Highways, Planning & Energy Cabinet Member – Minutes – 25 November 2010

102 (9) UPDATE ON THE SKIDDING RESISTANCE POLICY – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval for the update of the skidding resistance policy within North Lincolnshire (appended to the report).

The current skid policy had been formally approved at the Environment and Transport cabinet member meeting of 14 March 2006. Nationally recognised Codes of Practice recommended that authorities had a strategy for measurement, analysis and maintenance of the highway network in relation to skidding resistance. The introduction of a policy in North Lincolnshire had provided a structured approach to measurement and monitoring of skidding resistance on the highway network. It had allowed the collation of skid resistance measurements and accident data, and a method of scheme prioritisation related to accident risk to be established.

Following the use of the policy since 2006 it was considered that the following amendments would produce a more robust and workable policy. The proposed areas for amendment were:-

  • B Road Network to be included
  • Local Investigatory Levels to be invoked
  • Accident analysis to be included in text
  • Risk Matrix for slippery road signs to be introduced
  • Improved prioritisation system to be introduced
  • Decision Records to be introduced
  • New flowchart to reflect changes

It was considered that the implementation of the proposed amendments to the policy would improve the structured approach to monitoring, measurement and analysis of skid resistance data. Improvements to the policy would potentially provide a more robust defence against any potential litigation resulting from accidents in which skidding was deemed to be a factor and by extending the scope of work to include the B road network, the monitoring and analysis had been extended to cover a larger proportion of the carriageway asset.

Resolved – That the proposed amendments to the existing skid policy document be approved and incorporated.

103 (10) ONE-WAY TRAFFIC ORDER – CHURCH STREET, EPWORTH – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking a decision on the introduction of a Traffic Order for a one-way system on Church Street, Epworth and consideration of six letters of objections received with respect to the above proposals.

Epworth Town Council had requested that Church Street in Epworth be made one way in order to improve traffic flow along Church Street and to reduce perceived congestion. During initial consultation with the Town Council a number of different options for the one way system were discussed. It was the Town Council’s wish that the proposal as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report be implemented.

The order would run for the length of Church Street, from its junction with High Street to the junction with Market Place. Vehicles would be forced to travel in an east west direction and there would be the need to make alterations to the existing junction of Church Street and Market Place to avoid any confusion for drivers

Statutory consultation procedures had been followed during which six objections were received from local businesses and residents along with one letter of support.

Discussions suggested that there was a split in community opinion on how best to resolve this matter without compromising any parking spaces within the centre of Epworth. A number of the objectors were also concerned about the traffic impact the proposal would have on other roads and junctions in the town centre. The business case was discussed along with the financial costs that would be involved, should the decision be taken to proceed.

The Cabinet Member considered all the information presented at the briefing and felt that, in light of the objectors’ concerns and the relatively minor benefits of the scheme weighed against the cost, the proposal could not be supported.

Resolved – (a) That the proposal to introduce the above traffic order be rejected.

104 (11) EXEMPTION OF ROAD CHARGES – DEVELOPMENT, EASTOFT ROAD, CROWLE – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval to exempt the development at Eastoft Road, Crowle from road charges under the Advanced Payments Code (APC) of the Highways Act 1980.

The developer was in the process of submitting a planning application to construct up to 6 dwellings on land off Eastoft Road, Crowle. The means of access to the new dwellings would serve in excess of 5 dwellings, the usual maximum number of dwellings wholly served via a private drive according to the APC. The access road would be constructed in accordance with the requirements of the authority’s Residential Roads Design Guide and constructed to its specification. It would be considered to be sufficiently robust to serve the purpose for which it was intended for many years.

It was explained that the development site did not immediately abut the public highway. There was a section of road currently in the ownership of North Lincolnshire Homes and they had no desire to relinquish control. For the section of proposed road to be eligible for adoption it would have to immediately abut the public highway. It was further clarified that if APC’s were served, the sum of money received could not be utilised to upgrade the road to adoptable standard, nor could it be utilised in other ways by the council.

Resolved – That the proposal to exempt the development, Eastoft Road, Crowle from APC payments be declined.

105 (12) TREE PRESERVATION ORDER CONSULTATION – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report for consideration of the council’s response to the Communities and Local Government’s consultation on proposals for streamlining Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

This consultation paper sought comments on the proposals to consolidate the legal provisions currently contained in regulations and TPOs in England into one set of new regulations. At the same time it was proposed to introduce revisions to streamline the TPO system and make it a fairer system which was easier for tree owners to use.

The changes were intended to reduce the administrative burden of the TPO system, particularly on local planning authorities, and increase accessibility to a more equitable system.

The Communities and Local Government consultation response form including the council’s response was appended to the report.

Resolved – That the response from North Lincolnshire Council, appended to the report, be approved.

106 (13) CARBON MANAGEMENT PLAN – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking to inform the Cabinet Member that capital projects in relation to the Carbon Management Plan were already underway and to establish a procedure for future project approvals by the Cabinet Member together with a prioritised project list for 2010/11.

In January 2010 Cabinet approved a Carbon Management Plan for the next 5 years. Detailed within the plan were a number of identifiable projects funded from both revenue and capital that would help the council achieve its reduction in carbon emissions of 33% over the next 5 years.

Later in February of 2010 the council allocated a capital fund of £500k to assist with the delivery of projects within the plan, however no prioritisation of projects existed within the plan. In October 2010 the Government confirmed that the Salix funding would no longer be available. In order for the council to realise the savings outlined within the original Carbon Management Plan, it was considered necessary to start projects with immediate effect and instigate work on projects that clearly delivered substantial savings within relatively short payback periods.

Resolved – (a) That the decisions made by officers in advance of the process being established as set out in 2.6 of the report be approved, (b) that the projects planned for delivery in 2010/11 as set out in Appendix A to the report be approved, and (c) that projects for 2011/12 be submitted to the Cabinet Member in March 2011 for approval.

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