Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – Minutes – 27 March 2014

The proposed restrictions would prohibit vehicles making a right turn manoeuvre from Doncaster Road (A18) into Hilton Avenue.

The restrictions had been highlighted in the Transport Assessment for the new retail development on Doncaster Road at the existing site of Trent Valley Garden Centre.

There were a number of objectors who felt that the loss of the right turn manoeuvre from Doncaster Road (A18) into Hilton Avenue would affect residents and cause congestion elsewhere.

Resolved – (a) That Option 3, that further work be undertaken to consider whether a right turn lane could be retained along with the existing ghost island and implement this if possible, as set out in the report at paragraph 3.3, be approved; (b) that officers write to consultees advising them of the decision, following the normal statutory procedure, and (c) that a further report be submitted to the Cabinet Member following investigations.

107    (54) TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDER FORGE DRIVE/STATION ROAD, EPWORTH – The Director of Places submitted a report considering the objections received by the council to the proposed Traffic Regulation Order – Forge Drive/Station Road, Epworth.

Over a number of months, local residents had raised their concerns to Epworth Town Council regarding parking around Forge Drive, Epworth.

The Station Road/Forge Drive junction near the shops currently had no parking restrictions.  It was regularly used by passing customers. During busy times, this area was oversubscribed.  This resulted in parking on the junction around Station Road.  Other inappropriately parked vehicles made turning into Forge Drive difficult.  Bollards were installed to try and deter inconsiderate parking.  This did not cure the problem.

On street parking occurred in greater numbers on Station Road, along the southern kerb line. This caused various problems. Long lengths of parked cars restricted traffic flows.

The original proposal following objections was deferred by the Cabinet Member with a view to making minor changes to the area affecting the shops.

The restrictions were amended in line with observations made by local businesses and residents when proposals at this site were advertised previously.

The proposed restrictions were to implement no waiting at any time as shown in Appendix 1 to the report.

Resolved – (a) That the introduction of the Traffic Regulation Order, as shown in the plans on Appendix 1 to the report, be approved, and (b) that officers write to the objectors advising them of the decision, following the normal statutory procedure.

108     (55) SPEED LIMIT REVIEW AMENDMENT ORDER 2 VARIOUS SPEED LIMITS – The Director of Places submitted a report considering two objections received by the council to the proposed speed limit changes in North Lincolnshire

Officers had reviewed the speed limits on all A and B roads in North Lincolnshire following guidance in the Department for Transport Circular 01/06 “setting local speed limits”.

In order to clarify what speed limit should apply to what road the government office (DfT) updated Circular Roads 1/93 Setting Local Speed limits. The updated document, Circular Roads 1/2006 had recently been revised by 01/2013. The circular aimed to introduce consistency in setting speed limits on a national level.

Officers assessed Messingham Road, Bottesford (A159) in line with the guidance and prioritised within the speed limit review.

Resolved – (a) That the order be upheld and its introduction be authorised, and (b) that officers write to the objectors advising them of the decision.

109                (56) SPEED LIMIT REVIEW AMENDMENT ORDER 3 VARIOUS SPEED LIMITS – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking to consider two objections received by the council to the proposed speed limit changes in North Lincolnshire.

The speed limits on all A and B roads in North Lincolnshire were reviewed following guidance in the Department for Transport Circular 01/06 “setting local speed limits”.

In order to clarify what speed limit should apply to what road the government office (DfT) updated Circular Roads 1/93 Setting Local Speed limits. The updated document, Circular Roads 1/2006 had recently been revised by 01/2013. The circular aimed to introduce consistency in setting speed limits on a national level.

Officers assessed both sections of the A18 in line with the guidance and prioritised within the speed limit review.

Resolved – (a) That the order be upheld and its introduction authorised, and (b) that officers write to the objectors advising them of the decision.

110                (57) STRATEGIC TRANSPORT UPDATE – The Director of Places submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on a range of Strategic Transport issues.

The Transport Planning team in Highways dealt with a range of regional and national transport issues relating to major transport projects.

Work relating to the Humber and Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) was progressing at a rapid pace.  In relation to transport, DfT was contributing over one third of the Local Growth Fund from 2015 onwards.  It was important that the council was involved in the prioritisation process for this funding to ensure North Lincolnshire could deliver some of its strategic transport priorities.

The role of rail had grown considerably over the last 18 months.  The Transport Planning Manager was undertaking the majority of that work.

A briefing paper was appended to the report which updated the Cabinet Member on a number of key issues.

Resolved – (a) That the progress to date on Strategic Transport issues be noted, and (b) that a report be submitted to the Cabinet Member in three months time, updating on further progress.

111  (58) HIGHWAYS LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN PROGRAMME UPDATE – The Director of Places submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on the progress of delivering the current Local Transport Plan and Capital budget programmes.

Transport capital expenditure was mainly secured through the Local Transport Plan (LTP) process.  The council was required to submit a LTP submission for the Department of Transport.  The plan set out transport priorities for the council.  Last year had seen the start of the third generation of the plans.  They now covered a 15-year period.

As part of the LTP submission, council’s were required to produce a three year Delivery Plan.  This plan set out the programme themes and expected outcomes for the plan.

There were two funding streams within the LTP award: Integrated Transport and Highway Maintenance.  The allocations for the current year including carry forwards were as follows:

·         Integrated Transport £1,509.000

·         Highway Maintenance £4,114,000

·         Additional capital £1,991.000

Programmes of work were prepared by professionally qualified officers, considering transport priorities and performance targets.  The breakdown into programmes of work was assessed using agreed policies and criteria.

Highway maintenance schemes were prioritised using nationally recognised highway condition assessment criteria within a prioritisation framework.  Where appropriate, maintenance schemes also included measures to improve road safety (particularly for vulnerable road users), increase personal security, reduce crime and enhance the street scene.

Monitoring of the programme could reveal both underspends or overspends on various budget lines whilst the base budgets were amended centrally.  The current position as set out in Appendix 1 to the report indicated that the LTP programme of works balanced and was fully committed.

Resolved – (a) That the progress of the delivery of the programme be noted, and (b) that the potential start dates for future schemes, set out in Appendix 2 to the report, be noted.

112      (59) EXEMPTION OF ROAD CHARGES – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking to delegate authority to the Director of Places to consider under limited circumstances the exemption from charges under the Advanced Payment Code (APC) of the Highways Act 1980 (HA1980).

On a number of sites, situations occured where in planning and highway safety terms it would be acceptable for a private driveway to wholly serve more than five dwellings. However, current legislation required that the highway authorities had to advise refusal of planning applications.

A private drive could only serve a maximum number of five dwellings.  This was in accordance with the HA1980 and the council’s current policy. However, it was not always unreasonable to consider accepting more than this number of dwellings on a private driveway. An appeal could overturn a planning refusal on highway grounds.

An adopted road should serve six or more houses to comply with current council policy.  After completion, the council would normally adopt and maintain the new road.  Sometimes it was not possible to improve an existing private driveway to a suitable standard. In this instance, the Cabinet Member could consider an exemption (by delegated powers) under Section 219 (subsection 4) of the Highways Act 1980.

Any exemption would include a clause that would indemnify the council from any future claim under the private street works code.

The facility to grant an exemption would allow a limited opportunity to develop:

·         Infill/additional plots on an existing private driveway where it was not possible to improve the existing infrastructure to an adoptable standard.

·         Small parcels of land (usually brown field sites) where a suitable access was unachievable due to the sites position.

Resolved – That the proposal to delegate the necessary authority to the Director of Places to consider exempting (under limited and relevant circumstances) some developments from APC payments and determines accordingly, be approved.

113    (60) POLICY ON COST RECOVERY FOR CONTAMINATED LAND – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval for the 2014 policy statement on cost recovery for contaminated land.

Cabinet identified the need for a cost recovery policy on 29 December 2004. A policy on cost recovery was subsequently produced.  Cabinet approved the policy on 18 July 2005.

The policy set out the general approach towards deciding whether or not to recover costs.

The 2005 policy reflected the requirements of Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the approved statutory guidance on cost recovery (02/2000). The 2005 policy aimed to obtain a result that was fair and equitable to all who may have to meet the costs of clean up.  This included national and local taxpayers.  The policy applies the “polluter pays principle”. The council also sought to recover any reasonable costs.

Defra published revised guidance in April 2012.  The council now needed to update the 2005 policy in line with this updated guidance.  The draft 2014 policy was appended to the report at Appendix 1.  The draft policy reflected the new guidance.

Resolved – That the revised policy on cost recovery for contaminated land be approved.

114     (61) BUSINESS COMPLIANCE OFFICER – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval to establish a Business Compliance Officer post within the Environmental Health Commercial Team.

The report sought to make a change to the structure of the Environmental Health Team by creating a new Business Compliance Officer post leading on health and safety (H&S) and event safety.  The post would also deliver ‘high risk’ food safety work.

The council had to make suitable arrangements to carry out H&S work within its area. The council used HSE guidance which set out an enforcement framework to guide them.

The aim of the council’s work was to reduce the number of work related deaths, injuries, ill health and working days lost.

The council wanted to provide H&S support to local businesses so that they were compliant with the law. It was important to retain H&S expertise within the team so that peoples’ H&S concerns could be responded to. The council must ensure that the H&S work carried out was not a burden on business.

Resolved – (a) That the new post of Business Compliance Officer, as set out in the report, be approved, and (b) that the deletion of a ‘specialist’ Environmental Health Officer, as set out in the report, be approved.

115    (62) HIGHWAY SERVICES: FLOOD RISK MANAGER – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval to establish a post of Flood Risk Manager as a replacement for the vacant Bridges and Drainage Engineer.

Highway Services had an established post of Bridges and Drainage Engineer.  The post had remained vacant for the previous two years.

Recruitment to the post had been attempted, however, due to the two distinct disciplines it covered, the council had been unable to attract candidates with the relevant experience and skills.

Due to the increasing workload of the current drainage team and the increasing workloads generally in relation to flood risk mitigation and water management, it was proposed that the existing post was deleted and replaced with a post of Flood Risk Manager.  This would allow the council to advertise for candidates with the relevant skills and knowledge who could lead the drainage team into the future.

The bridges elements of the current post would be managed in the future by the Asset Team Manager and the Head of Highways, as they were currently whilst the post remained unfilled.

Resolved – (a) That the replacement of the Bridges and Drainage Engineer post with the new post of Flood Risk Manager be approved, and (b) that the commencement of the recruitment process to seek a suitable candidate to fulfill the role be approved.

 

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Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.