2019).  Enquiries can be made through the telephone number/email address below.

 

Minutes:

None.

335.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Previously circulated.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting on 5 March 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

336.

Progress with Reducing Congestion and How to Improve getting around Worcestershire pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In attendance for this item were:

 

Jim Bradley, Director, Integrated Transport Planning Ltd

 

The Council:

Nigel Hudson, Head of Strategic Infrastructure & Economy

Andy Baker, Transport Planning and Commissioning Manager

Martin Rowe, Transport Strategy Team Leader

Nick Churchill, Congestion Traffic Manager

Lynsey Keir, Transport Infrastructure Commissioning & Project Office Manager

Matthew Fung, Public Health Consultant

 

Cllr Alan Amos, Cabinet Member for Highways

 

The Chairman welcomed the external expert on congestion, who had been invited by officers to set the context for the discussion by providing information about best practice and examples of what was working elsewhere.

 

Understanding and Managing Traffic Congestion in Worcestershire – Integrated Transport Planning Ltd (ITP)

 

Jim Bradley from sustainable transport consultants Integrated Transport Planning Ltd, gave a presentation (available on the website here ) which included an overview of congestion, trends in Worcestershire, considerations for policy makers, good practice and options for managing demand for road space in Worcestershire. The ITP Director explained that his experience and views were based on studies to understand and manage transport planning and he had been involved in transport planning for cities such as London and Nottingham as well as smaller towns of a similar size to Worcester. Worcestershire was an area with which he was very familiar, having grown up in nearby Warwickshire.

 

During the presentation the following main points were made:

·         Traffic congestion occurred as road network use increased and was characterised by slower speeds, longer travel times and increased vehicular queuing.

·         Common measures of congestion related to the physical progress of vehicles through the network in comparison to ‘free flow’ time.

·         It was important to consider the public’s perception of congestion and how it impacted on daily life.

·         Delay in journey time was one measure used to measure congestion and in 2018 the average delay across roads managed by Worcestershire County Council (rural and urban) was estimated to be 29.4 seconds per vehicle per mile compared to free flow, which represented a 7% increase on 2015 figures.

·         Speed was another measure used, and in 2018 the average speed across the County (rural and urban Council-managed roads) was estimated to be 31.5 miles per hour, representing a 2% decrease on 2015 figures.

·         The impact of increasing congestion on the Local Transport Plan 2018-30 (LTP4) objectives was set out:

Ø  Supporting economic competitiveness and growth – congestion costs businesses money, damaged reputation of towns and constrained planned development growth

Ø  Limiting the impacts of transport on the environment – congestion meant falling traffic speeds increased NOx emissions and made streets unpleasant places for walking and cycling

Ø  Optimising equality of opportunity for all citizens – congestion delayed bus services (17% of residents have no access to a car and it was believed that around a third of young people did not drive) and created conflict with non-motorised road users

Ø  Improving safety, health, life expectancy – congestion increased traffic accidents, incidences of pollution related health issues and challenged promotion of healthy lifestyles through active travel

Ø  Enhancing quality of life  ...  view the full minutes text for item 336.

337.

Cycling pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In attendance for this item were:

 

The Council:

Nigel Hudson, Head of Strategic Infrastructure & Economy

Andy Baker, Transport Planning and Commissioning Manager

Martin Rowe, Transport Strategy Team Leader

Lynsey Keir, Transport Infrastructure Commissioning & Project Office Manager

Matthew Fung, Public Health Consultant

 

Cllr Alan Amos, Cabinet Member for Highways

 

Cycling Group representatives:

Lyndon Bracewell - Push Bike! (Chairman) and Cycle UK (Chairman of local branch)

Robin Walker - Cycle Evesham Vale (Chair)

 

The Transport Planning and Commissioning Manager referred to the information included in the Agenda report, which set out the national context for cycling and funding sources. Examples of external funding were two bids to the Department for Transport’s National Productivity Investment Fund for Worcester and Bromsgrove, which secured £3.2 and £3.4 million (respectively).

 

The Government was encouraging local authorities to increase investment in cycling and walking infrastructure to 15% of total transport infrastructure spending. The Government’s Transport Analysis Guidance (WebTAG) meant that the Council had a better chance of obtaining funding with a package of measures in place.

 

The report also updated the Panel on cycling events which continued to be very popular as well as bringing economic benefit, with the result that the Council’s financial contribution to events was reducing.

 

The Transport Infrastructure Commissioning and Project Office Manager explained her role as overseeing a Team responsible for work with walking and cycling and referred to the work taking place (Appendix 1). Revenue was key because whilst infrastructure was being put into place, it was not being promoted very well. Nonetheless, a lot had been achieved over the past 20 years including both big and small schemes such as cycle bridges, improvements to cycle ways, using S106 monies, safety measures, signing and use of the riverside. Solutions were often low key and cost effective and facilitating cycling improved people’s health and attracted visitors.

 

The Officer highlighted the information included in the Report, including cycle schemes progressed during 2018/19, what had worked well and new schemes for 2019/20. Moving forward, work would focus on the Strategy as well as the schemes involved in getting a cycling network in Worcestershire and making the most of S106 funds. Many schemes were small but intrinsic to the overall plan.

 

The Chairman invited questions and the following main points were raised:

 

·         The Chairman congratulated the Officers and Cabinet Member present on the long list of cycling schemes which was an increase on the previous year.

·         When asked about grants in this area, the Officers advised that the active corridors were spread across the County and that new bids focussed on cycling and walking.

·         A Member asked about district councils’ plans and development and was advised that LTP4 was built very much around planned development and that new development plans had to include cycling and walking plans. Regarding the Active Travel network, more challenging negotiation could be involved since the Council’s powers were not the same as for the highways network.

 

The cycling group representatives present were invited to provide feedback  ...  view the full minutes text for item 337.

338.

Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Regarding the Panel’s July discussion of traffic calming, the Scrutiny Officers were asked to request information on cost of average speed cameras and how revenue could be put back locally.

 

The Chairman reminded members that the July meeting would be an opportunity to refresh the work programme and members were asked to consider topics across the Panel’s remit which should be emailed to the Scrutiny Officers. Additionally, all Councillors had been invited to put forward suggestions to the overall scrutiny work programme.