Council Services:

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room Three, County Offices, Newland, Lincoln LN1 1YL. View directions

Contact: Steve Blagg  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

61.

Apologies/Replacement Members

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that under the Local Government (Committee and Political Groups) Regulations 1990, he had appointed Councillors A Bridges and R G Fairman to the Committee, in place of Councillors J R Marriott and R J Hunter-Clarke, for this meeting only

62.

Declarations of Members' Interests

Minutes:

No declarations of interests were made by Members at this stage of the meeting.

63.

Minutes of the previous meeting of the Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee held on 14 December 2015 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee held on 14 December 2015, be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

64.

Announcements by the Executive Councillor for Highways, Transport and IT and the Chief Operating Officer

Minutes:

There were no announcements.

65.

Major Schemes Update

(A verbal report by Paul Rusted, Infrastructure Commissioner, in

connection with the latest progress on the Council's major

highway and transport schemes)

Minutes:

The Committee received a verbal update on the progress of Major Schemes as follows:-

 

1. Lincoln Eastern Bypass –outcome of Public Inquiry expected at the end of February 2016.  Network Rail had appointed BAM Nuttall on a design and build contract to deliver Spalding Line overbridge (road under railway) on the Council's behalf.  The draft design had been prepared and costed and authority was being sought from Executive Councillor on 20 January 2016 to enter into contract with Network Rail to allow them to award a construction contract.  Pre-qualification questionnaire for the main scheme tender had been issued in October 2015, and a selection of tender list of four contractors had been completed in December 2015.  Tenders would not be issued until the Orders had been confirmed.

 

2. Lincoln East West Link – scheme was currently on programme for completion in August 2016 although delays had been incurred on the Tentercroft Street Bridge due to the supply of poor quality concrete, some of which had been replaced. The bridge beams had now been craned into place. Work had started on the Heritage Building and the foundations had been completed.

 

3. High Street Footbridge – on schedule and due for completion in May 2016.

 

4. Brayford Wharf East Footbridge – Network Rail was continuing to seek an alternative solution at this location that would match the funding envelope available.  A revised, value engineered, scheme was presented to their Funding Board in December 2015 for consideration.  To date, the outcome of this meeting was not known.

 

5. Grantham Southern Relief Road – on schedule and due for completion in June 2016. Phase 2 near the A1 had to be redesigned but good progress was being made. The Southern Quadrant Relief Road was on schedule and a lot of work had taken place with Network Rail.

 

6. A17/A151 – Peppermint Junction, Holbeach - currently consulting on planning permission for Phase 1 consisting of a roundabout at A17/A151 junction and a roundabout on the A151. An autumn 2016 start was expected but was dependent on the completion of the Side Road Orders.

 

Following comments made by the Committee, officers stated the issue of pedestrians spilling onto the road in the vicinity of the High Street level crossing was a safety consideration for Network Rail but in the long term the East West Link would alleviate this problem; discussions involving the Council and City Councils and Network were still on-going in connection with the Brayford Wharf East Footbridge in particular the importance Network Rail attached to the footbridge in its overall investment strategy and the Council did not have any input into road closures by Network Rail and it was noted that the Council was working with Network Rail to put a solution in place in this area.  

 

 

66.

Winter Maintenance Update

(A verbal report by David Davies, Principal Maintenance

Engineer, in connection with the latest situation of winter

maintenance on the Council's highways)

Minutes:

The Committee was provided with an update in relation to winter maintenance activity.  It was reported that the medium and long term forecasts had progressed as expected, and previous records had been broken as up until the end of 2015, the gritters had only been out three times in December.  It had been an extremely mild start to the winter, and so far in 2016, gritters had been out 9 times, and a prolonged colder winter for February and March was expected.

 

Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions to the officers present in relation to the information provided in the update, and some of the points raised during discussion included the following:

 

1. Credit was due to David Davies and his team as what they had predicted had happened almost exactly as predicted;

2. Some work had been carried out into the benefits of using the intelligent forecasting, and it was thought that savings of approximately 20% could be made on marginal nights. However, it was noted that this could be slightly skewed due to the mild start to the winter;

3. Targeted treatments were taking place, as there could be significant differences between the weather conditions in different parts of the county;

4. It was noted that the authority had had some success in recruiting drivers.  Members were advised that these drivers had been recruited by the contractors, and it was hoped that they would be retained for future years.  It was expected that the same system would be used again in the future to recruit more drivers if required;

 

RESOLVED

 

That the update be noted.

67.

Lincoln Eastern By-Pass - Authority to enter into contract with Network Rail pdf icon PDF 87 KB

(A report by Lee Rowley,Senior Project Leader, Major Schemes, which invites the Committee to consider a report on the Lincoln Eastern Bypass to enter into a contract with Network Rail for the construction of a railway bridge to allow the road to pass under the Lincoln to Spalding railway line. The views of the Committee will be reported to the Executive Councillor as part of his consideration of this item)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which outlined a proposal, in relation to the Lincoln Eastern Bypass, to enter into a contract with Network Rail for the construction of a railway bridge to allow the road to pass under the Lincoln to Spalding Railway Line.  This bridge would be delivered by Network Rail on behalf of the County Council and as such as closure of the railway had been booked for February 2017.

 

To allow Network Rail to proceed, a legal document known as an Implementation Agreement was required to be signed by both the County Council and Network Rail.  This would allow Network Rail to seek authority through their funding processes to proceed with awarding a construction contract to their preferred bidder.

 

It was noted that this report was also due to be considered by the Executive Councillor for Highways, Transport and IT on 20 January 2016.

 

Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions to the officers present in relation to the information contained within the report and some of the points raised during discussion included the following:

 

1. A three day closure of the railway line would be required, and it was noted that both freight and passenger trains used this route.  It was also the diversion route for the East Coast Mainline;

2. The County Council had been in discussion with Network Rail over a number of months, and there was a 'not to be exceeded' cost of £12m for the scheme;

3. An advantage to this aspect of the scheme being delivered by Network Rail was that it could be delivered quicker as they would be able to start work sooner;

4. The Implementation Agreement would give Network Rail the authority to spend the Council's money.  It was hoped that before any construction contract was awarded that the Council would have received confirmation of the orders;

5. The authority would lose around £500,000 if this scheme did not proceed;

6. Members were assured that Network Rail had procurement processes in place to ensure that value for money was obtained.  It was noted that four separate contractors had been through the procurement process for the design and build contract;

7. It was confirmed that the Sustrans route would be maintained;

8. Discussions were ongoing in relation to the amount of compensation which would need to be paid;

9. It was clarified that the payment to the Network Rail Fee Fund was a payment that was required for every scheme, and all payments went into a central pot.  The County Council would be able to claim from this pot in the event of any delays to the scheme, and any costs incurred by these delays;

10. It was noted that Network Rail had different powers to the Highway Authority, and that whilst the County Council would need to pay if the railway was disrupted for highway work, the same did not apply to disruptions to the highways for railway work.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Committee support the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Budget Proposals 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 122 KB

(Officers from the Finance and the Environment and Economy Directorates will give a presentation and report on the budget proposals for 2016/17. Comments of this Committee will be passed to the Executive for consideration at their meeting on 2 February 2016)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which described the budget proposals arising from the Local Government Finance Settlement issued on 17 December 2015 and its implications for the Highways and Transports services.  The budget proposals were now open to consultation and members of the Committee had the opportunity to scrutinise them and make comments prior to the Executive making its final budget proposals on 2 February 2016.

 

Members received a presentation which provided further information in relation to the following areas:

 

·         Proposed Revenue Budget for 2016/17

·         Budget Proposals 2016/17

·         Public Transport (Current Budget = £4.43m)

·         Budget proposals for 2016/17 for Sustaining and developing Prosperity through Infrastructure – Highways and Transport

·         Public Transport

·         Community Transport (Current Budget = £65k)

·         BSOG (Bus Services Operators Grant) (Current Grant = £467k)

·         Concessionary Fares (Current Budget = £7.21m)

·         Accessibility and Smarter Choices (Current Budget = £912k Net inc . staffing)

·         Concessionary fares

·         Accessibility & Smarter Choices (savings = share of £1.28m)

·         Transport Policy and Planning (Current Budget £598k inc. staffing)

·         PTU Other expenditure (savings = share of £1.28m)

·         Transport Policy & Planning (savings = share of £1.28m)

·         Alternatives and Options

·         PTU Other Expenditure

·         Total gross Capital & Revenue Roads Maintenance Expenditure for 2007 to 2019

·         Highways Revenue Budget

·         Structural Maintenance (Savings = £1.7m)

·         Highways Maintenance and Network Management

·         Environmental Maintenance (Budget = £3.32m)

·         Structural Maintenance (Current Budget = £6.32m)

·         Environmental Maintenance (Savings = £1.6m)

·         Safety Maintenance (Budget = £9.34m)

·         Winter Maintenance (Savings = £0.76m)

·         Safety Maintenance (Savings = £2.4m)

·         Other Maintenance (Current Budget = £8.95m)

·         Winter Maintenance (Budget = £4.87m)

·         Other Maintenance (Savings = £1.3m)

·         Options

·         Assumptions, Prerequisites & Enablers

·         Lincolnshire Future Highways 2020

·         Lincolnshire 2020: Future Structure

·         Future Operating Model benefits

·         Conclusions

·         Next Steps

 

Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions to the officers present in relation to the information contained within the presentation and report, and some of the points raised during discussion included the following:

 

Transport

 

1. Concerns were raised regarding the potential loss of school transport, and members were advised that the authority was working with the operators on the school time journeys;

2. In relation to those children attending a school of choice (i.e. not the nearest school), it was the parents responsibility to get them to school;

3. It was reported that staff numbers could be reduced by up to 50% over the coming years.  Members were advised that as staff had left they had not been replaced, but also that these reductions had been profiled to take place over the next two years, with an equal number leaving each year;

4. It was the people that used the buses that would feel the effects of these reductions;

5. There were a lot of small bus companies in the county and it was unlikely that they made a lot of profit;

6. It was noted that the fuel rebate which bus companies received was at a set level and did not go up or down with fuel prices;

7. Concerns were raised regarding the proposed stopping of bus stop maintenance, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 87 KB

(A report by Daniel Steel, Scrutiny Officer, in connection with the Committee's Work Programme)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which enabled the Committee to consider and comment on the content of its work programme for the coming year.

 

During discussion of the work programme, the following was noted:

 

1. The reports on the Grantham Transport Strategy and 'Enhancing our Users' experience' would be moved to the meeting on 7 March 2016;

2. That reports on Total Transport Update and CCTV Pilot Scheme – Parking enforcement outside schools be added to the agenda for the meeting on 18 April 2016;

3. The next meeting was scheduled to take place on Monday, 7 March 2016.

 

RESOLVED

 

            That the changes highlighted be noted.

 

 
 
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